The fire still burns inside David Ortiz


There is no doubt that David Ortiz is one of the best Red Sox hitters of all time, and his clutch hitting has been a huge part of Boston’s three recent World Series Championships. There is also no doubt that Ortiz is one of the more vocal players, not only on Yawkey Way, but in all of baseball. He certainly seems to have fun and shows a true passion for the game every night out, but he also is not afraid to voice his opinion on a matter, whether it is positive or negative. Big Papi making sure his two cents are heard in the offseason regarding his contract has become as automatic as the change of seasons.

I used to cringe and shake my head at his constant talking and complaining, but over time it has become apparent that Ortiz isn’t just after his money – he uses the doubters, the naysayers and the critics to fuel his competitive fire. It is widely understood that the best players and teammates in all of sports are the most competitive in all aspects of life.

After reading and listening to David’s comments to’s Rob Bradford a few days ago in which he lambasted all the people that advised the Sox front office to not extend him beyond this season, I realized that he does in fact take the negativity personal. That’s a good thing! Ortiz takes those comments to heart, breathes them in and lets them churn inside in order to stay focused at all times – like even when the team is well out of playoff contention with two months left in the season.

David Ortiz has a reminder for everyone in regards to his contract extension,

Ortiz wears his emotions on his sleeve and while his infectious smile is beloved by Boston fans, he also can immediately flip a switch and play with an edge. That edge is what sports fans love, especially in New England. Sure, the complaining about official scorers can get old, as well as the ongoing contract talk, but these are the things that keep David going. Managers and coaches often talk about “bulletin board material” to motivate their team. It is no different for Papi with his critics. He strives to prove them wrong and legitimately wants to be the best he can possibly be at the plate. He thrives on the negativity.

More from David Ortiz

The best performers at any particular activity are always setting new goals, setting their sights higher and higher. David Ortiz wants to be remembered as a legendary Red Sox and as the best DH to ever play. Some players choose to “ignore the noise” as Bill Belichick famously says, however, Ortiz loves “the noise.” As long as the noise continues to permeate David’s world, the fire inside him will continue to burn, and as a fan, I have absolutely no problem with that.