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At age 37, in his 17th major league season, David Ortiz accomplished a career first last night: He stole third base.
“You saw that (expletive)?” Ortiz joked.
It happened in the first inning. Ortiz already had given the Red Sox a 2-0 lead with a one-out single against White Sox starter Hector Santiago, and Mike Napoli drew a walk to bring up Daniel Nava. From the dugout, the Red Sox sent a sign for Ortiz to take off for third.
“I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ ” said Ortiz, who had stolen only two bases since 2007, when he notched a career-high three steals. “Momentum in the game, it happens, and I don’t have a zero in that category anymore.”
Ortiz was stranded at third after Nava and Will Middlebrooks struck out. But the fact that the Red Sox had the confidence to turn him loose suggests that Ortiz’ balky heels, which kept him on the disabled list for the season’s first two weeks, are feeling better.
“I’ve been running well lately. I’ve been feeling better,” Ortiz said. “If I feel well I’m going to run. I mean not steal bases, but try to take advantage of whatever’s happening, whenever a guy hits the ball or whatever.”
Herald: Ortiz runs wild
So I guess Ortiz is fully healed from that heel injury eh? This was definitely one of those "no, no, no, no, YES!" moments. We were shocked, Ortiz was shocked, and the White Sox were shocked as Tyler Flowers didn't even attempt a throw. If Ortiz didn't make that slide, everyone would've lost their mind that Ortiz stole a base standing.
Farrell's explanation of it post-game was funny as well: "We felt like it was an opportunity to move up. I don't know if we'll make a habit of it." Yes. Please don't. I don't know if I can handle watching Ortiz steal any more bases without thinking of him blowing his knee.
At least Ortiz can now say he has stolen third base at least once.Maybe this time he doesn't have to deal with Dan Shaughnessy accusing him of using steroids since 37 year old players don't steal bases like that.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Buchholz improves to 7-0 | Buchholz in tune again | Strange to see Francona in visitor's dugout | Buchholz, Farrell on win | Herald: Buchholz on rocking | Francona focuses on positives | Ellsbury shrugs it off | CSNNE: Ending on a high note | Francona: Sox fans are special | Bailey happy to be back, looking forward | Buchholz setting the tone for Sox pitchers | Iglesias excited about position changes | WEEI: Buchholz dominates, Sox salvage Chicago series | Ellsbury will be in leadoff spot for now