Sunday, October 2, 2016

Super Cat (feat. Notorious B.I.G.) – "Dolly My Baby" (1993)

I love it when you call me “Big Poppa”
The show stopper, the rhyme dropper

Writer Anthony Fisher recently described a certain public figure as “a thin-skinned, self-promoting narcissist, prone to violent tantrums and playing fast and loose with the truth.”

No, boys and girls, he wasn’t talking about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  

Nor was he referring to 2 or 3 lines – although that shoe certainly fits well enough for me to wear it comfortably.

Ortiz taking exception to a third-strike call
Fisher was talking about Boston Red Sox designated hitter David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who is being lionized in his final baseball season by Boston fans (a/k/a “Massholes”) as well as local sportswriters and sports talk-radio hosts (who have a well-deserved reputation for ripping local athletes, not slobbering all over them).

Fisher’s not buying any of it, and neither is lifelong Yankees fan 2 or 3 lines.  

Ortiz is certainly my least favorite current Red Sox player, although Dustin Pedroia is a close second.  

If you go back a decade or so, there were a lot of Red Sox players who just as obnoxious as Big Papi — e.g., Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, and especially Jonathan Papelbon.  But Ortiz is the only one of that gang that is still around, so I focus most of my Red Sox-loathing energy on him.

Ortiz attacking dugout
phone after striking out
Ortiz had this to say during his final trip to Yankee Stadium a few days ago:

When I came to this country and I was trying to make it to the big leagues, I looked at guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and I was almost in awe.  When I got to play against the Yankees my first few years, I would watch some of the things Jeter would do in the field like I was just a fan.

I learned a lot from watching DJ.  I never got to tell him that when he was playing, but I did [later].  The way he handled his business, and how much respect he had for this game, it made me want to be a better player.

(I’ll give Ortiz credit for aspiring to be like Jeter.  As one of my junior-high teachers used to say, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.)  

More from Ortiz:

For real, I looked forward to hitting doubles against the Yankees so I could get to second base and say what’s up to DJ.

(I know what he means.  There are lot of famous people from history that I’d like to meet so I could say “What’s up?” to them.)

Of course, Ortiz was no Derek Jeter, and he was no Mariano Rivera.  A ’roided-up tubby bum like Big Papi couldn’t hope to match the standard of gentlemanly excellence set by those two Yankee greats.

Ortiz gets his uniforms at a big-and-tall men's shop
Jeter or Rivera both announced their upcoming retirements well in advance and were fêted — deservedly so — during their final visits to their rivals’ home stadiums.

Only two seasons ago Ortiz told a local reporter that he wouldn’t emulate them: 

"What Derek Jeter is doing is fine because he’s Derek Jeter,” Ortiz said. “What Mariano did is fine because it’s Mariano. . . . I’m not going to wake up and be like, ‘I’m going to play this year and then not anymore.’  To me, it’s going to be how things go through the season and how I feel and then I’m going to be like, ‘Mama, it’s over.’"

Ortiz had a change of heart, and is now enjoying the farewell tour to end all farewell tours – while claiming that he regrets announcing his decision to announce his retirement so far in advance.  

From a story by Mike Axisa on

Now that the season is winding down, Ortiz is starting to have second thoughts.  Not about retiring.  About announcing it before the season.  All the interviews and ceremonies have meant a lot of extra work throughout the season. 

"No clue," Ortiz told when asked if he had any idea the demands would be like this prior to the season.  "But if I knew I would have probably announced it after the season.  But it's all good.  At least we've been able to give the fans what matters the most, the opportunity to watch me play for the last time."

(What a prince of a fellow Ortiz is: he’s so happy that he can give the fans “what matters the most . . . the opportunity to watch me play for the last time.”  Thank you, Big Papi!)

Ortiz throwing his bat after whiffing yet again
More from Axisa (who obviously has fallen for Ortiz hook, line, and sinker):

I know this sounds silly, but all those extra interviews and meetings and ceremonies can be a real drain.  Every day and every city bring new commitments.  It's a lot to handle.  Yes, being a famous baseball player is great and comes with a lot of perks, but Ortiz hasn't really had a day off this season.  There's something to be done each and every day. 

Yes, it’s tough being David Ortiz.  A designated hitter has to walk from the dugout to the batter’s box four, maybe even five times a game – then walk back after your at-bat is over and watch the game from the bench.  When the games over, you have to talk to fawning sportswriters and answer a few questions for TV reporters.

How did Big Papi do it for all these years?  Maybe he had a little help from his PED friends.

Both Alex Rodriguez and Ortiz were caught with their hands in the steroid cookie jar.  (Ortiz may have tested positive more than once.)  But while fans have excoriated A-Rod for years, it seems that Big Papi’s sins have been forgiven.   

Juicing buddies Ortiz and A-Rod
A-Rod has been banished to Hall of Fame hell with Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, while many believe Ortiz will end up in Cooperstown’s hallowed halls sooner rather than later.  

Here's sportswriter Martin Kleinbard's take on the PED issue:

Even Ortiz’s most ardent supporters must admit that his career arc has been nothing short of improbable.  He broke into the majors with Minnesota in 1997 and played sporadically and unspectacularly for parts of the subsequent six seasons. . . . [S]hortly after turning 27, he signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox.  Ever since, he’s been one of the best power hitters in baseball history.

Ortiz’s sudden and seismic shift from platoon player to first ballot Hall of Fame slugger isn’t just unusual.  It’s completely unprecedented. . . .

I’m not saying that David Ortiz definitely did steroids for most or all of his time with the Red Sox. What I am saying – or rather, what the data says – is that almost every other player with a remotely comparable career has been convicted of PED use either by hard evidence or by the court of public opinion.

Twenty-five years ago, Red Sox fans chanted “Steh-roids, steh-roids!” every time Jose Canseco of the Oakland A’s came to bat at Fenway Park.  (A few years later, the Red Sox traded for Canseco, then signed him to a free-agent contract.)  Today those fans kiss Big Papi’s big ass at every opportunity.

Ortiz is more than just a baseball player, of course – he’s a beloved symbol of all things Boston.  After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, he uttered the touching words that brought tears to the eyes of all those who call the “The Athens of America” home: “This is our f*cking city!”  (Not exactly the dying Lou Gehrig saying “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” is it?)

I could happily keep ripping Ortiz until the cows come home, but I know you’ve got people to see, places to be, and things to do.  So I’ll wrap things up with a few miscellaneous quotes from Fisher’s article:

Ortiz's many violent eruptions — which include but are hardly limited to throwing several bats at a group of umpires, endangering the eyesight of his teammates as he eviscerated a dugout phone, and his standard freakouts over pitches that are correctly called strikes — are written off as the "passion" of an intense competitor. But in truth, Ortiz is as prodigious with his mortifyingly aggressive tantrums as he is with his clutch hitting.

*     *     *     *     *

During the 2012 season, Ortiz said the atmosphere of playing in Boston was making it "the shithole it used to be" again. He also described the $14.5 million a year contract he signed as "humiliating," considering he sees himself as the "heart and soul" of the team. Though in better times, he would interrupt a team celebration to take a corporate-sponsored selfie with President Obama, because that's what team-first guys do, steal the spotlight and literally personally profit off the moment.

White House lawyers weren't happy when Big
Papi's selfie with Obama was used in advertising
*     *     *     *     *

Exhibiting conduct that would brand less pathologically-excused players as egomaniacal heels, Ortiz has repeatedly demonstrated a fixation on his own statistics. His tendency to complain about the official scorers whenever he feels a questionably batted ball should have been ruled a hit is well documented. 

Here's one final Ortiz anecdote.  

In each installment of the “What the (Blank)?” series featured on The Players’ Tribune website, a famous athlete is given ten fill-in-the-blank questions to answer.  The website publishes the questionnaire and the athlete’s responses in his or her own handwriting.

David Ortiz was asked to name his favorite sports team when he was growing up (the Chicago Bulls), what actor he would like to portray him if they ever made a biopic about his life (Denzel Washington), and what food he would go for first at an all-you-can-eat buffet (fried chicken).  

He was also asked what his dream job would be if he wasn’t an athlete.  

His answer?  PORN STAR.  (Ortiz has two teenaged daughters.  I wonder how he would feel if they said they wanted to be porn stars.)

By the way, the Yankees swept the Red Sox when Ortiz wore the uniform of the Carmine Hose at Yankee Stadium for the final time.

Big Papi went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in that series.

*     *     *     *     *

One of the “What the (Blank)?” questions for Ortiz was what is the best song lyric of all time.  

Ortiz’s answer?  “I love it when you call me big papa.”  (He’s just a tad narcissistic, n’est-ce pas?)

Big Papi was probably referring to the use of that line in the chorus of “Big Poppa,” the 1995 hit by The Notorious B.I.G.  But it first appeared in a verse B.I.G. contributed to Super Cat’s 1993 single, “Dolly My Baby.”

Here’s “Dolly My Baby”:

Click here to order the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment