The Red Sox were not playing their best baseball. They lost their last two games to the Cardinals, trailed the World Series 2-1 and their bats went quiet yet again. It seemed a shot at the World Series was slipping away, and Ortiz noticed.
Ortiz gathered his teammates at the end of the dugout, and tried to snap his teammates out of their slump.
“Like I told my teammates, ‘If you think you are [always] going to come to the World Series, you’re wrong, especially playing in the AL East,’ ’’ Ortiz said. “Do you know how many people we beat up to get to this level? To this stage? A lot of good teams, a lot of good teams, man, and that doesn’t happen every year.
“I told them, ‘It took me [six] years to get back up to this stage, and we had better teams than what we have right now and we never made it. So take advantage of being here.’’
His main message was this is a once and a lifetime chance, don't let it slip away. And if anybody on this team had to deliver this Pep Talk, he knew it would be him.
“I just saw a lot of faces, you know, looking in the wrong direction,’’ he said. “And every team has that guy [to speak up] and I think I am that guy here.’’
The Pep Talk indeed worked, as Boston ended up winning the game 4-1. Ortiz hit a double, then proceeded to attempt to get his teammates going. He then went on to score Boston's first run. Jonny Gomes hit a monstrous three run home run to give the Red Sox the lead.
“Any time this guy steps in the box,’’ said Gomes, “there’s a presence. Any time this guy puts a uniform on, there’s a presence. If this guy wants to rally us together for a pep talk, it was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher.
“He got everyone’s attention and looked him right in the eyes. That message was pretty powerful.’’
The speech was the “little kick in the butt that we needed.’’
Ortiz's famous Pep Talk might have been one of the most defining moments of his career. It sparked a Red Sox comeback which was needed to win the 2013 World Series. The Sox didn't lose a game after the speech, led by Ortiz's leadership (and .688 batting average).