Tuesday, March 07, 2006

He's SO Papi


I watched my first World Baseball Classic game today: Venezuela versus the Dominican Republic in the first game of the D Pool match ups. I admit to skepticism about the whole idea before today, especially in the past few months, where the rumors coming from the press were that no one was organized, rosters hadn’t been set, etc. And then when players started dropping out of the tournament for various reasons…well, the WBC started to sound like a bit of a joke, staffed by second-tier players. Still, when Major League Baseball refuses to broadcast Red Sox Spring Training games and after seeing the (remaining) star power on the lineups, I decided to take my chances. Besides, I loves me some Papi.

As it turns out, the game was time well spent: the big man hit two massive jacks; one on his first at-bat to lead off the second inning and one in the ninth to help break the game open for the DR. On the first homer, there was an element of surprise; Ortiz got frustrated with the diet of off-speed pitches from Johan Santana and suddenly crushed a sinker that didn’t sink about as far as you could go to deep center. On the second homerun, David made the whole thing look easy, almost as if he read the rookie pitcher’s mind before the poor fool tried to blow a high fastball by him. It was pretty damn awesome to watch.