The baseball world is in shock and disbelief.big papi

First it was reported as an attempted robbery in a bar in the Dominican Republic.  Then no.  Surveillance video shows that it was a direct assassination attempt, from ambush, on David Ortiz, one of the most beloved sports heroes of our time.

Ortiz, better known as ‘Big Papi’, was born and raised in the Dominican Republic.  He has gone on to become one of the most recognized professional sportsmen on the planet playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox.  Kids and adults alike look up to David Ortiz as an outstanding example of what a kid born into poverty can become, and what he can go on to mean to fans around the world.

Ortiz was standing at a bar in Santo Domingo talking with popular TV host Jhoel Lopez when a man entered the bar and shot him in the lower back, at point blank range, causing dangerous internal damage before the bullet exited through his abdominal region, perhaps striking Lopez as well.  ‘Big Papi’ was rushed to the nearby Clinica Abel Gonzalez for emergency treatment.  Thankfully, though it cost him a gall bladder, the wound proved not to be fatal.

David Ortiz has a very big family.  Not just down in the Caribbean and at home in Boston, but including also the entire ‘Red Sox Nation’ family, from which flowed first shock and outrage, followed by an overwhelming show of support for their iconic local hero.  The love and respect that ‘Big Papi’ has garnered among his fellow big leaguers in his 20 years in professional baseball is evident from their varied dismayed reactions to this senseless tragedy.

Emotions here run strong.  Friend and colleague Pedro Martinez could not hold back the tears while praising his former teammate on his MLB TV program.  He was not alone.  Outrage and disbelief abounds around Boston and the entire MLB community as concern and love flow out for ‘Big Papi’.  Everyone has a version of the same question, ‘Of all the people to shoot, why David Ortiz’?  It’s hard to make sense out of it.

Ortiz played 20 years of Major League Baseball as a first baseman and designated hitter.  That in itself is quite an accomplishment.  Add to it three World Series championship rings and being named to the MLB All-Star team 10 times. Oh yeah, he is also a seven (7) time Silver Slugger Award winner and holds the Red Sox single season home run record at 54, set back in 2006.

Ortiz received immediate and abundant support from the Red Sox organization as well which had him flown to Boston where a second surgery procedure was done leaving him in stable condition and out of danger.

Gracias a Díos.

Get well soon ‘Big Papi’.  You have a lot of people pulling for you.


us open logo

About half way up the Pacific coastline of California lies the seemingly enchanted seaside city of Pebble Beach.  It’s enchanted because few places on earth display such dramatic beauty on such a small piece of rugged coastline known as the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Bay. This is California at its very best.

There is something special about playing golf on an ocean side course, especially one as well done as Pebble Beach where the natural ins and outs of the coastline are incorporated into the fairways and greens which make up one of the most challenging and inspiring golf courses on the planet. It is also one of the most expensive to play at a cool $525 per round.

Tiger Woods will be there this year for the US Open!  We can pretty much plan on the gallery being huge and following the Tiger around the legendary links at Pebble Beach for all 4 days.  At the Memorial, there were, at times, around 20,000 fans encircling the greens when Tiger was putting.

After winning the Masters this year, much to the surprise of many, Woods struggled for consistency for the first three rounds of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio back in June, only to astound and excite the overflow crowds by posting a hot 64 on the final round, which led to a top 10 finish for Woods and leaving many to speculate that Tiger was just warming up for the US Open, this year to be held at the famous Pebble Beach Course.

Woods picked up a check for $800,000 at this same Pebble Beach Golf Course back in the year 2000 when he won this same US Open, and won it by 15 strokes, posting a final four round score of 272, a record which still stands today as the largest margin of victory ever recorded in a major PGA Championship.  It was the stuff that legends are built on.

But, can he do it again?  Las Vegas odds makers seem to think that the Tiger has a pretty good shot at it once again. He lucked out in the pairings going out with Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth, two excellent and very serious golfers.  Perhaps playing alongside Woods will be the catalyst to get Spieth on track again after a rather slow start to the 2019 season.

While two young and very strong American Golfers, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, are listed ahead of Tiger Woods at 8-1, the Tiger is right in there at 10-1 alongside the recent RBC Canadian Open winner Rory McElroy.  Spieth is currently listed at 14-1 with Justin Rose at 20-1.

But keep an eye out for the guys bunched up back at 25-1.  Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas make up that group and any one of them could be there on Sunday afternoon putting for the US Open Championship at Pebble Beach and a share of the huge $12,500,000 purse being offered in 2019.





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Professional Football fans who were around at the very beginning of the fledgling NFL all remember Bart Starr as a hero, and a gentleman, for he was both. The gentleman part came naturally to him being born down south in the great state of Alabama, where chivalry was still in vogue back in those days. The hero part he had to work at.

The Green Bay Packers waited until the 17th round of the 1956 NFL Draft to pick a young quarterback from the University of Alabama named Bryan Bartlett Starr.  The pick turned out to be fortuitous for all concerned as Starr would remain the Packers starting quarterback until his retirement as a player in 1972.

Bart Starr is so much a part of the history of the early success of the NFL in general, and the Green Bay Packers in particular, that it is impossible to mention one without bringing up the other.   To this day, he remains the only NFL quarterback in the history of the league to win three consecutive league championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967.

On January 15, 1967 Bart Starr led his Green Bay Packers team, coached by the immortal Vince Lombardi, to victory in the very first Super Bowl ever, which was held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, by defeating Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs by a final score of 35-10.

Super Bowl II also found Coach Lombardi and his Packers back to take on the Oakland Raiders, again with Bart Starr at quarterback.  Again Green Bay dominated the game and the Packers were obviously the best NFL franchise going at the time.

Unsurprisingly, Bart Starr was named MVP in both Super Bowls I & II. He was also named the Most Valuable Player in the NFL for 1966 and has long since been inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame IN Canton.

When he was finally done, Bart Starr has amassed the highest postseason quarterback passer rating in NFL history at 104.8 and an incredible 9-1 record in postseason play.  Starr played in 196 NFL games, a record which stood until 2003.

Former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was mentored by Bart Starr in his early days with the Packers.  He said about the guru QB, “Bart Starr was the most kind, thoughtful and classiest person you could ever know.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have called him friend and to have been mentioned in the same breath”.

Old timers will tell you that Bart Starr was the toughest football player to ever have played the game.  In the 1967 NFC Championship Game, on the final play of the game, it was -48 degrees at Lambeau Field, Starr had already been sacked 8 times by the Dallas Cowboys when the Packers found themselves down by three points with 8 seconds to go in the game and the ball on the Dallas one yard line.

Starr told Lombardi that he wanted to keep the ball so the legendary coach ordered him to go out and ‘push it across the goal line’, then added famously, “And then let’s get the hell out of here”. Starr scored and was named MVP as the Packers beat Tom Landry’s Cowboys 21-17.  RIP Mr. Starr.

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