*David “Big Papi” Ortiz walked off as the World Series MVP on Wednesday night, capping a dominant week in which he spurred the Boston Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinal.
Ortiz hoisted relief pitcher Koji Uehara after the final out of a 6-1 win, then Big Papi raised the gleaming gold trophy in his crowning achievement.
“I know I’m one of the forces for this ballgame and I like to take things personal,” he said. “And that’s been my whole career, a challenge.
“I wasn’t trying to be the guy, but I know I got to get something done to keep the line moving. I don’t even have to do anything today, I guess, the rest of the team took over.”
Now a three-time champion, Oritz is the last link to the Red Sox team that swept the Cardinals in 2004 and ended an 86-year title drought.
“He just keeps writing new chapters,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “I know great players are great, are more likely to be great in any moment but it’s hard to see him in those moments and not think that there’s something different about him. He’s locked in. We’ve seen him locked in before but to do it on this stage, and do it in so many big moments, I can’t add anything more to the legend that’s already there, but he keeps writing more chapters on his own.”
After a while, the Cardinals simply gave up trying to get him out. Ortiz walked four times — three of them intentional — in the 6-1 win Wednesday night in Game 6 that clinched the championship.
Ortiz reached base a whopping 19 times in 25 plate appearances — the second-most in a single World Series behind the Giants’ Barry Bonds (21) in 2002.
The sellout crowd broke into thunderous chants of “MVP! MVP!” each time Ortiz batted. Quite a turnaround for the 37-year-old slugger who badly slumped in the AL Championship Series.
Ortiz hit 11-for-16 (.688) with a 1.948 OPS, two home runs and six RBIs against the Cardinals, and just missed a grand slam when Carlos Beltran robbed him by reaching over the short bullpen wall. By comparison, the rest of the Red Sox hit .169 with a 484 OPS and two home runs.
Asked to describe Ortiz, manager John Farrell paused.
“Well, I’d probably rather let his bat do the talking, because it’s pretty special,” he said.
As the Red Sox celebrated on the field after the final out, Ortiz considered what it meant to win a third title. Easy, he answered.
“That means I’m getting old,” he said.