Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz pumped some of his greatness into the ether with a much-needed Instagram Live session Wednesday and 21-year-old Nationals slugger Juan Soto was the b
It begins in the top of the fifth inning of Game 6 of the 2019 World Series. The Nationals are facing elimination, trailing Houston 3-2 in the series after being swept in three straight games back home in Washington. Soto arrives at the plate with two outs and the game tied 2-2 after an Adam Eaton homer – a solo shot – two batters earlier evened the score.
“I’m gonna tell you a story about Soto real fast," Ortiz begins. "This kid, last year in the playoffs, in the World Series, he was facing Verlander. I’m right there in the studio narrating and watching everything with Fox. I’m seeing everything. We have a screen there with which we can even see the acne."
"I’m noticing the body language of this kid, a 22-year-old kid," he says. "At this point Verlander threw a fastball that was kind of high. Then the catcher starts arguing with the umpire, because you know Verlander likes to throw the ball high in the zone."
“This was the strike zone,” Ortiz motions with his hands to demonstrate the pitch was up and out of the zone. “And the ball was thrown (here).”
“Borderline,” Pujols says.
“It wasn’t even borderline,” Papi says. “It was just a high pitch that was out of the strike zone.”
“The catcher starts arguing with the umpire,” he resumes. “And during this argument, Soto got in and he said, ‘Tell him to throw it a bit lower and I’ll show you where the strike zone is.’”
“He said it like that?” Pujols asks.
“Believe me,” Papi says. “I was watching all of that. Then Verlander threw the pitch he was asking for and Soto almost got the ball (all the way) out of the stadium. What does that tell you?”
“In my language, as a guy who played baseball professionally for 20 years,” Papi says, stopping to correct himself when he remembers Soto’s actually only 21. “Yes, I remember we celebrated his birthday right there in Washington and that was the first time he was allowed to drink.”
“That confidence this kid already has at 21 years old,” Ortiz goes on, “I got that confidence at about 28 years old."
"He’s seven years ahead of me," he says in disbelief. "What do you think is going to happen with that kid?"
The Nationals went on to win the game 7-2, and the World Series with their Game 7 victory the next night.
The rest is history, to be parsed through time by David Ortiz.