Back in June there was a story in USA Today that touched on David Ortiz’s time with the Minnesota Twins. There Ortiz told Bob Nightengale that Twins players were basically anonymous back then and that the team wasn’t well supported:
“What was funny is that when I played in Minnesota, they didn’t even know they had a major-league baseball team. I used to walk around the street and people didn’t know who the hell we were. Nobody used to come to the Metrodome to watch games. Going to the Metrodome to watch a game was like sacrificing one of your kids.”
Today Ortiz writes a column about his time in Minnesota for the Players Tribune. It’s pretty hilarious, actually — the anecdote about the Coke machine is classic — and it’s also insightful about the struggles of poor young minor leaguers (Torii Hunter slept in his car!) and players from outside of the United States getting their bearings here.
It also contains this bit about the fans in Minnesota:
This week is my last series with the Twins. So I want to thank the fans in Minnesota, because they were really good to me and my wife. My career didn’t work out the way I planned with the Twins, but I don’t have anything but love for the people there.
What was great about Minnesota was how nice everybody was to me during my time there. If we went out to a restaurant early on, when my English pronunciation wasn’t so great, everybody was super nice to me. Nobody ever made me feel like an outsider, and I’ll always appreciate that.
I guess with the help of a month, and perhaps a Players Tribune ghostwriter editor, Ortiz was reminded that Twins fans were more welcoming than he first remembered.
Not trying to put too fine a point on it. We all have memories of good times and not-as-good times from the same basic time in our lives. And, when we’re asked about the same events in our lives at different times, we’re often liable to give different answers. Memories and emotions are funny like that.
Still: the Players Tribune, for all of the interesting things it does, also has an interest in presenting its writers in the best possible light. As such, it’s hard not to read things like this as propaganda of a sort, aimed at making the player look better and, perhaps, a little less real than he would be in, say, an impromptu interview with a newspaper.