Why Kevin Millar thinks David Ortiz is the best player in Red Sox history, reveals wanted ‘Big Papi’ deal

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David Ortiz was an integral part of the 2004 World Series for the Boston Red Sox, when the Sox broke the “Bambino Curse,” and a former teammate believes the retired player is the greatest player in franchise history.

Kevin Millar, who partnered with Twisted Tea to reveal the new Sweet Cherry Lime flavor, explained to Fox News Digital in a recent interview how important Ortiz is to the team. Millar said general manager Theo Epstein, who also deserves credit for how the team was built, picked Ortiz almost on a whim after the Minnesota Twins didn’t initially bid after the 2002 season.

Millar also revealed that Ortiz wanted to be traded during the 2003 season if he wasn’t going to get more playing time. It’s something Epstein also mentioned in a 2018 interview with MLB.com’s “Executive Access.”

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David Ortiz and Kevin Millar train at the Spring Complex of the Red Sox Minor League in Ft. Myers, Florida.
(Matthew West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

“David Ortiz, who didn’t have a tender of the twins, came up and was kind of in the lineup in 2003, and finally in May, he had a huge hit at Anaheim,” Millar recalls. And I remember him saying he wanted to trade or play every day because, at the time, Jeremy Giambi was the DHing, and Shea Hillenbrand, I was doing an episode about rosacea, and finally established himself in the story as the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox in mid-May .

“That year he ended up hitting 31 home runs with a 109 RBI and it just turned into a great, great threat and then he just took off. And then obviously in 2004 and then he just made himself an incredible career and the best DH I think this game has ever been. by because – not just his numbers – but the big home runs, the big RBI late late in the game, and he hit a great throw. And that’s one thing Derek Jeter did on that big stage is that when you’re in the post-season, these bowlers They are the best in the league, which is why they are, and they shoot really well.

“David Ortiz, to me, is the best Red Sox player of all time.”

Kevin Millar says Red Sox fans sing “Sweet Caroline” as one of the sport’s best traditions: “Nothing is better.”

David Ortiz, left, of the Boston Red Sox talks to former Red Sox player Kevin Millar before facing the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Three of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium on Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis.

David Ortiz, left, of the Boston Red Sox talks to former Red Sox player Kevin Millar before facing the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Three of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium on Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Ortiz finished his career with 541 home races. In his final season with Boston in 2016, he was an All-Star and led the league with 48 doubles, 0.620 lags and 1.021 OPS. He also had 38 home runs that year – his most since 2006, when he hit 54.

The three-time World Series Champion was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January after seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the star he was.

“That’s why Theo Epstein deserves so much recognition because (Ortiz) was open to everyone. But a no-bid deal, Theo gave him a chance and brought myself, Todd Walker, Bill Muller, Jeremy Giambi and David Ortiz in. And next thing you know, we were all just a part of team, and David Ortiz went to another level,” Millar said.

“And Manny Ramirez, he was the greatest right-handed hitter I’ve ever seen. You can put Miguel Cabrera there, you can put Albert Pujols there in their prime – these three guys – but we had a chance to really learn from Manny, and David Ortiz followed Mane like a little puppy.” I know David always gives him a lot of credit for his success. That’s part of being a great team and teammate. We weren’t the best players, but we always say we were the best.”

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaks to reporters during a news conference after his orientation tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on May 2, 2022, in Cooperstown, New York, the former Boston Red Sox player to be named July 24.

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaks to reporters during a news conference after his orientation tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on May 2, 2022, in Cooperstown, New York, the former Boston Red Sox player to be named July 24.
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

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Last week, the 10-time All-Star toured the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He received 77.9% of the vote in the baseball book ballot.

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