On Saturday night, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox was part of an unfortunate, nearly catastrophic, but ultimately beneficial incident.
After three straight balls that were clearly leading to an unintentional-intentional walk, Ortiz started to back out of the box knowing ball four was coming. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons took exception and called a clear ball a strike. Then another. Then Ortiz swing at a ball in the dirt for strike three.
He proceeded to take his bat to the bullpen phone, shattering the casing and nearly hitting Dustin Pedroia in the process and getting tossed from the game.
Usually, a meltdown is just a meltdown, but the Red Sox’ reaction gave fans reason to believe the team has the makeup of a champion. After the destruction of the phone and ejection, it was little Pedroia that got into Big Papi’s face, showing that one leader is not allowed to confront another leader.
Then, on Sunday, Jonny Gomes decided to have fun with the situation and attach a string and cup to the phone as a light-hearted take on the incident the night before.
At this point, the Red Sox had demonstrated three immeasurable traits every championship team must have. They have leadership, stars that do not live by different rules in the clubhouse and the ability to make the best of a rough situation.
One final question was left unanswered when the game started on Sunday. How would Ortiz respond to the previous day’s frustrations? Well, in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game, Ortiz homered to right-center. When he reached the dugout, he grabbed a bat, ran at the phone, and took a mocking swing at it.
Clearly, the Red Sox have a clubhouse that has the makeup that can keep emotions in check during a grueling baseball season. Now time will tell if they have the talent.