Shakespeare With A Bat.

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Shakespeare… With A Bat.

By Administrator | April 22, 2007

Second baseman Alex Cora yesterday referred to DH David Ortiz as The Bard From Avon… an obvious reference to “Big Papi”—the slugger’s recently-released autobiography (co-written with the Boston Herald’s Tony Mazzerotti)—which is headed for the best-seller list.

Ortiz’ tome was released this week in anticipation of the Sox – Yankees series… a timing that sought to take advantage of, and generate publicity from, the furor of the greatest rivalry in professional sports. But the congruence of the Sox – Yankee series, Alex Cora’s reference to Shakespeare and Papi’s performance of the last couple of days underscore the fact that Big Papi is at his best when the stakes are the greatest… he is Shakespeare with a bat.

And his greatest prose comes in the form of a game-winning hit or a game-changing at-bat. The Bard From Boston.

He is an artist with a bat… and his work is never greater than when he faces off against The Yankees. It is easy to remember the walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS and the walk-off single the next night—the two hits that spurred the greatest comeback in baseball history (the only time a team has overcome an 0-3 deficit in the post-season); but, the art of David’s performance against the Sox greatest rival is far more than those two instances. Just as Shakespeare wouldn’t be Shakespeare if he had only “Romeo and Juliet” and “Othello” to hang his hat on, Papi wouldn’t be BIG Papi if all he had ever accomplished against The Yankees was Games 3 & 4.

Papi’s “Merchant of Venice” was the 2003 regular season… when he hit .327, with 6 home runs and 14 RBI against The Bronx Bombers…

His “Midsummer Night’s Dream” was the 2004 regular season… when he hit .329, with 3 home runs and 11 RBI

His “Hamlet” was the 2005 season when he hit “only” .296 (the only year he has hit under .300 against the Yankees while in a Red Sox uniform), but had 5 home runs and 19 RBI in 19 games!!

His “Macbeth”? I submit last year’s .310, 6 HR and 16 RBI line…

And after two games of 2007 he is well on his way to authoring his own version of “As You Like It”…

I, for one, ‘like it’ just fine…

Why the recital of The Complete Works of Shakespeare”? Well, first of all, anyone who knows Shakespeare knows that the listing contained herein is not anywhere CLOSE to a “complete” list of Shakespeare’s works—but that, too, underscores Big Papi’s still-somewhat-brief career in a Red Sox uniform…

Secondly, it is to underscore that the comparison to a ‘master’ requires the compilation of more than one or two significant pieces of work… it requires a lifetime body of work—which Papi is still in the process of developing…

When all is said and done, I suspect the Red Sox will win another championship or two during Ortiz’ playing days… and that Papi will be right in the middle of the fray and that he will chime in with a big hit here and a dramatic homer there. And then in 2015 or so, as David’s playing days start to wind down, some editor on the Red Sox staff will be asked to compile a collection of David’s greatest hits.

THAT video should be entitled “The Baseball Bard of Boston”… with an appropriate acknowledement to Alex Cora.

And while Shakespeare labored in solitude as he wrote his masterpieces, the great thing about Ortiz’ “complete works” is that it is compiled in as public a manner as can be imagined… much of it in the midst in the ‘greatest rivalry in pro sports’… and we all get to watch as he practices his art.

As Shakespeare wrote, in “Twelfth Night”: “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks”.

Thanks, Papi… for all you have done, and all you continue to do.

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Topics: Sox Players, Sox Games |


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