Looking ahead to July 15, it is easy to see David Ortiz making it into double figures for career All-Star selections. He has homered in five of his first eight series and just predicted that "when the weather heats up, Papi heats up." So he will likely get a lot of love at designated hitter on your All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian.
While you are looking ahead, go two more days past Major League Baseball's Midsummer Classic in Minnesota and you definitely will see some Big Papi bonus time. Premium entertainment network EPIX announced on Thursday it is offering baseball fans in and around Red Sox Nation "a close-up look at the life and accomplishments" of the Red Sox star in the EPIX Original Documentary, "David Ortiz In the Moment," to be aired at 8 p.m. ET on July 17.
The special, produced by Relativity Sports in conjunction with MLB Productions, traces Ortiz's path from the Dominican Republic to stardom and lets us into Ortiz's inner sanctum. Fans got a glimpse of such access on the day of Boston's 2014 home opener, when he took over the @RedSox Twitter account and took MLB.com with him behind the scenes from his house through the ring ceremony. "David Ortiz In the Moment" goes beyond that over the past two seasons and is sure to give Red Sox fans something to watch on that last off-day before the second half resumes.
"David Ortiz is a larger-than-life baseball star," EPIX CEO Mark Greenberg said. "From his leadership role helping guide the Red Sox to win three World Series titles to his civic work in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, to the compassionate, funny and empathetic way he embraced and comforted Bostonians and all of America following last year's Boston Marathon bombing, he is a true inspiration."
"Very few people get to see my life outside of baseball," Ortiz said. "I am looking forward to sharing my story with all my fans. I am proud to work with EPIX, Relativity Sports and MLB on this project."
The documentary follows Ortiz during the past two seasons, including Boston's championship run last fall, offering a unique look back at the drama on and off the field that the nation witnessed throughout a very emotional run to the title for both the city and the club.
Featuring interviews with top athletes, the EPIX "In the Moment" series provides viewers an inside look at what it takes to become and remain an elite athlete, and uses the #InTheMoment hashtag. Ortiz is the latest sports figure profiled in the series, which has featured Lindsey Vonn and Amar'e Stoudemire and will continue with a "Dwight Howard In the Moment" show slated to premiere this fall.
"David is a great individual and a highly valued client of Relativity Sports," said Happy Walter, the company's CEO. "We are excited to be able to produce original content profiling his unique story. We plan to continue to create entertaining programming featuring our clients."
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom, its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lionsgate. Through relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is available to more than 45 million homes nationwide.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.