Saturday, August 05, 2006

Engrave His MVP Trophy Now.

It hasn't been a bad week for everybody...

David Ortiz went 4-for-5 with his 35th homer and a game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th to give the Red Sox a 7-6 win over the Angels on Saturday. Ortiz's homer started an eighth-inning comeback in which the Sox scored three to tie the game. In the 11th, lefty J.C. Romero was brought in to pitch to Ortiz. Papi went on to hit a little grounder against the shift to score the winning run from second.

David Ortiz's second homer of the night was a walkoff three-run blast off Indians closer Fausto Carmona to give the Red Sox a 9-8 win over the Indians on Monday night. ...his eighth career walkoff homer. Three have come this year, and Ortiz has five game-ending hits in all.

David Ortiz hit a pair of solo homers against the Devil Rays on Friday, including a solo blast off reliever Seth McClung to put the Red Sox ahead 3-2 in the eighth inning.

Unfortunately I lost the link for this one (and he has since added to these numbers):
David Ortiz has hit 21 home runs in 138 at-bats in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since Aug. 1, 2004. Over that two-year period, no other player has hit more than 13 homers in LIPS. Ryan Howard ranks second with 13; Andruw Jones, Albert Pujols, and Aramis Ramirez share third place with 12.

Um, where's A-Rod?

Papi really does do it every time
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
According to Sox historian Allan Wood, webmaster of the Joy of Sox, Ortiz has come to the plate 19 times in potential walkoff situations since the end of the 2004 regular season (postseasons included) and reached base 16 times. He is 11-for-14 (.786), with 7 HR and 20 RBI.

In 2005 and 2006, he is 8-for-9, with 5 HR and 15 RBI!


This hit-maker is off the charts
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
[...] There never has been anything like it in Boston sports. There never has been anyone like David Ortiz in our town. Sure, there were a couple of players with more talent, but no one ever has had a prolonged stretch like this. Not Ted. Not Russ. Not Bobby. Not Larry. Not Tom. They did other things, and won (in some cases) a lot more rings. But no player in Boston sports history has sent home this many people with electrifying moments of greatness.

This simply does not happen in baseball. Ortiz has turned major league baseball into Wiffle ball games you'd play with makeshift rules regarding rooftops, clotheslines, and summer winds. Big Papi is an action superhero come to life. He is a cartoon figure who jumps off the screen and gets it done in real life in real time. He is the mythical Joe Hardy with no apparent time limit on his powers.

The Clown gets a little carried away there. First of all, comparing different sports is foolish. Bill Russell and Larry Bird were able to take over a game and dominate at will. Tom Brady is responsible for everything that happens when he is on the field. Ortiz is dependant on his spot in the order coming up at the right time. Brady, Russell and Bird played in sports where one or two players can dominate a game, and bring home a title. Ortiz is lucky to have four or five chances a night to impact a game. Bird, Russell and Brady also each brought home multiple titles. Get back to me in a few years when Papi has done the same (he will). Also, I should note that it bothers me when a guy like Shaugnessy who has literally made a living evoking "The Curse" and salting wounds, decides to get all giddy like a cheerleader with a crush on the quarterback...

One more, and this one shows Big Papi as the giant among men that he is...

UPDATE: Per Mike's recommendation, here is an excellent Sports Guy column: Larry Legend vs Big Papi


Punchy said...

Your Big Papi portrayal is a bit too much. He's a completely one-dimensional player--offense only. He plays the field slightly better that what one sees in Pony League. And so to dog on/compare/belittle A-rod simply b/c BP has better batting stats is disengenuous.

BP in the NL, where there's no DH (where one finds real baseball), BP would be average. Known for his timely hits, but also known for this nearly-nonexistant defense. That doesn't diminish his hitting acumen and flare for the dramatic, but it does put things into perspective.

If I'm giving out props to a Beantowner, its Papelbon (although maybe not today...)

Mr Furious said...


I grew up an AL kid, and always will be. No one's ever gonna sell me on watching pitchers hit and the bogus "strategy" of the double-switch...

I pick on A-Rod because it's fun. I actually don't have a big beef with his winning the MVP last year, but I also think penalizing Papi because he's primarily a DH is BS. He didn't write the rule, he's just playing by it.

If the Sox finish atop the AL East, I think people will have a hard time no handing over the hardware after a season like this.

Did you check out some of those statistics? That is some unreal shit. He's batting nearly .800 in walkoff situations. He has nearly twice as many HRs as any "fielding" counterpart in Late Inning PRessure Situations. 22 to 13.

Kneel before Zod, Punchy.

Mike said...

Screw Shaunessey. Simmons had a great piece last week comparing Papi to Bird.

As usual for the Sports Guy, it's both right-on-informative & analytical, plus funny as hell.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend heartily.

Mr Furious said...

True enough, Mike. Simmons words perfectly what I was unable to come up with in response to Punchy:

The DH thing will hurt Ortiz in any voting, which doesn't quite make sense -- so if he played 90 games at first base and gave you a C-plus there, that would make him more valuable? I don't get it. Bonds won the MVP in 2003 and 2004 moving around in left field like Redd Foxx. That gave him more credibility than Ortiz as a DH? Crazy.

Punchy said...

You show me the MVH, and I'll give it to Ortiz. Unfortunately, the title involves "player", and unless the guy is on the field, I refuse to accept that he deserves the award.

This is why pitchers so rarely win the award--they only "play" 1-2 times a week. Much like the pitchers, the DH sits on his ass most of the game and contributes NOTHING aside from once every 9 at bats...

How convienent that hiding poor to nonexistant defensive skills behind a DH rule allows one to only see the one thing he can do--hit the ball. Not only does he play no defense, but he cant steal bases and he can't go opposite field very well.

I'm not saying he's not good...I'm saying give the award to someone who actually plays more than ~15 minutes a game. And nice Bill Simmons article--you can't find me a bigger RSox homer than Simmons, so should I expect anything diff from him pie-hole?

Mr Furious said...

I prefer to place the emphasis on the "Most Valuable" part of the award, and that's not just because I'm making the case for Papi. IT goes for the MVP in any sport. It's not all about stats, it about carrying a team, and which player actually has the most value to his team—where would they be without him?

If a pitcher is dominating enough, and clearly responsible for his team's success, he deserves it even though he only plays every fifth game, and never picks up a bat.

Same for Ortiz. He is putting on a clutch performance that is simply impossible to ignore. If he played the field he'd be at first. Not exactly shortstop or centerfield. He'd be adequate. And if he was in the NL (the weaker league, IMO) he'd be far more than "average." You could make the case he'd be even more dominant.

Punchy said...

Another baseball question for anyone:

How do all these deals keep being made AFTER the trading deadline? RSox add Lopez, 'Zona just got Livan Hernandez, etc....

How do all these players keep changing hands after the deadline? Is this all waivers? How exactly does this work?

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, all trades have to go through waivers first. Meaning if you are the Sox, every team with a worse record gets a shot at claiming the player first. the way I understand it is that say, somebody else wanted Lopez, they put in a claim to get him. If they are really just trying to block the Sox from getting him, they run the risk of actually getting stuck with him and the contract. Which is why big deals are tough at this stage. Most players moved now have some significant baggage to make it all the way through the process (ie: huge money owed, etc.)

That's the waay I understand it anyway. i just read a pretty good explanation recently, I'll see if I can remember where and post a link.

Mr Furious said...

Found it

Consummating a trade of any magnitude will be more challenging now, because players can't be dealt without clearing waivers first. Once a player passes through waivers, his current team is free to try and trade him to any of the other 29 clubs.

If the player is claimed, Team A can simply step aside and lose him to Team B. (Welcome to Kevin Towers' recurrent nightmare of 1998, when he claimed Randy Myers to block him from going to Atlanta and got stuck with a $13 million contract). If the two clubs decide they want to work out a trade, they have a 48-hour window to make it happen.