Friday, May 21, 2010

No one is happier than I am that David Ortiz has been red hot in May. His numbers for the month so far- .358 average, 7 HR, 1.170 OPS - are amazing.

That said, Big Papi popped off in the paper today about how upset he's been about the heat he got in the media during his slow start. He even went so far as to specifically call out ESPN's Buster Olney for saying that he can't hit an inside fastball any more. Ortiz pointed out that he rarely gets pitched inside and wanted to know what Buster was watching.

David Ortiz has done many great things for the Red Sox, but I think most people had a legitimate concern as to whether he was done from looking at his performance in April. One of the things that comes with the big money and fame enjoyed by our sports superstars is that certain people will turn on you at the first sign of weakness. It's not necessarily right, but that's how it is.

My thought is that Big Papi doesn't understand how the media works around here. The two greatest players in Red Sox history, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski were both berated by the press at various points in their careers. Teddy Ballgame's battles with the "Knights of the Keyboard" were legendary. Name a great Red Sox player of the last 50 years and he was probably vilified in the press at one time or another. Jim Rice, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Manny Ramirez; the list goes on and on. It even extends to other sports - is Tom Brady spending too much time with Gisele and the baby? - that was a hot topic last fall. Remember the story about Larry Bird's estranged daughter, or the bar fight he was involved in? If these two guys can get that kind of heat from the media, nobody is immune.

Actually, maybe there's one exception - can anyone remember a negative word being said about Bobby Orr?

I know Big Papi is never going to read this, but he should just consider himself the latest in a long line of Boston sports legends that got on the wrong side of the sports pages for a time.


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