On Friday, August 5, the Boston Red Sox started a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. This will be the final appearance at Dodger Stadium for the Hall-of-Fame bound David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
Fans of Ortiz and the Red Sox were at the stadium early Friday to see their team take its batting practice and warm up before the game. As Major League Baseball has seen all season, home teams have been paying tribute to Ortiz whenever he appears for the final time. The Dodgers did the same, with manager Dave Roberts and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, along with broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra, came out to honor Ortiz with checks totally $20,000 for Ortiz’s foundation. The four were teammates on the Red Sox roster and Roberts won the World Series with Ortiz.
Vin Scully presented a video tribute to Ortiz as well.
Last week Ortiz was in Anaheim when the Sox faced the Angels. Claudia Gestro had the opportunity to interview Big Papi, who is having one of the best seasons of his career. “Every year is different, ” he told Gestro, “Some years you get hotter than others and it clicks. It happens. I try to give everything I have to be able to win games and see what happens at the end of the season.”
The entire interview is in the video below.
Before Friday’s game Roberts was asked about the impact of Ortiz on the game. He said Ortiz has been a role model and mentor in baseball, for the Red Sox, New England and minorities. He said, “Everyone who’s been in contact with him, he’s impacted in some way. You know the vibrant personality, the toughness, he’s just easy going, but performs on the biggest of stages — David has been a huge ambassador for the game of baseball.”
When asked by Gestro what kind of a game plan the Dodgers had for Boston’s powerful lineup, Roberts replied, with a laugh, “I think statistically they’re the best offensive team in baseball.” He added, “We probably caught a break tonight having David on the bench tonight in a National League ballpark.”
It wasn’t much of a break. The Dodgers faced knuckleballer Steven Wright (13-5) who threw nine scoreless innings, giving up just three hits. His knuckleball had the movement just right, breaking at the last moment to get the hitters to swing for a strike. “That’s the thing with knuckleballs,” Wright told the media after the game. “You want them to move right at the last minute.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the Boston bats came alive with nine runs. Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon drove in four runs, including a 2-run homer in the 4th inning. Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw each had solo homers. In the 8th inning the Sox scored five runs off Dodgers reliever Jesse Chavez.
Wright got the win for Boston and Scott Kazmir (9-5) took the loss for the Dodgers. Below is Claudia’s video report from the game and her interview with David Ortiz. As Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, Ortiz didn’t play Friday, but he’s sure to play Saturday and Sunday. Game time today is 1:05 p.m. and Sunday: 5:05 p.m.
Photos and videos by Claudia Gestro
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