Big Papi Strokes It, Wins HR Derby
David Ortiz captured the Home Run Derby title last night in a thrilling performance. The left-handed slugger came out hungry and while he was all smiles he had his eyes on the prize.
Papi did it with a smile per usual.
Coming out hitting sixth out of eight batters, Papi put up an eight spot which was good enough to move him onto the second round.
Then Papi got HOT.
He blasted 13 dingers in the second round which comfortably sent him to the finals where Ortiz met former Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez. Big Papi went first and set the tone with 11 bombs as he spread them between center, right center, and right field. Hanley could not come close to match his output and Papi claimed his first ever Home Run Derby Championship. David hit 32 homers over three rounds measuring in at over two miles with the farthest going 478 feet.
This was Ortiz’s first appearance in the Derby since 2006 (he participated 2004-06) and he made it count. He was a class act all night cheering on his competition and his classic smile was ear to ear. A true ambassador to the game and a face of the Red Sox organization, Ortiz did good work for baseball on this evening.
The most consistent cog in this patched up Red Sox line up since May 1 (17 HRs), hopefully Papi saved some umph for the second half and doesn’t melt down like former champs (ie Bobby Abreau and Josh Hamilton).
Rather, perhaps this performance can spark his game like the Three Point Contest did for Paul Pierce and propel him and the team toward a run at the pennant.