David Ortiz Joins Cast Of “Dancing With The Bears”
Retired Red Sox player says he’s excited to “bust out my moves”
BOSTON — With his playing days behind him and his weight slowly creeping up to a more natural 450 pounds, Ortiz has decided to join the cast of the hit series, Dancing With The Bears.
In a departure from the show’s usual format, where celebrities are paired with dancing bears, Ortiz will wear a pink tutu and appear as one of the trained bruins, not as a celebrity. “Those bears have been humiliated for years. It’s time they have a winner working with them, someone who can show them how to really boogie.”
Affectionately known as Big Papi, the former slugger has been eating more than 24,000 calories a day in preparation for his November debut. The first-ballot Hall of Famer, who was courted heavily by the show’s producers, has already met with some of the other bears.
“I spoke with Paddy, Brownie, Gray Griz, and that beautiful black sow, Lulu” said Ortiz, who held an impromptu press conference at his favorite Boston rib joint, Blackstrap BBQ. “I let them know that we need to stay focused, really strengthen those rear legs, and work on some dance moves that will get the judges’ attention. I have some sweet steps from my days in the Dominican I think they’re going to love.”
Dancing With The Bears has been criticized in recent seasons by animal rights groups who contend that the training methods for the performing bears are cruel. Typically, they are forced to stand on hot plates while music is played and, through a conditioned response, the bears start “dancing” to escape the impending pain.
Asked about the animal cruelty allegations while digging into an over-stuffed pulled-pork sandwich, Ortiz replied, “Look, man, no pain no gain. I spent 20 years in Major League Baseball — if you want to be a champion, you gotta train hard and deal with some pain.”
Ortiz, who was extremely popular as a player, is expected to do well on the show, particularly with audience votes. His first celebrity pairing will be with Canadian actress Rae Dawn Chong. Also debuting with Ortiz on the November 9th show will be former LPGA champion Nancy Lopez coupled with Gray Griz, and Emilio Estevez dancing with last season’s champion, Lulu.