The Best Baseball Happens in October

Or

The Big Papi Love Post

If you couldn’t guess by the title, this week’s 30 for 30 Reaction focuses on the film 4 Days in October. Because of course, this week starts the MLB Playoffs and history has shown that the best baseball is played in October.

Side note: Congrats to the Blue Jays on winning their Wild Card game tonight and for delaying me in even more in the writing of this post.

For those that have no idea what the film 4 days in October is about that time the Red Sox became the first team to come back from being down 3 games to the Yankees to win the series with all the crazy moments that happened in-between.

First and foremost, I am going to preface the following take aways from the film with this statement: I am a Cubs fan and watching this documentary only fueled my “Why not Us” feelings about my beloved Cubbies this year in their playoff hunt. Sorry, I just had to get that out of the way because otherwise it would have worked it’s way throughout the whole post. To make matters even worse Theo Epstein was the manager of the Red Sox when they finally won the World Series after an 86 year drought and Epstein just happens to be the manager of the Cubs right now….but anyway let’s get back to the post shall we.

There is a lot we could talk about in terms of the most important parts of this story like the bloody sock, the way that everyone seemed to lock in and do their job to win, how David Robinson got away with the same base stealing play two nights in a row, or how Kevin Millar called the Red Sox winning the series in Game 4. And originally, I did set out to talk about those things and I’m going to touch on them briefly, but there is something so important that I took away from the film that I feel needs to be discussed, but we’ll get into that.

Just to get this stuff out of the way: I love how Kevin Millar actually called the Sox winning in Game 4. When speaking to a reporter before Game 4, Millar actually said, “Don’t let us win this game,” before he went on to list the pitchers that the Yankees would face and it was like he knew that if they were able to win Game 4 they would go on to win Game 7.

I know that a lot of people actually think that Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in Game 6 was fake, that somehow Schilling was doctoring the sock with dye or paint to make it seem as if his injury was worse than it was. Which let’s just kill that theory, only blood spreads the way his sock looked and what do you expect after a guy has surgery in the training room at Fenway?

Which leads us to the the final minor takeaway before my most important one. This documentary would not have happened unless each guy on that roster didn’t dig deep and lock into the mission. They all had to do their jobs and each had their own big moments that would eventually lead to the team’s victory. This documentary should be looked out in terms how the benefits of each guy buying into the missions and doing their jobs.

And now, the biggest takeaway that hit me about halfway through the documentary. And looking at the title you guys should know where I’m going to with this. As we gear up to watch Big Papi play in his final playoffs and possibly his final World Series, let’s talk about his impact not only during this series but on baseball and the Red Sox in general.

Big Papi came in clutch for the Red Sox during this series hitting the game winning home run during the extra innings in Game 4. Then in the bottom of the fifth in Game 5 down 2 Papi comes in and hits another home run and also hits the game winning home run in the bottom of the 14th inning. And in Game 7 he hits a 2 run homer to get the Sox on the board. So this series only highlights what Big Papi means to the Red Sox and the city of Boston.

Big Papi not only has been a dynamite player on the field with his bat getting hot at just the right clutch moments, he’s also been a dynamite guy off the field. He was one of the only players following the Boston Marathon Bombing to stay in the city and truly see the devastation and death that over took his city. So after Bostonians heard from the President and the mayor of their great city Big Papi took the field prior the Red Sox first game following the bombing and gave this speech. Which just shows how much David Ortiz loves the city of Boston.

I don’t know how Red Sox fans will feel once Big Papi takes his final at-bat (hopefully in the World Series against the Cubs) and I don’t know how they will feel next season when Big Papi isn’t there to hit home runs, but I think that no matter the outcome they will always have a place in their hearts for him and endless thanks for his role in ending the curse and making the Red Sox great again.

So Thank You Big Papi for not only continuing to be a beast on the field winning the World Series three times, but for continuing to be a great guy for the city of Boston. You’ve had a great career and played the game the way it was intended. You made baseball fun to watch and watching you play in your final playoffs will be the hardest thing to watch. Baseball and the Red Sox won’t be the same once you hang it up and I for one will miss you dearly. Cheers on the great career David Ortiz!

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