June 24, 2016

Big Papi - Texas Farewell Completes Cowboy Costume

Unique pair of cowboy boots
(Courtesy Twitter @Rangers)
Last night was the Rangers turn to make a presentation to David Ortiz, during his last series in Texas. He already had his farewell in Houston, and this may be the last opportunity for Rangers fans to see him (barring a playoff visit).
He has loved to play at The Ballpark in Arlington, Ameriquest Field, Rangers Ballpark, Globe Life Park in Arlington, sporting a career .302 batting average and 19 HRs in just 57 career games there coming into this Series.

He also hit his first career home run there during his September 1997 callup with the Twins. Watch it here

Longhorn belt buckle
(Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Almost looks like a real Cowboy!
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Rangers gave him a pair of cowboy boots and a buckle, which will go well with the cowboy hat the Astros gave him earlier, if he ever needs a Hallowe'en costume.

Here's a video of the presentation

Unfortunately, after one of the best wins of the season, scoring 4 times with 2 outs in the 9th capping a 6 run comeback, on Friday night, the magic was gone yesterday, and they'll need to win a Clay Buchholz start to win the series this afternoon.  I give better odds of David Ortiz being mistaken for a real cowboy!

Meanwhile, don't forget to get your own Big Papi Farewell tour t-shirt:

Close up of back of shirt

June 13, 2016

Big Papi - Last Return to Minnesota

Yes, that is Big Papi!
Before David Ortiz became Big Papi and a three time World Series champion with the Red Sox, he was simply known as David Arias - a Twins 1st baseman/DH fighting for his share of playing time.  And most people remember that great trade prior to the 2003 season, when the Twins traded Ortiz to the Red Sox for, um, well, nothing really. He was actually outright released and the Sox acquired him for no cost.  And ever since, Oritz has feasted against Twins pitching, hitting .323 with 20 home runs in 67 career games. In particular, he's loved visiting Target Field, where after getting a single and a double in last night's game, his career average which was .435 there actually dropped.  He has also hit 9 long flys in just 17 games.

So, it wouldn't be surprising if the Twins were a little bitter at all the success he's had in his post-Minnesota career.  But they were good sports about it and honored him prior to the game last night.  First of all they presented a cheque to Pucket's Scholar's Program - Kirby Puckett was a good friend of his, and is the reason he chose #34 when he came to Boston.  But more entertaining was the story his old teammates shared involving his "tidy whities and peanut butter".  You have to watch the video for all the details.

If you want your own Farewell tour t-shirt there's still time to get it here:
Farewell Tour t-shirt

June 08, 2016

Big Papi gets a San Francisco cable-car bell

Ortiz with McCovey and a couple of former WS Champion teammates
Another infrequently played at NL park was the latest stop on David Ortiz' farewell tour.  He's only played in San Francisco a few times, starting 6 games since 2004.  But that didn't stop the Giants from having all-time great Willie McCovey (who is currently, but not for long, ahead of Ortiz on the all-time home run list 521 to 519), make a presentation before the start of last night's game. Also on hand were a pair of World Series Champion teammates, Javier Lopez from the 2007 team and Jake Peavy from 2013.

They presented him with a cable-car bell to commemorate his last regular season trip to San Francisco.

Here is video of the ceremony

May 22, 2016

Jackie Effin' Baseball!

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!  Nope, it's just Jackie Baseball!
In case you've been living under a rock and hadn't noticed, Jackie Bradley Jr. is finally hitting the way we all thought he would when he first got called up in 2013. Despite gold glove level centerfield play, his .189 and .198 batting averages his first two seasons kept him from sticking in the majors.  In fact, he had a historically bad offensive start to his career. And lots of people were just hoping that he could be close to an average hitter to keep his glove on the field.  He spent most of the early part of the 2015 season in Pawtucket, only starting a dozen games for the Red Sox before August. But then he came up for good and hit over .350 and showed some power, hitting 5 home runs that month, more than he had in total in two and a half part seasons prior to that.  Unfortunately he regressed a bit in September and a lot of naysayers were saying it was a fluke / pitchers learned how to adjust to him / it wasn't sustainable etc.

May 18, 2016

Big Papi Farewell - A Royal Chair

The Big Papi Farewell Tour continues, as today is the Red Sox last regular season scheduled game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Unless (until!) they meet in the playoffs, this will be the last chance for Royals' fans to see David Ortiz.  This hasn't been one of his favorite places to hit, as he's sporting a career .260 average there, and last night was no different as he didn't reach base in a 8-4 Red Sox loss.  But prior to the game, the Royals presented him with a chair from the 2013 All-Star game in which he was the American League's starting DH, in a game the AL won giving them home field advantage in the World Series, and allowing the Red Sox to celebrate that year's championship at Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years!

Here is video of the presentation.

Don't forget to order your Big Papi Farewell t-shirt here.