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Big Papi Becoming a Big Problem

Richard Rawson
5/15/09

At this rate, the Boston Red Sox may need to pull the trigger on a trade-deadline deal for a designated hitter. As the season kicked into full gear, fans began asking how long the Sox could afford to keep batting David Ortiz third in the lineup. The question is now quickly becoming how long the Sox can afford to keep Ortiz in the lineup, period.

One argument was made recently that Ortiz wasn’t “killing” the Sox, as they kept winning despite his monumental drop-off in production. He was contributing, somewhat, hitting periodic doubles and drawing walks. Jason Bay, Kevin Youkilis, and Mike Lowell have picked up the slack. It’s now official: Ortiz is KILLING the Red Sox. The most glaring example of this is obviously this past Thursday afternoon, when he went 0 for 7 and effectively stranded TWELVE runners on base, tying a team record. He cost the Sox the game, and in turn, the series.

It’s the middle of May, and Papi has yet to go deep. Rocco Baldelli and even Jonathan Van Every each have a homerun in limited playing time. Ortiz is barely hitting above the dreaded Mendoza line and has a mere 15 RBI’s, just two more than back-up shortstop Nick Green. His .208 batting average and 0 homeruns rank dead last in the league for designated hitters.

Ortiz seemed to set himself up for failure before the season even started, as he whined about the Sox not landing free agent Mark Texeira or another big bat to replace The Doping, Dreadlocked Dumbass. Kevin Youkilis was one player who clearly took exception to this, noting that there was “only one guy” on the team that felt they needed more offense. It’s turning out that Ortiz was right, the Sox may need another big bat. However, it’s to replace his own.

Nobody knows for sure what the future holds for Ortiz. Will he be stuck in a platoon for playing time in the second half, as he was with Jeremy Giambi upon his arrival in Boston in 2003? Will he be dropped in the order and become an overpaid .250, 10 HR, and 60 RBI guy? Or worse?

Most Sox fans, yours truly included, are still rooting for him, still hoping he can find his stroke. We will never forget Big Papi’s heroics, as he was the very best clutch hitter in the major leagues from 2004 – 2007. The Sox likely wouldn’t have won their championships in 2004 and 2007 without him.

However, it’s becoming more of a reality with every check-swing groundout or strikeout that this isn’t the Big Papi that gave us so many thrilling memories. His bat is slow, his lack of confidence is visible. Papi, we’re still pulling for you, but we are Red Sox fans, and we lose patience very quickly.

4 comments:

  1. He was on PED. His career is over. Hope the Sox have a good back up plan.

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  2. You are 100% right. We owe it to him to support him....but if it's over......it's over.

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  3. Theres no way the man is 34 years old like he claims..gotta be at least 38+, combine that with him being off roids and he's all done...good stint with the sox but its over..time to move on

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  4. As soon as they started cracking down on roids he was done. He never was much of a player then late in his career he becomes so great? There's only one way that happens! He's done you can't afford to lose even one game in this division needlessly,at the end of the season it always comes down to a game or two.

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