I have a special treat for all you Boston Red Sox fans out there in the greatest nation in the world, Red Sox Nation. I was asked by the fine people at Holtzbrinck Publishers to take a look at and review David “Big Papi” Ortiz’s new book entitled, ‘Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits’ which he wrote with Tony Massarotti. The book will be hitting bookstores in approximately 2 weeks on April 17th and can be bought at bookstores nationwide or preordered at Amazon.com. There is even a Spanish version as well.

Once I get my copy of the book, I will be reading and reviewing it here on the site. I also hope to be able to get a few extra copies to give away. I won’t know that until they ship my book out. If I do receive the books, I will be giving them away on our radio show, The Hits Keep Coming…, on a future episode. We would probably do some type of Big Papi trivia contest and the winner would receive a copy of the book. I will have more on this once I know if this will be possible.

So for the next three days, we will be taking a look at excerpts from the book. If you would like to read the last part, click the read the rest of the entry link. To read part 1, you can click here and you can read part 2 here.

Let me tell you what I’ve been doing since the end of last season: I’ve been working out.
After the season ended, almost right away, I started going to the ballpark to get ready for
this season. I bet you a lot of my teammates (and opponents) did the same thing. The
baseball season doesn’t officially start until April, but we show up at spring training in
February. I usually start playing winter ball even earlier than that. And if you want to
make it through a season that long, if you want your body to hold up, you have to work at
it in October, November, and December.

I want to tell you something funny, bro: Anytime I go somewhere, people expect me to
be fat. I’m serious. Last year, after the season ended, I went out to buy a new shirt at this
store someone recommended. I walked into the place and one of the guys there
recognized me, and we started talking. I tried on a couple of shirts and the dude is
looking at me and he said, “Can I tell you something?” I said sure. So the guy tells me
that he thought I was bigger, that he thought I was fat, that he watches the game on
television and he was surprised how different I look in person.

Know what I told him?

“I get that all the time.”

Seriously, bro, I’m not joking. Every time I go someplace where the people have never
met me before, they all tell me the same thing: I look fatter on TV. I’m a big dude—I’m
six foot four and between 255 and 260 pounds—but I try to take pretty good care of
myself. In baseball, you have to. Like most guys, I’m in the weight room a lot during the
season and I try to eat right, but I’m a big dude. Even my teammates give me shit about it
sometimes. But I wear a really big uniform that must make me look fat on TV, so every
time I meet someone for the first time, they look surprised that I’m not this big, fat guy.

I always joke with them: “Who do you think I am, Kevin Millar?”

(Trust me, bro. Millar would say the same thing about me.)

I’m not kidding about the uniform, bro. I like it baggy. I think my shirt is one or two sizes
too big and my pants are a lot bigger than that. I have a 40-inch waist and a 34-inch
inseam—so my real pants size is 40–34—but the ones I wear in the game have a 46-inch
waist and a 40-inch inseam. They must make me look fat, but I like the uniform to be
loose so I can move my arms and legs. And then I hear from people like the guy at the
store and I wonder how big I really look to the people who are watching on TV.

My pop, he’s in pretty good shape. My mom wasn’t heavy, either. But I’m a big dude and
I’m over thirty years old now, so I decided after last season that I was going to start
taking even better care of myself. I started working out with a new personal trainer and I
changed my diet, and I stopped eating as much pasta and rice, things like that. If you’re
not careful, bro, that stuff can stick to you. My trainer told me that the workouts won’t
mean anything unless I change what I eat, too, so I changed everything at the start of the
off-season. While the baseball playoffs were going on, my trainer had me lifting in the
morning and running on the treadmill in the afternoon. I never did much running before,
but I told him I wanted to lose ten or fifteen pounds before the start of the season.

That was the goal, bro. That’s what I told my teammates, too. I wanted to get stronger but
be in better shape, and so I started working out harder than I ever did before.

The baseball? That doesn’t usually start until December, bro. For a while there, I don’t
even pick up a bat. I get my swings in every day during the season, so I like to take a
little break after the year. I usually stay in the United States in October and early
November, and then I go back to the Dominican, where the weather is warmer. By the
time January comes, I’m hitting for at least part of almost every day, and I still work out,
eat right, stay in shape. I try to keep doing that right through spring training. But once the
season starts and we start playing games—and we start traveling from one city to the
next—it gets a lot harder to stay in the routine.

But that’s why it’s so important to do it all when you have the time.

Like everybody, I get tired sometimes. That’s when it really gets hard. The baseball
season is long—we play just about every day—and the games come fast. Sometimes it
feels like you wake up, play, go to bed, and wake up again. The routine wears you down.
You hear a lot of players say sometimes that they get more tired mentally than physically,
and that’s what they mean. You just don’t get any breaks. The average person doesn’t
understand a lot of that because they see us play the games, but there’s a lot more to it
than that. For every hour we spend on the field, we have to spend at least an hour
preparing. Maybe it’s more like two hours. We might play every day for three weeks in a
row. I remember once in the 2005 season, because of rainouts, we played thirty games
straight. It was late in the season and we were tired, and that was before we had to play
all those games in a row. By the time it was over, we were wiped out. We had nothing
left. That was the year we played the White Sox in the playoffs. We were a very tired
team, and we lost in three straight.

Looking back, I don’t know how we even made it that far, but I think that tells you
something about the guys we had on the team. They were tough. They kept playing. We
did the best we could.

When you get a little older, like me, that’s why the preparation becomes even more
important. After the 2006 season, I turned thirty-one years old. I’m still in the prime of
my career, but I’m not twenty-five anymore. Every year now, I have to prepare myself
for it and work hard before the season begins, because I need all the strength I can get
once the games start. As you get older, life gets easier in some ways; in other ways it gets
harder. Baseball is the same. You don’t have the same strength and energy when you get
older, but you also learn to save it. You know when you need it. And you learn to control
your body, your emotions, so that you can stay as sharp as possible for as long as

I’m not going to lie to you, bro.

Playing baseball is hard work.

But if you ask most of the guys playing in the major leagues, we’ll all tell you the same

We love what we do.

Copyright © 2007 by David Ortiz with Tony Massarotti. All rights reserved.