I do apologize first off for leaning on my Boston bias, but this situation jolted all of Major League Baseball and I figured worthy of column space not from me as a Red Sox fan but me as a baseball fan.
I was going through my typical Sunday-night procrastination methods while tuning in and out of the Stanley Cup Final game (sorry I really tried not to mention another championship appearance) and scrolling through anything and everything on my phone until I was notified a group chat with my friends from home had a message in it.
With nothing else to do, I clicked right to it and all it said was “David Ortiz was shot…”
At first, I thought no way that’s real and that was reinforced by Scott claiming Twitter as his source (although he did clarify it was unconfirmed still) and so I opened the blue app with the bird on it to start digging myself.
I found plenty other users, not only from Massachusetts, taking the same steps as I, in disbelief of what we were all ultimately searching for.
Reports were flying out in all directions stating David Ortiz had been shot in his native Dominican Republic but as the more reports came, albeit not all fully true, it started to become more and more real that this is really what was going on.
The guy who had made his name synonymous with the country he hails from by going about things the right way en route to becoming one of the best hitters in the clutch of all time?
The guy who was one of many to finally end a curse the city of Boston had been aching to end?
That was my main takeaway in the moments of reflection following reports of him landing and being escorted to Massachusetts General Hospital for further treatment is that there were two entire countries holding their breath waiting to hear the outcome of what happened to their favorite sports figure.
There was certainly panic in the reporting and a somber note to the news they were relaying only shocking baseball fans to their core thousands of miles away from the impact of bullet on skin.
Everything stopped around me personally, not like my laundry actually needed to be folded anyway, but there were a handful of moments where we all weren’t sure of what was going to happen with each refresh of the Twitter feed.
One pull found a tweet that said a doctor in emergency said that Ortiz told him, “Please do not let me die, I am a good man.”
That got me.
But the surgeons clearly took that message to heart and patched up his abdomen where the bullet exited after entering his back on the lower left side.
It was also later in the night that videos of the actual shooting, as well as that shooter getting some payback, surfaced, as have speculations of the motive behind the pulling of the trigger. None of that matters because this scenario did not end the way the shooter had hoped and for that I can only thank those doctors and surgeons.
Baseball players across the country shared their thoughts and the impact Big Papi made on their lives and that outpouring of support only solidified the feeling that it’s way too early to lose a legend like that, but life is always just a little bit shorter than you think.
This story could have gone a lot of different ways and that would have shaped this column. Certainly, but hopefully the way things did pan out shines some light on the need to tell people you love them today and to buy them flowers now while you have the chance.
Life is too short and a life without David Ortiz in it is hard to imagine altogether.
Thoughts and prayers continue to go up to the Ortiz family and all those affected and all we can hope for is a full and smooth recovery, whenever that happens.
Thank you for allowing me this space to vent to you, I appreciate you.
(This column is the personal opinion of Cole McNanna and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Sealy News, its staff, or its advertisers.)