The Boston Red Sox are branded into the identity of the city like no other team and, arguably, no player has meant more to the franchise in the last 10 years than David Ortiz.
Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield may still be on the team but Ortiz is the only player from that 2004 curse reversing Red Sox team that exemplified “the bunch of idiots”, as Johnny Damon called it.
Affectionately called ‘Big Papi’ by the Fenway faithful, Ortiz has given Sox fans plenty to cheer for in his eight seasons donning a Boston uniform. Whether it’s been his late inning heroics on the field or his charismatic and charitable self off of it, he’s earned the respect and adoration of the city and it’s fans.
However, things haven’t looked so bright for the hero in the past couple of years. Amongst two slow starts as well as steroid accusations in 2009, Papi’s unfortunately lost a bit of that support. Last year, he even heard some boos.
Cities’ relationships with their star athletes tend to end in more tragedies than fairy tales. It’s sad to say but this could very well be the case for Ortiz. 2011 could be Big Papi’s last year with the Red Sox. And he doesn’t plan on retiring.