Red Sox legend David Ortiz talks Fernando Tatis Jr.
I think by now we’ve all heard about the drama that’s swirling around Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. Well, it didn’t take long for Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz to hear about the nonsense and he was more than willing to share his thoughts. It’s no surprise that he would have an opinion on the matter as he was one of the most feared hitters during his career in Boston.
You see, during his playing time Big Papi was one of the fiercest hitters once the count got to 3-0, never missing a chance to make a pitcher pay. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford captured the former DH’s thoughts and he didn’t hold back on what he would’ve done had he been in Tatis Jr.’s shoes.
"“(Expletive), I swing,” Ortiz said with a chuckle. “I don’t care. I don’t even know why they’re making a big deal about it."
There aren’t many other quotes from the big man that best display his mentality and personality, but this is definitely one of the best. I fully agree with Ortiz on his sentiment as we all know baseball doesn’t have a time limit. It’s not like the other major sports where the clock is ticking down until the end of the game.
We also know that at any point a team can storm back and steal victory from their opponent. Hell, the Red Sox were winning last night until the Phillies scored seven in the sixth inning, the exact deficit the Rangers were in on Monday night. Herm Edwards said it best, “You play to win the game.”
So the bases are loaded and you let the count get to 3-0 and I’m supposed to just let you get a free pitch on me? Get that trash outta here! What Tatis did the other night was totally in the right and he did his job. Baseball is a game fully built on individual performances leading to bigger paydays. What he did not only secured his team the victory but also could lead to more money in his bank account when arbitration comes around.
"“The pitcher put himself in that situation. Anytime teams can come back and score seven runs. If you told me 15-1 or something like that. But 10-3? Nope. That’s not wide open. Anything can happen.”"
We’ve all seen the Red Sox not only blow massive leads but also storm back from being deep in the hole. In this day and age where the balls are juiced beyond belief and homers are coming at a rapid clip, no lead is safe.
If I’m in the box with the bases loaded and a 3-0 count, you better believe I’m sitting on a fastball and want to knock in some runs. It’s my job to do whatever I have to in order to help my team add another ‘W’ to the record books.
Ortiz would further explain his mentality at the plate when the count was 3-0 and that the score played a massive factor in his actions. If his side had at least a double-digit lead then he’d sit back and take whatever pitch was coming. But, if they were below that 10-run line, then you better believe Papi was swinging at the meatball that was coming 3-0.
"“Now you have guys throwing 100 mph and they throw you a changeup 3-0. It’s not like before,” he noted. “When they throw 100 mph you were just expecting 94 mph on the plate. Not now. I don’t know why they’re making such a big deal. I want to have a 10-run and then I don’t swing. That guarantees a win. But a seven-run lead doesn’t guarantee anything unless it’s the ninth inning and you have Mariano Rivera on the mound.”"
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It’s great to see a veteran with that mindset and desire to win games, but also know that it isn’t always necessary. Sadly, too many of the veterans that we saw chiming in on the topic over the last 36 hours were all trying to dim the shine coming from Tatis. Even his damn manager threw shade at him before he walked it back later on.
Why should these guys get punished and shamed for being good at their job and exciting to watch? Just because Mike Trout has the charisma of an Elmer’s glue stick doesn’t mean everyone needs to act that way.
The Red Sox have been massacred on a nightly basis over the last week and never once did I get pissed at Bryce Harper, Luke Voit, or Jay Bruce for crushing bombs. That’s on our pitching staff and them alone. I love homers and offense, I wish Boston didn’t make it so easy for other teams, but I still love it.
We live in a world where highlight GIFs and retweets are how stars are made in sports, it’s time that the old guard realizes that and allows these kids to do what they do best. Enough of the unwritten rules nonsense, move along. This is a new era and generation of players, it’s time that they get to govern the game how they see fit.
David Ortiz was one of the most fun and downright exciting players to watch while he was with the Red Sox. It’s awesome to see a veteran speak out in favor of Tatis’ style of play instead of trying to get him to step back in line. Baseball is in dire need of fun players who can bring the game to a new generation, and Tatis Jr. is one of those guys. Why drag them down when we can prop them up and let them do the damn thing? Good on Big Papi for trying to further the game rather than hold it down.