On Sunday night like a lot of people in this region I was watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. I was with four of my cousins and one of their gfs at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Crushing Garlic Parm Boneless wings (hands down the best sauce available at BWW) as the Bruins were winning 1-0 in the 3rd period of a must win game.
The mood was awesome and we were having a great time.
Then around 10 pm I got a notification saying David Ortiz had been shot in the Dominican Republic and everything changed.
Quickly my facade of giving a shit about the Bruins evaporated. I dove deep like Frédéric Dumas into my phone constantly looking for updates on Big Papi's condition. Refreshing twitter legitimately every 2 seconds. I felt badly about it because I wanted to be more present in the moment with my family, but I mean it's Big Papi.
I couldn't believe what I was reading. I was terrified. Is David Ortiz seriously going to die? Why would someone shoot David Ortiz?? Why are people such fucking ass holes? Seeing it happened in the Dominican was even more shocking because Papi is literally a God to those people for all the good he's done for the community.
At first we were told he was shot in the leg. In the moment all I was thinking about was get this dude to Boston where he can get real treatment, but I understand it's not entirely that simple. Normally a shot to the leg isn't fatal, but I would presume getting shot in the leg in a 3rd world country is a lot getting shot in the leg during the Civil War. After reading this tweet my heart sank as if it were attached to an anchor.
When it came out that he was actually shot in the back and it went through his abdomen I was a wreck. Threat level midnight. I'm no anatomy wiz, but that is just is so much more serious when you think of all the organs the bullet could've ripped through. He's already had his gallbladder removed. To think that someone would go after him in his homeland (we'll open that can of worms shortly) where he is responsible for soooooo much positivity was mind-boggling. Sadly the truth in this world is that it only takes one nut job to ruin everything.
Just the night before the shooting, I was at PVDfest with some friends when shots were fired. I heard them behind me and started really earning that (bull) Dozah nickname again. Luckily nobody was shot, but in the moment you don't fucking know that. You try not to live your life in constant fear, but it's hard to not nowadays. My friends and I somehow got into a crowd where let's just say... I did not feel at home. Plus we were packed to brim. It was a nightmare, I have wicked bad anxiety as it is and being a fat dude it's already amplified, I feel bad when I try to squeeze through and don't want to be up in up in people's mouths. Being stuck in a crowd where I feel trapped with no exit route is in my personal hell on earth. Literally seconds before the gunshots I said this is my fucking nightmare and some stranger overheard me and said "me too".
You assume the worst, similarly to what happened Sunday. Sure it seems like David will be okay, but in the moment you don't know that. This world is a scary place and as fucked up as it is to think, PVDfest is a lunatic's wet dream. People are out just having a good time and extremely vulnerable. The same thing happened to David Sunday night. He was at a bar just talking to people, having a good time. Then some baby-back bitch shot him from behind.
I bring that up because it made me reflect and take a step back on how quickly everything can be taken away. Don't call the cliché police but I just thought about how precious life is and that everyday is a gift. I'll be the first to admit I take way too much for granted and moments like Saturday and Sunday night really puts shit in perspective. You think nothing is going to happen to you, why would someone go after me? But as we've seen countless times in this country that totally innocent people are gunned down seemingly every hour. All this unnecessary violence makes me so damn angry. I fucking hate guns. What kind of world are we living in where someone like David Ortiz has a hit on his life?
There were some instances of people saying things like "why go back?" or that Papi had been tipped off that he was in danger, but like he said on April 20th, 2013 "nobody gonna dictate our freedom".
Depending on when I finish this blog we're essentially 48 hours after the news broke that David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic. At first it was reported he was shot in the leg in a robbery, but we all know now what really went down. David was shot in the back by an absolute coward. I mean the elephant in the room is that he may have been fucking some drug kingpin's wife so there was a hit out on him. That's some serious shit, but I mean I know essentially nothing about the situation. It does make perfect sense as a motive, but regardless of what may or may not have happened leading up to the shooting I'm not going to judge or assume until all the facts are out. It appears (as of now) that David Ortiz is going to make a full recovery but I don't even like saying that until it's certain. What occurred Sunday night has me like many other people shook tf up.
Pedro put it perfectly.
I overuse love a lot when it comes to sports and athletes but I legitimately love David Ortiz. (goodbye-big-papi.html) Papi is so much more than a baseball player, he's an icon. Keenan Thompson does him on SNL, how many other baseball players have been relevant on SNL the last 15 years? He's beloved by all, even Yankee fans (who felt they had to make sure they let you know they were a Yankee fan before tweeting that they hope he doesn't die).
I spent 2016 following his final season like a dead head. I wish I got to more games, but I was able to go to his final regular season game at Fenway. It was a horrible game and I'm pretty sure Papi went 0-5, but to be there for the ceremonies honoring his career and impact is something I'll always appreciate, especially since I got to experience it with my mom. Papi is the most clutch hitter in baseball history, and by all accounts a fantastic dude. (I'm a big anti-cheating guy, but with athletes and celebrities I feel like there's this gray area. It's a lot different when they cheat compared to like your uncle because they don't live in the real world)
What David did in 2013 for the city of Boston will never be forgotten. He helped Boston rally around the Red Sox during a tragedy and what he said at Fenway on April 20th, 2013 is how everybody felt.
I've said for years I think he's the most important player in Red Sox history and we cannot lose him yet. If you want to say Ted Williams was a better baseball player I'm not gonna argue with you. IMO when it comes to overall legacy and changing the entire culture of this franchise; David Ortiz is the first name that comes to mind.
Get well soon, Big Papi. There are so many people out there who love you. Stay strong.