Archive for the ‘David Ortiz’ Category

Diamondbacks pitcher Miley throws a pitch during the opening game of the 2014 MLB season against the Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Did you know they played two baseball games in Australia over the weekend? It’s true, they did. Despite one game beginning at some ungodly hour here on Earth, these games count in the standings! For real!

The Dodgers raced out to an insurmountable one game lead in the NL West. Is their hot start for real? My column:

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Boston Red Sox's Ortiz greets crowd from dugout after hitting two-run home-run against Detroit Tigers during MLB American League Baseball game in Boston

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to” is a common refrain, one often originating from an aged member of our youth-driven society. It isn’t as though acknowledging planned obsolesce is a great or noteworthy insight, but it bears mentioning from time to time. Things aren’t built to last because it is hard to sell a new laptop or television to a person satisfied with the performance of the one they already own.

They don’t make’em like David Ortiz any more. More accurately, they never really made them like David Ortiz. He is one of the best designated hitters of all time and certainly the best DH in the game right now. David Ortiz is making noise for a new contract again. David Ortiz and the Red Sox know all the words to this three act play, having performed it in public many times before. They always manage to come together on a deal, one that seems to treat both player and team fairly. This was the story last winter when they agreed on a two-year deal worth $29 million, a deal that expires at the end of the 2014 season.

As David Ortiz gets closer to 40, the Red Sox must ask themselves the same questions over and again: is David Ortiz a luxury they can still afford?

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Boston Red Sox's Ortiz greets crowd from dugout after hitting two-run home-run against Detroit Tigers during MLB American League Baseball game in Boston

David Ortiz is one of the most recognizable baseball players in the world. If we brought out the reliable Nana Index, I hazard a guess that David Ortiz would do as well as anybody. More people know who David Ortiz is than could pick Miguel Cabrera out of a lineup and is at least double the amount of people who can claim to have heard to words “Mike” and “Trout” in the same sentence.

This doesn’t mean David Ortiz is the best baseball player. He is just one of the most recognizable. The most iconic, if we dare head in that direction. His lovable bear persona play into this but, more than anything, David Ortiz seems to play the best when the most people are watching.

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ortiz grand slam

Clutch isn’t dead. This year, the titans of clutch are Carlos Beltran, perennial postseason superhuman, and David Ortiz, the “inevitable” hero of Game 2 Sunday night in Boston.

By Beltran’s standards, he isn’t even hitting well this postseason. He owns an absurd .340/.448/.740 line in 41 career playoff games and is hitting just .231/.333/.538 in seven games this October. He has, however, had a pair of gigantic games already. In Game 3 of the NLDS, he supplied the game-tying home run off Mark Melancon in the eighth inning and a two-run single in the fifth inning to boot, but the club ended up losing the game in the eighth on a Pedro Alvarez single. Then, in the Cardinals’ Game 1 NLCS victory over Los Anglees, he supplied the walk-off single against Kenley Jansen, part of a 2-for-6, 3 RBI day.

Ortiz, on the other hand, has been above and beyond this year. His home run to tie Game 2 was already his third, and he owns a ridiculous .300/.462/.800 line in six games thus far against a .284/.394/.542 career line in 72 postseason contests. The game-tying grand slam was his first and only hit of the ALCS thus far in seven at-bats, but his timing was impeccable.

As these postseason legends continue to ply their trade, the concept of clutch surges to the forefront again. It’s an October tradition, baseball’s rise of the Great Pumpkin (aside, of course, from Dan Johnson).

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Well, those weren’t his exact words but that is the sentiment, an awesome one indeed. David Ortiz is kind of a little bit the best and he is running a promotion on his website bigpapi.com benefiting victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

A $500 donation to The One Fund earns you an autographed custom red, white, and blue Marucci bat bearing one of Papi’s now famous slogans.

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Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox

May 11, 2009. David Ortiz entered a Red Sox off day nursing a .224 batting average, a .666 OPS and 142 consecutive plate appearances without a home run. In the electronic pages of ESPN.com, Howard Bryant wrote

“The walls are closing in on David Ortiz. He can feel it, the cold breeze of doubt whistling through each swing and miss, vexing and constant, a pebble scratching hard on the bottom of his foot: a .224 batting average and, even more glaring, no home runs in 116 at-bats from the most feared left-handed power hitter this town has seen since Mo Vaughn and, before that, Carl Yastrzemski.”

On May 15th, Ortiz went hitless in seven at-bats as the Red Sox lost an extra-inning game to the Los Angeles Angels. After the game, he told reporters, “just put down Papi stinks.” On May 16, with Ortiz’s OPS down to .618, Rocco Baldelli was Boston’s designated hitter. Big Papi was on the bench.

And David Ortiz was never heard from again.

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David Ortiz has hit the ball incredibly well since returning to the Red Sox lineup. On top of his strong play, he also cemented his place in local lore during the emotionally charged return to baseball after the Patriots Day bomb incident.

David Oritz was hitting the ball well but hadn’t yet hit a home run in 2013. Then the Astros came to town. Now David Ortiz has a home run in 2013! It’s really that simple.