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Giving thanks for Big Papi

Surviving Grady sums up what David Ortiz has meant for Boston in general and him in particular - in the fall of 2004, his father's cancer had returned and nothing was stopping it.

We knew there wasn’t a lot of time left, and watching the Sox piss away their chances in the first three games of the series just brought home the point that my old man would likely never realize his life goal of seeing his team win it all.

But then, game four happened. And then game five. And with every night, it seemed that Ortiz literally gave us a new lease on life. Despite the drugs and medication and despair and uncertainty, my dad was born again that October. It had been a long time since I saw him so animated, so excited, so goddam optimistic about things to come.

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C'mon everyone. He's just a baseball player! A man who gets to play a kid's game. He lives in a big house in Weston and reportedly has a party condo in Chestnut Hill. He is a petulant 40 year old player who whines about a scoring change that barley affects his batting average. We have shootings outside Fenway, rising rents, war in Syria and Russia being Russia all the while incomes are stagnating and the T is collapsing. All this praise for one man!?!

Why do we place so much emphasis on sports? These games, and they are games, have no bearing on how we lead our lives both physically and spiritually. Who cares about a deflated football? Who cares about an underage 19 year old Duke graduate partying in a Boston nightclub and getting into a fight and there being no SWAT team from the Boston Licensing Board to impose punishment? These people are all damaging themselves and moving us away from nature and our essence of life.

I'm kidding of course. David Americo Ortiz Arias is the greatest Red Sox player of all time.

Yaz peaked over two weeks in 1967 and played hard nearly all the time but, and I got into a fistfight over this when it was brought up, popped up when it counted in 1978. Fred Lynn was great but missed California. Jim Rice could crush a ball but could also hit into a lot of inning ending double plays. Wade Boggs was a human stain. Nomar was the boy wonder until he turned into a whiny little boy. Manny was Manny. The HR against the Angels in 2008 ALDS was beautiful. Roid enabled, but nevertheless, beautiful.

Ortiz changed the psyche of this city. He did. Please remember, we had a huge celebration for Ray Bourque after he won a Stanley Cup, with Colorado. This person, pulled off of the trash heap, turned himself into a massive success story in one of the toughest towns into which to play baseball.

It is going to be a long time before the memory of him fades in this town.

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But did you see Bart Starr and Brett Favre last night at Lambeau , first Thanksgiving game played there ? ,priceless............


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