Bill Bids Farewell to Big Papi (HBO)
♪ (THEME MUSIC) ♪ BILL: Once upon a time,
Big Papi belted so many clutch hits,
that his nickname became his actual name. And you thought
that only happened in pro-wrestling. In 2004, he carried Boston
over the Yankees in the greatest sports comeback
ever. Then he helped the Red Sox
win their first World Series -in 86 years.
-ANNOUNCER: The Boston Red Sox -are world champions.
-BILL: And as we watch Big Papi lumbering around the bases,
it seemed inconceivable that he’d keep playing at 35,
much less 40. So when he finally started
swooning in 2009, everyone wrote him off by June,
including this dumb ass. Ah, shit. That was me.
But at the end of that column, I did leave a sliver of hope,
and of course, miracles do happen.
Big Papi had hundreds of homers lurking in his goofy
body. Even better, right after
the Marathon Bombings in 2013, he gave Boston’s greatest speech
since Paul Revere. -This is our fucking city.
-(CROWD CHEERING) And nobody gonna dictate
our freedom. -(CROWD CHEERING)
-Stay strong. BILL: And then he threw Boston
on his back for his third World Series title,
which was really like hell -freezing over three times.
-ANNOUNCER: Big Papi. -The grand slam.
-BILL: So when Papi announced he would retire after
the 2016 season, Boston fans put our guards up.
We saw what happened to Kobe. ANNOUNCER: Kobe. Three. BILL: We saw what happened
to the Stones during their fifth through twenty-eighth
farewell tours. But he’s having a vintage
Big Papi season. He leads the American League
in OPS and he’s only the fourth forty-year-old ever
to top thirty homers and a hundred RBI. He’s an MVP candidate…
and he’s so damn cuddly. Naturally, non-Boston fans
are groaning about his enhanced statistics,
which isn’t anything new. See, baseball didn’t start
doling out drug punishments until 2004. A year earlier,
players agreed to a suspicion-less survey
the guaranteed their privacy. But in 2009, the names of four
of the 104 players said to have tested positive were leaked…
including Big Papi. So much for privacy. So what PDs
did those four guys use? HGH? Heroin? Botox?
Viagra with Red Bull? We’ll never know, but that leak
tainted Big Papi’s career even though he’s passed
every single drug test since. And understandably, he’s been
a little testy about it -ever since.
-ANNOUNCER: Wow. I don’t think that phone’s gonna work anymore. BILL: So allow me to defend
my man, Papi, for a second. He’s been a designated hitter
for the past 12 years. He only bats four to five times
per game. Do you know how easy
on your body that is? For example, last season,
CJ McCollum ran nearly 250 miles on NBA courts.
That’s like running from Fenway to somewhere in Jersey.
Well, so far, Big Papi has nearly 300 total bases.
That means he’s run less than five miles total in five months.
That’s like running from Fenway to the Dunkin’ Donuts
in Dorchestah. Really the DH is the dumbest job
in sports except for the dude who coordinates LeBron’s
handshakes. And as much as I want to abolish
the stupid DH, I gotta admit I love
watching Big Papi. Basically,
I’m like an Orthodox Jew with a pet pig. The position
I despise the most has allowed my favorite
baseball player to keep thriving,
and if people still think he’s cheating, I have an idea.
Hey, Papi. Invite reporters to stand in front of your locker
before the next game. Pull your pants down,
whip Little Papi out, fill up a couple of piss samples
and hand them out to the horrified media members.
Tell them to test your piss. You’ll come out clean.
Everyone can shut the hell up. Maybe then they’ll realize
that you’re one of the three greatest lefty hitters
of the past 50 years and that you’re on Boston’s
post-1970 Mount Rushmore along with Bobby, Tommy,
and Larry; and that you’re having one of the best
farewell tours ever. Screw it. I vote that we
do it again next year. (CROWD CHANTING “PAPI”)