Today the Red Sox announced they will retire David Ortiz' #34 in a pregame ceremony on June 23rd against the Angels. It's a move that seemed imminent. It's David Ortiz. Obviously the Red Sox aren't going to let some bum ass middle reliever they call up from Pawtucket in July have it. Every Red Sox fan knew this move was coming. My main question is just why now?
Maybe the Red Sox know it's a slow internet day? It's been a bitch finding stuff worth writing about and maybe they're trying to throw your boy a bone?
Regardless it's a move well deserved. No words I can type on this blog read by a handful of facebook friends and twitter followers can truly give David Ortiz the credit he deserves for what he did for the Boston Red Sox.
But despite all that, I actually don't like this move.
I love Papi. He's been a part of the Red Sox since I was in 5th grade. I think David Ortiz is a future Hall of Famer and should have his number retired by the Red Sox. It's Big Papi. He was the face of the organization for over a decade.
I just think they should let the dust settle a little bit. Wait til he's inducted into the Hall of Fame, or at least until a full season has passed. Despite Big Papi claiming he's not coming back, many Red Sox fans don't/refuse to believe it. Even Pedro Martinez isn't buying it. After hitting .315 with 38 HR and a league leading 127 RBI it's understandable why we want him to return.
But he's not.
As much as I want it to happen, I don't see it happening. Maybe if the retirement tour didn't happen he'd be a lot more open to a return? I just think it's a horrible look to return after having a year long goodbye with two wicked emotional goodbyes at Fenway Park. Not to mention all the gifts, plus he had ESPN following him to make a documentary about his final season. Plus David did have possibly the greatest final season possible from a statistical standpoint and doesn't want
I just think the 2017 Red Sox need to find their own identity. They look to compete for the AL East and beyond this season, but I think it's going to be a tough transition. Not only has Big Papi been a staple in the middle of the lineup, he's also be a leader and mentor to the young core of players on this team. As much as I love him I think the organization needs to take a little time apart from one another.
2017 is going to be remembered as a season of transition and I think the Red Sox need a clean break.
Anybody who's ever gone through a break up knows in the long-run that's what's for the best. No backsliding. Just makes shit messy. I don't want the Red Sox and David Ortiz getting drunk asking the other one if they're up at 2 am.
We need to move on.
I don't want Papi around in Spring Training helping out, which has been rumored. I especially don't want a big production smack dab in the middle of the season honoring him. Maybe in a way it will be closure. If his number is officially retired then maybe it's what completely closes the door on his Red Sox career. But we don't know what's going to happen in their season. If the Red Sox are struggling, or even worse if they're doing very well and are "one bat away" the rumors are gonna circulate. You don't think the Fenway Faithful are gonna start a "one more year" chant or something like that? You're crazy. If they're pitching great but are four games back with a struggling line up the articles and blogs from Red Sox writers and fans are going to clog the internet.
I love Big Papi and as much as I want him back I don't want the narrative of will he or won't he dominating the entire season. Having a huge ceremony for him at Fenway in the middle of June will be a big deal in local sport media that week.
While the odds of that playing out in real life are slim, it still is possible and I wish the Red Sox would see this. Wait a full season. The one guaranteed sell out crowd is not worth the potential distraction this could create. Cause if David doesn't play in 2017 he's obviously not playing in 2018, until this season is over. I really think there's going to be a lot of rumors and distractions about whether or not Papi will comeback. I love this organization but David Ortiz can get his number retired at any time. I just think the Red Sox need to wait a full year.