Why Kevin Millar believes David Ortiz is best player in Red Sox history, reveals ‘Big Papi’ wanted trade
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David Ortiz was an integral part of the Boston Red Sox ‘2004 World Series Championship, when the Sox broke the “curse of Bambino” and a former teammate believed the retired slugger was the greatest player in franchise history.
Kevin Miller, who has partnered with Twisted Tea to unveil his new sweet cherry lime flavor, explained to Gadget Clock Digital in a recent interview how important Ortiz was to the team. Miller said general manager Theo Epstein, who also claimed credit for how the team was formed, picked up Ortiz almost inadvertently after he was initially un tendered by the Minnesota Twins after the 2002 season.
Miller also revealed that Ortiz wanted to do business in the 2003 season if he did not get more playing time. This is something Epstein mentioned in an interview with MLB.com’s “Executive Access” in 2018.
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“David Ortiz, unhappy with the twins, he stepped up and was out of the lineup in ’03 and finally in May, he hit a home run in Anaheim,” Miller recalled. “And I remember he said he wanted to do business or play every day because, at the time, Jeremy Giambi was Dahing, Shia Helenbrand. Heater for the Sox.
“That year, he hit 31 home runs with 109 RBIs and only turned out to be a great, extraordinary threat and then started. And then obviously ’04 years and then I think of myself as an incredible career and the best DH. The game has never been seen because – not just his numbers – but the big house moves, the big RBIs are late in the game, and he pitches so well. There are, and they have pitched well.
“David Ortiz, to me, the best Red Sox player of all time.”
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Ortiz ended his career with 541 home runs. In his last season with Boston in 2016, he was an all-star and led the league with 48 doubles, a .620 slugging percentage and a 1.021 OPS. He also had 38 home runs that year – his highest since 2006, when he scored 54 runs.
The three-time world series champion was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January and apparently came out of nowhere to become a superstar.
“That’s why Theo Epstein deserves so much credit (Ortiz) was available to everyone. But a non-tendered deal, Theo gave him a chance and he brought himself, Todd Walker, Bill Mueller and Jeremy Giambi and David Ortiz Inn. The thing is you know, we were all part of a team and David Ortiz went to just another level, “Miller said.
“And Manny Ramirez, he was the biggest right-handed hitter I’ve ever met. You can put Miguel Cabrera there, you can put Albert Pujols in their prime – those three guys – but we really had a chance to learn. From Manny, and David Ortiz a. The little puppy followed Manny like a dog. I know David always gives him a lot of credit for his success. It’s a great team and part of being a teammate. We weren’t the best players, but I was. Always tell us we’re the best team. “
Last week, the 10-time All-Star toured the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He received 77.9% of the vote in the Baseball Writers’ Ball.
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