David Ortiz stepped onto the field to a hero’s welcome at Fenway Park this afternoon. He looks like he could still hit, and the Red Sox could use a bat. So how about it?
“Not me, man, not me,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been doing nothing but SoulCycle, bro. Hey, I sit down and watch the game right now, and I’m like, ‘Man, that’s hard.’ Seriously. I sit down and watch the game, I view the game differently now.”
Ortiz was in town along with nearly 20 former teammates for a pregame ceremony honoring the 10-year anniversary of the Red Sox 2007 World Series win.
“It was great,” Ortiz said. “We had very much (a) big part of the team that we had in '04, and I remember that '05 we went to the playoffs, '06 we finished like third or last in the division, but we already had the taste of going to the playoffs for three years in a row and also winning in 2004. I remember the front office in the offseason went out there and put together the pieces that we need to come back and win again. Walking into the 2007 season, I pretty much had that feeling because of the ballclub that we had. Everything went good.”
After a highlight video set to the Kanye West song Stronger — one of the biggest hits in the world that year — a giant World Series 2007 Champions banner was unfurled in front of the Green Monster.
Players then began to emerge from the Red Sox dugout, walking along a red carpet into the infield for a series of high fives, hugs and Ortiz selfies.
Jason Varitek was the first player on the field, and he received a captain’s ovation. The rest of the honorees ranged from superstars like Curt Schilling and Kevin Youkilis to tiny role players like Jeff Bailey and Devern Hansack. Current manager John Farrell was the pitching coach for that team, and he walked onto the field in his uniform. So did second baseman Dustin Pedroia, the lone roster holdover from ’07. Brandon Moss, who now plays for Kansas City, took part while wearing his Royals uniform.
There were predictably huge ovations for Ortiz and Hideki Okajima, and when three coaches and 19 players had been introduced, series MVP Mike Lowell threw a ceremonial first pitch to Varitek, before Lowell’s daughter Alexis sang the National Anthem.
Drew, Varitek and Mike Timlin each began high-fiving and slapping Lowell’s chest when his daughter finished.
“Ten years has flown by,” Farrell said. “But there were some really unique individuals on that team. A couple of things as you quickly think back: what Josh Beckett did in October is pretty remarkable, his performance. Basically, from a pitching standpoint, we rode him through that month. Then another thing that I always think about is that Mike Lowell hit in the five and six hole that year, drove in 122 runs or 120-plus. To me, that was almost like the snapshot of how powerful that team was. It was a lineup that had power up and down the lineup, but Mike Lowell’s name might not have been the biggest one in that lineup, and yet here’s a guy that had that number of RBIs. So, from Pedey’s rookie year, being Rookie of the Year to Manny (Ramirez) to David, J.D, Youk, so many dominant-type players.”
The full list of participating players and coaches: Farrell, Gary Tuck, Luis Alicea, Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Ortiz, Schilling, Youkilis, Pedroia, Julio Lugo, Moss, Bailey, Bryan Corey, Hansack, Kyle Snyder, Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, Julian Tavarez, Okajima , Timlin, Drew and Lowell.