Reading through David Ortiz‘ comments during his State of Papi address with Boston media Tuesday, a few things stuck out.
He was focused. Reflective. Introspective. Determined. Raw.
Here’s some purely non-statistical analysis: Maybe it’s not at all that David Ortiz is the game’s greatest clutch hitter of all time. Instead, maybe it’s that he is the game’s greatest emotional hitter of all time.
Subtle difference, maybe.
Clutch is getting the job done with outs on the board and runners on base. Clutch is performing when your team is at a deficit.
And he definitely is those things. To the highest degree.
But when you really think back on those myth-making moments, was it the “clutchiness” that you remember? Or the emotion of the moment?
When David Ortiz has been at his very best, it’s when he’s been supremely emotionally engaged. The 2004 ALCS. The 2013 playoffs on the whole.
Seeing how his first couple days in camp played out (he appears to be in peak condition), hearing what he’s saying, it’s hard not to notice the contrast between him and certain other teammates.
He is dialed in to the moment; not putting any separation between what he is feeling and how he is performing.
This could be a season for the ages.