David Ortiz Re-invents Himself


Who is the rookie sporting the #34 on his jersey?  That’s no rookie, that’s the new and improved Big Papi.  David Ortiz has shown up this spring with a slimmer build and a more positive attitude.  Although, I have always seen Ortiz as a positive influence.

Ortiz has plenty of motivation coming into the spring.  He only has a one year contract and if anyone has been drinking the Bobby Valentine Kool Aid, it is Big Papi.  Just what did Bobby V promise when he met with Ortiz at his golf tournament?  Whatever he said , he shoudl continue to say it all year. Does this say more about how much Ortiz has bought into Bobby V’s philosophy or was his relationship with Terry Francona was more strained then meets the eye?

Regardless, Ortiz is playing like a twenty six year old and not as a thirty six year old.  Valentine has Ortiz taking regular drills at first base this spring.  Something, Francona never really pushed.  This can only benefit the Red Sox.  I thought Adrian Gonzalez wore down as the season progressed.  He looked weak and tired in September.  Balls he was hitting for line drives at the beginning of the season, turned into meek grounder towards the end.  Gonzalez himself said when the season ended that the Red Sox played to many nationally televised games on Sunday nights and many players were tired. 

No one expects Ortiz to flash the gold glove wizardry of Gonzalez, but if he can hold his own and not be a detriment than Gonzalez can take a breather for a night and be the DH.

Big Papi may have also realized that teams are shying away from the fulltime DH nowadays.  Just ask Ortiz’s good friends Johnny Damon and Vladimir Guerrero how things are going for them. 

Big Papi also came to spring training displaying some leadership.  The first day of camp he spoke to the team about putting last year behind them and moving forward.  Another trait Ortiz never showed until this year.

Long story short, Big Papi is back with a vengeance.  Those who counted Ortiz down and out may be eating their words this year.

How can you not root for someone who has been one of the faces of this franchise for the past 8 years?

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