Attn: David “Big Papi” Ortiz
From: the NuckolBall editorial staff
As a Yankees fan, you have been the symbol of the enemy for me. I have loathed you for years. You have gut-punched me again and again. I have delighted when you failed and sworn until I’m red in the face when you succeeded. You were at the heart of the worst baseball experience of my life (2004 comeback).
You were a massive whiner. A cry-baby. You were nailed for steroids and the Boston press loved you so much that when you said “I’m going to get to the bottom of this,” that seemed to be all they needed to hear.
But unlike most cry-babies, you could deliver the goods.
You made baseball unbearable. You made it must-see. For years, watching a Yankees-Red Sox game was 3 hours of muscle-clenched agony. I tracked the entire games on where you were in the line up. Please don’t walk this guy or we face Papi next inning. Every time we got you out, I gasped in relief and then started to count all over again.
Baseball is about tension. People say it’s boring and hate the slow pace. But the slow pace is what so masterfully builds that tension. It’s like a great horror movie. It’s not the zombies that are scary – it’s the anticipation of them. It’s waiting for them to spring.
And Papi, you were the ultimate zombie. You were Freddy Krueger. You were Jason and Chuckie and Leatherface. I’d spend the entire game waiting for you to spring out of the shadows and smash a game-winning home run. And then I’d spend the entire next day thinking about the next game in the series.
And for all this…I thank you.
You’ve been an integral part of a golden time in my baseball life. NuckolBall will be officially voting for you as a first-ballot hall-of-famer. You broke my heart quite a few times, and I thank you for it.
Now listen to this and cry (good stuff starts around 1:25).