Opinion

In September, Big Papi inspired the Royals

David Ortiz (left) talked to Royals players and coaches before game one of the World Series on Tuesday.
David Ortiz (left) talked to Royals players and coaches before game one of the World Series on Tuesday. The Kansas City Star

Red Sox star David Ortiz bounced on the field as a sharp-dressed man about three hours before Tuesday’s game one of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium.

He interrupted the news conference of Giants game two starter Jake Peavy, giving his former teammate, a bear hug.

Ortiz’s appearance brought to mind a conversation that he had with Royals broadcaster Joel Goldberg on the Red Sox’s trip to Kansas City in September. Goldberg asked Big Papi about a Royals team that was bidding for its first playoff appearance since 1985, and Ortiz said he told some Royals leaders they needed to become inspirations.

“Yesterday, when I came out to batting practice I saw (James) Shields and I congratulated him for the game he pitched against Detroit. I was watching that game and it was unbelievable. It was like he was throwing Wiffle Balls.

“I said, ‘Look, you’re the guy over here with playoff experience, and as a veteran. It’s time for you to bring it, to take the lead of those kids and teach them how to take things to next level.’

That team has unbelievable pitching. Trust me with that pitching you don’t need to go crazy scoring runs. Sometimes you’re going to have to, you know what I’m saying.

The thing is that, the toughest situation they are facing right now is not having a group of guys that already know about playoff experience.

Pretty much by this time of the year, the past, what 20 years, they been getting ready to go home by this time.

“I was talking to (Yordano) Ventura and a couple other guys, (Salvador) Perez, I telling them, ‘Hey this city needs you guys to get them to the playoffs. You guys make that happen and you’ll go down in history in this city. This city is coming out every day to support you guys. I can feel it when I come and play here, I can feel it when I watching your games on TV. The city support you guys well.’

“‘You guys are right there. You guys have to find a way.’”

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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