a blog by Schoolboy Jew
A farewell letter to the one and only David Ortiz.
When you announced on November 18 that you were retiring after this season, I had mixed feelings. As a baseball fan, I was saddened by the news. However as a Tigers fan, I was so happy I almost cried. You see David, I hate you so much because you seem so hell bent on destroying the Tigers at any chance you get. I’m not only referring to your horrible performance in the 2013 ALCS, but also the fact that you take every game against my Tigers as a chance to put on a hitting clinic.
Let’s start with 2005 shall we? Just one year after you and your group of “idiots”, as Johnny Damon dubbed them, broke the damn curse. I was just nine years old at the time, and on the peak of starting to fall in love with the game of baseball. My dad and I were enjoying a rare, but excellent nonetheless, performance by Tigers’ pitching, when you decided to come to the plate in the late innings of what was looking like a win for the Tigers. I will never forget what my dad said when you came up to the plate with one out in the top of the ninth, trailing by one. “Watch this guy, Leo. He has sneaky power.” Well, you must have heard him, because you thought it would be great for me to see you send the next pitch deep into the night and halfway up the bleachers to tie the game and give Fernando Rodney a blown save. Oh, but was that enough? Of course not. In the tenth inning, you guys scored seven runs. Seven freaking runs! Who does that? You also hit a three run dinger that inning, so it’s almost all on your shoulders. That is where my terrible luck with you began.
We move ahead now to May 14, 2010, at a game where I am sitting in the front row with my best friend Jack. 2010 was a funny year for you. You hit .270 and still made it to the All Star Game. If you were on the Tigers, you wouldn’t have had a chance at the All Star Team. At the time, you were hitting .213, Nice numbers, Papi. Anyways, it didn’t take long for you to make your typical dramatic impact on the game. Six batters into the game and you had a three run dinger. Not only did you hit it, but per usual, you made that pitch your bitch and launched it. Fast forward to the top of the fourth. It’s five to one, you really don’t need to make it worse. But in typical you fashion, you hit a bomb to deep center for a two run homer. Man, you love to piss me off, don’t you David?
This now brings me to the most painful baseball memory that I have, and probably one of your favorites. 2013 was the Tigers’ year, David. We had it all. Solid hitting, sharp starting pitching, and a shutdown bullpen. After all these years of destroying us, you didn’t even do very well in the 2013 ALCS. You went two for twenty two. Two for twenty two? I know hot dog vendors at Fenway who can hit better than that. But of course, you had one hit that I still have nightmares about. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, with a four run Tigers lead, you stepped up to the plate. I instantly began to worry about what might happen. Next thing I know, there's a flat change-up from Joaquín Benoit that you sent over the right field wall, and you sent my hopes right into the toilet...
David, the Detroit Tigers and I will not miss your big bat and clutch hitting. But as a baseball fan, I will miss your class and humility, and how you always played the game with a mix of swagger and style. I will miss the way you showed people how even though you are a big man, you can make baseball seem like a kids game. Farewell, David. Enjoy your retirement, because I know us Tigers’ fans definitely will.
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