Last week Boston Red Sox fans clucked when retired icon Carl Yastrzemski called current designated hitter David Ortiz the second best hitter in franchise history.
Yaz’s claim that Ortiz’s hitting prowess should be ranked above him and only behind the legendary Splendid Splinter Ted Williams surprised most baseball purists
However, no one outside New England with any knowledge of America’s pastime would argue if any MLB player, retired or current, would refer to Ortiz as baseball’s, and not just the Boston Red Sox’s, biggest blowhard.
Yesterday, the self-aggrandizing designated hitter proved why most MLB fans, and not just members of the Tampa Bay Rays, have grown weary of Big Papi’s antics.
The burly Boston slugger blasted a three run home run in the third inning off promising Rays’ pitcher David Archer. Ortiz once again unnecessarily lingered in the batter’s box to admire his laser shot as it found its new home in Tropicana Field’s right field stands.
And, before sauntering to first base with glacier like speed, the extra-large DH fed his super-sized ego by flipping his bat toward the Red Sox dugout. Ortiz’s intentional bat flip carried a deep rooted animosity toward his Florida opponents birthed in a brawl earlier this season. Yesterday’s bat toss nearly instigated another scrum with his team’s divisional rival Tampa Bay Rays players.
In addition, statistics infatuated baseball fans clocked Ortiz’s prolonged “scamper” from the left side of the batter’s box to first base at a slug like speed of 10 seconds. Furthermore, Big Papi’s extended home run trot defied baseball etiquette and broke one of the unwritten rules of the sport that the talented Dominican doesn’t believe belongs to him; i.e. showing up your opponent, especially in Hollywood like style.
Ortiz may be one the game’s best hitters, but his very large bat is not near as big as his unbridled ego and silly, hollow threats.
Following yesterday’s blast, Big Papi once again bloviated and blustered in the media. He talked tough, postured proudly and wagged his sausage like fingers at the Tampa Bay Rays.
But, baseball fans immediately knew that the chubby 38 year-old will never literally back up his boastful bark with the bruise-less knuckles that he buries beneath his leather batting gloves.
Big Papi has become MLB’s version of former Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. With big skills and bigger, always revving, profanity laced motor-mouths, neither Boston sports figure has ever been able to keep his mouth shut or show the stones to actually get his fists going. They just give you impression they will.
Though both Big Papi and The Big Ticket have always chirped incessantly, they have possessed amazing ability on the hardwood and the baseball diamond to control their emotions and not carry out their threats. Sure, they usually instigate trouble for their teams, then shrewdly slip away and hide behind teammates and coaches to wisely avoid suspensions and fines.
I’ve never witnessed Ortiz or Garnett throw a punch, and I’m certain I never will. However, I will expect to hear them continue jibber-jabbering and pointing their fool hardy fingers.
For example, calling Big Papi’s involvement in the late May 2014 Boston Red Sox versus Tampa Bay Rays misunderstanding a “brawl” is like saying high school girls’ powder puff football is a contact sport.
A shouting match teeming with too much testosterone is a better way of referring to this dust-up, petty pontificating, catty quarrel, silly scrap or feline finger pointing.
No one threw a punch. No one administered a double choke hold. No one spit. No one kicked. And, no one from either team did anything that a reasonable fan would say is “brawl” worthy.
Skinny David Price, who hit Ortiz with a retaliatory pitch back in May, couldn’t punch a bean bag chair without hurting something. And, Big Papi is an even bigger sissy than his girthy frame would suggest.
The same would have happened yesterday; namely, NOTHING. That’s right, nothing would have happened, but a lot of boasting.
Come on, MLB. Let the guys go at it.
The Rays and Sox don’t like each other. Period. Schedule the two teams for a main event. Call it the Rumble at the Trop or the Friday Night Fights at Fenway.
Once and for all, get rid of all their tongue wagging, finger pointing and heavy breathing and make way for some heavy hitting.
Let’s see who actually shows up.
My guess is that both Big Papi and David Price will stay in the dugout and out of the media.
And, somewhere in Brooklyn, an ever annoying Kevin Garnett will be watching all the blustering while hiding behind someone’s skirt and smiling approvingly!
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!