David Ortiz: trendsetter, world changer, wizard.
First, he turned a no-hitter into a one-hitter.
Then, he turned an infamous error into an infamous hit.
Next, he turned a pop-up into a scorching line drive (in the box score!).
In the process, he turned a one-hitter into a two-hitter … and a two-hitter into just another shutout. Now, emboldened by his mystical success, Big Papi is transforming the very world we live in – the very world we thought we knew! – by altering our most cozy definitions and familiar designations, a Merlinesque achievement in a land where magic was believed extinct.
What follows is a list of what things were and, per Ortiz, what things are.
What follows, indeed, is The World According to Papi.
error = hit
hit = basic component of The Legend of Papi
pop-up = scorching line drive (in the box score!)
one-hitter = two-hitter
two-hitter = shrine to Papi’s team-oriented approach
baseball = forum for Papi’s team-oriented approach
DH = David Ortiz
David Ortiz = Big Papi, beloved universal figure
batter’s box = Papi’s magical kingdom
tree = supplier of Papi’s magic wand
Papi’s magic wand = 34 ½”, 33-oz. Papiville Slugger
Earth = Papi’s world
Papi’s world = place in which we are just living
solar system = place that contains Papi’s world, in which we are just living
Milky Way = see above
above = Papi’s position relative to all humanity
Antarctica = Papi-less wasteland
Myanmar = developing Papi country
Papua New Guinea = Papi New Guinea, developed Papi country
Pakistan = country that Papi has his eye on
Massachusetts = state with slogan “The Spirit of Papirica”
Massachusetts (alternately) = state with slogan “Make It Papi’s”
Boston = Papitown
Boston (alternately) = The Cradle of Papity
Boston (alternately alternately) = The Intentionally Walking Papi City
New England = Greater Papi
Pop-Tarts = Papi-Tarts
Pippi Longstocking = Papi Longstocking
Mamma Mia! = Papi! Papi! Papi!
Tony! Toni! Toné! = The Three Papis
Papiamento = Papi!amento
baseball field = Papi’s Field of Papi’s Dreams
Papi’s Field of Papi’s Dreams = Papi’s reality, and therefore ours
reality = events as scripted by Papi
pitcher = Papi’s personal puppet
right fielder = see above
second baseman = see above, but let ball drop to ground anyway
television = colorful box on which anyone, including Papi, can watch Papi
radio = thing that is not as good as television for purposes of watching Papi
Internet = Papi windows for Papi watching
box score = box score!
box score! = The Gospel According to Papi
Papi = Papi
Papi = Papi = Papi > Greater Papi
Papi = Papi = Papi > Greater Papi = Papi >
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.