What Did David Ortiz Say in His Epic Dugout Speech?
Whatever Papi told his teammates, it worked.
— Obnoxious Boston Fan (@realOBF) October 28, 2013
Whatever David Ortiz told his teammates during a stirring dugout speech between the fifth and sixth innings during Sunday’s Game Four, it seemed to work. Papi called it, “Just one of those speeches that motivate players and bring you to reality.” The rest of the team called it “powerful.” The press is calling it “The King’s Speech.” Whatever it was, it preceded a superb inning that saw Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer that put the Sox ahead of the Cardinals through the end of the game. Jeez, what exactly did he say?
Papi himself recalls saying, “Let’s loosen up and let’s try to play baseball the way we normally do. I know we are a better team than what we had shown. Sometimes you get to this stage and you try to overdo things, and it doesn’t work that way.”
“You think you’re going to come to the World Series every year? You’re wrong. We beat up a lot of good teams to get to this level. It took me five years to get back to this stage, and we had a better team than what we have right now and never made it, so take advantage of it,” he added.
Ortiz sounded pretty modest about the whole thing, but his teammates were more effusive. Pinch runner Quintin Berry remembers, “He was yelling and screaming. It’s a good thing to have that guy leading the charge.” Bench coach Torey Lovullo said, “David doesn’t say things like that very often, but when he does it stops you in your tracks. The timing was perfect.”
“It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher,” Gomes said, “He got everyone’s attention, and we looked him right in the eyes. That message was pretty powerful.”
“My reaction?” Daniel Nava said. “That I don’t want to let David Ortiz down.” He added, “We weren’t the Red Sox. We were the Boston Ortiz’s.”
After that, the Boston Ortizs got it done. Pedroia hit a single. Ortiz drew a walk. Then the Cardinals brought in Seth Maness to face Jonny Gomes and, well, there was some beard-tugging to come. “I will do it again tomorrow if I have to,” Ortiz said. Please do!