Sunday, May 1, 2016

Early Season Fantasies!/httpImage/image.jpeg_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.jpeg(David Ortiz homers off Dellin Betances, from Newsday)

With the first month of the baseball season in the books, one of the favorite pastimes of many baseball fans (including THC) is projecting out full season statistics based on performance in the first month.  The fun is it always yields some outlandish, but entertaining, results.  Small sample size you say?  Nonsense, we're just having fun!  And did we mention that "fans" is derived from "fanatic"?

This is THC's favorite projection based on first month performance.  It's Big Papi's last season and he's off to a great start.  Right now he projects to a full season of 34 HRs, 121 RBI, .321 BA and 1.071 OPS with a major league record 74 doubles, making it the best last season for a batsman. Yeah, we don't think that's where he'll end up but let's enjoy the moment.

And here's an even better story.  Every baseball fan knows the story of Babe Ruth hitting a home run for Johnny Sylvester during the 1926 World Series.  On Friday night, David Ortiz beat the Yankees with a home run off of Dellin Betances.  It turns out that just before the game, Big Papi made a video with Kevin Millar for Maverick Schutte, a five year old Wyoming boy with a congenital heart defect who has undergone thirty surgeries, promising to hit a homer! reported on how it came about:
Before the game, Kevin Millar, who was in town for MLB Network, made his former teammate aware of Maverick, a baseball enthusiast who has a congenital heart defect.

Together, Ortiz and Millar produced a video prior to Friday night's game which was quickly sent to Maverick.

"Hopefully you're doing great. Stay positive," Ortiz told the boy. "Big Papi right here with my boy Kevin. Remember that. We love you."

Then, Ortiz in a completely unscripted way, closed it out in poignant fashion.
"Always stay positive. Keep the faith. You take care, buddy, and I'm going to hit a homer for you tonight," said Ortiz, as he pointed emphatically into the camera. "Remember that. For you."
After the homer, Maverick sent a video back to Ortiz and Big Papi reflected on the event:
"This is baseball. You are facing another pitcher and you don't know what he's going to throw. But what you're trying to do with that video, I was trying to do was make Maverick feel happy and have that connection with him. You throw that out there just to make sure he has a friend he can count on right here."
You can watch both videos and Papi's home run at

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