David Ortiz Responds to Moon Big Papi Campaign with a Love Letter to the Yankees
David Ortiz has heard about what might be in store for him during his final appearance at Yankee Stadium this week. If the Moon Big Papi campaign keeps its word, thousands of Yankees fans may drop their pants on Thursday as one final salute to the polarizing sports hero.
But Big Papi says even if he’s greeted in the Bronx by a sea of exposed butts, he’s turning the other cheek.
Here’s what he had to say in the Players’ Tribune today:
Let me tell you something. If 50,000 people moon me, I promise you two things.
First, I’m gonna laugh so hard I might start crying.
Then when the tears dry, I’m gonna step up to the plate and try to hit the ball all the way to the choo choo train. You gotta be careful. You guys don’t have Mariano no more, you know what I’m saying?
Listen, Yankee fans. I gotta admit something to you. And I’m serious about this. I got love for you.
He says the Yankees have always been special to him, as well as to his friends and family in the Dominican Republic who imagined a better life for themselves in the big city. “We looked at New York City like the American dream,” he says. “The Yankees were like a symbol of everything.”
The rivalry between the two teams, which for a time was among the fiercest sports, only made his bond with the Yanks deeper. “Our rivalry with the Yankees made me who I am.”
Ortiz’s story appears to have touched a nerve with Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame, who tweeted that the column was “the best thing I’ve ever read,” adding, “Us Yankee fans will miss you too.”
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 27, 2016
The organizer of the pants-less salute, meanwhile, has updated his website with an acknowledgement of Ortiz’s “gracious” open letter.
Wow. Big Papi’s sneering Masshole fans have scolded us over the past few weeks in countless finger-wagging, sanctimonious emails. “Stay classy” they’ve told us over and over.
But, bravo, Big Papi. It’s clear you get it.
Namely, it’s a joke, a smile, a grin. It’s something to be enjoyed by one and all. So let’s respond to the challenge laid down by Big Papi. Let’s all moon the guy and then settle into our seats to see if he really does hit one out.
It will be entertaining in any case, and that’s the point. Be There.
It’s saying something that Ortiz’s personal story has been embraced by the Moon Big Papi campaign, considering it’s run by a guy who calls himself the Local Bargain Jerk and lives up to his name.