Let's talk about David Ortiz.
In the past, I have been appreciative of Papi. This season, I've started to fall in love.
Not the same way I've fallen in love with Foulkie or Bill Mueller. Or even the way I've fallen in love with Schilling. It is its very own sweet Papi kind of love.
The best way I can describe it is in terms of Imaginary Baseball World. I don't talk much here about Imaginary Baseball World, because frankly, 99% of you would think I was crazy. But I think more of us spend time in Imaginary Baseball World than admit it--in fact, I think all of us do. Because that's what makes us love baseball at all.
Imaginary Baseball World is the place in your mind where you develop your metaphorical, often highly symbolic, at times Freudian, relationships with the players on your team or teams. Imaginary Baseball World is where you take the publicly agreed-upon persona of a professional athlete and relate it to your own personality. So, for example, the publicly agreed upon persona of Manny Ramirez is that he is a space cadet. Some of us find it sweet and endearing. Some of us who abhor a lack of discipline find it repugnant. What we feel about Manny's public personality says more about us than about him, because most of what makes up the phenomenon of baseball is imagined.
So here is my imaginary relationship with David Ortiz in Imaginary Baseball World. David Ortiz and I go out to dinner at hip but not too swanky restaurants in downtown Boston, and swap stories over long meals. He pounds the table so hard sometimes he breaks glassware.
David Ortiz and I sit on the couch in his living room and watch Caddyshack, passing a big bowl of buttered popcorn back and forth.
David Ortiz and I wind up wasted on too many nights to count, sometimes in the company of Manny, laughing and laughing and laughing.
Other times, David Ortiz and I sit down and have a heart-to-heart, and he is always wise and kind.
David Ortiz and I run into each other sometimes, and he greets me with a huge grin and a huge hug and he says, "What's up, baby?"
David Ortiz and I walk down the sidewalk, and everyone gets out of our way.