All posts tagged big papi

→ David Ortiz posts farewell letter to Red Sox Nation

Thank you, Papi.

→ The David Ortiz Farewell Celebration at Fenway May Have Been the Greatest Thing Ever

He’s not wrong.

→ David Ortiz starts emotional weekend with dramatic home run

I’m going to miss Big Papi so much.

→ Joe Posnanski’s Take on Big Papi’s Hall of Fame Chances

David Ortiz’s full Hall of Fame case is nuanced. His career numbers fall somewhere between Fred McGriff and Frank Thomas, which puts him right on the border. His extra-base hits total is massive — some of that is Fenway Park. His postseason heroics boost him considerably. His failed drug test will be considered. And yes, he spent almost his entire career at DH. I think you have to throw all of that into a tumbler, shake it up and roll it out. I vote for him.

Sounds about right to me.

Big Papi to Retire at the End of the Season

Though there were rumors yesterday, David Ortiz made the official announcement today:

Here are some of the articles trying to put Papi’s careeer into context:

→ Joe Castiglione’s call of David Ortiz’s 500th career home run

Congratulations to Big Papi. Another great accomplishment in (what I would argue) is a hall of fame career.

→ Can David Ortiz pass Ted Williams as the Red Sox all-time home run leader?

It seems unlikely, but I have learned to never count out Big Papi

→ Ortiz’s Ejection By Incompetent Umpire Bruce Dreckman

Look how terrible those calls were by Dreckman. He should be fired today for that garbage.

→ David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski star in a hilarious Dunkin’ Donuts commercial


→ David Ortiz on NFL’s punishment of Tom Brady: ‘I think it’s ridiculous’

Big Papi on Goodell’s pile of garbage:

And now this Tom Brady thing, I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t know if the commissioner is trying to send a big message. Then to who? To the players? I’m a football fan and when I don’t see Brady on the field I’m going to have questions. And then the answer is he deflated some freaking balls? Prove that. Prove it.

I love Big Papi.

→ Red Sox DH David Ortiz suspended 1 game for bumping umpire

Sure, if Ortiz touched the umpire, he should be suspended for a game. Tumpane, the umpire who was completely unprofessional and caused the situation, should be suspended for significantly longer.

→ David Ortiz shares the stage with Tom Brady and world championship hardware

Sometimes, I forget just how great it’s been to be a Boston sports fan these past few years.

→ David Ortiz finished third in Boston’s recent mayoral election

Well done, Boston. Well done.

→ Ortiz, Victorino shave beards for charity

I used this as an excuse to finally trim my bread as well.

→ David Schoenfield Chronicles Big Papi’s Career Path

David Arias? Really?

→ When the Cardinals Should Just Walk Big Papi

Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs explains when the Cardinals should think about walking Papi:

In the bottom of the first, the Cardinals need to have fallen behind by a pretty wide margin in order to justify walking Ortiz. For example, they need to be down by five runs with two outs and a runner on second for the walk to Ortiz (who would be coming up bat for the second time in the inning!) to make sense. In the bottom of the second, much the same is true — the Cardinals would need to be down three or four runs (it is close) with one out and runners on second and third or two outs and a runner on second to walk Ortiz. As the game progresses, the number of situations in which intentionally walking Ortiz with a right-handed pitcher slated to face him and the following batters increases, but just slightly, and it is close. They mostly occur with one or two outs and runners on second and third, or two outs with runners on second or third.

The Cardinals would need to be behind (and again, I’m simplifying to avoid just listing every case): by at least three in the third, two in the fourth, or one in the fifth. By the bottom of the sixth, walking Ortiz with a righty on the mound is recommended even in a tie game with runners on second and third and one out or a runner on second and two outs. In the seventh, with second and third occupied and one out, the Cardinals might even want to walk Ortiz if they are up by one.

As you can see, the answer is not as clear as “just walk him every time he comes to the plate”.1

  1. Which, unsuprisingly, is what some people are suggesting 

Big Papi’s World Series Dominance

Big Papi’s unbelievable World Series has led to a number of articles trying to quantify and otherwise explain how unstoppable he has been.

For those of you who want a pure recap of that stats Papi has been putting together there are a couple of pieces from ESPN that talk just about his numbers.

Bill Chuck, over at Gammons Daily started the stories of Papi’s dominance before Game 5:

But in this constellation that GM Ben Cherington brilliantly assembled and Professor John Farrell manages, on this “team,” a description in the truest sense of the word, there has been no brighter star this World Series than David Ortiz.

I often refer to the consummate designated hitter and sometime first baseman as “Diva” Ortiz. He preens, has baseball’s slowest tater trot, and demands special attention. “Diva” is only inaccurate because I should use the masculine “divo.” However, it is most accurate in that this person is also considered an outstanding talent in the world in which she or he is participating.

I honestly believe this brilliant World Series performance by Big Papi has nothing to do with the St. Louis Cardinals. I don’t care who he might be facing, David Ortiz is a man on a mission: the ring.

and then pointed out how close Papi is to historical milestones as Game 6 approaches:

Ortiz will have either one or two games to enter into the elite territory of batters who have had 12 or 13 hits in a single Series

Names like Stargell, Brock, and Clemente populate that list.

Tom Verducci also attempted to put Papi’s World Series performance in historical context, both in Boston and nationally:

On the brink of such team history, one man has elevated his stature in baseball and in the deep-rooted culture of the Sox more than anyone else. It might not quite be Ruthian what is going on here, but it’s the next best thing to see a garrulous big man becoming a legend of the fall.

It was eight years ago that the Red Sox presented David Ortiz with a plaque that called him “the greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox.” Ortiz’s performance in this series has moved him far beyond plaques. It is pushing him toward having his number hang from the right-field roof at Fenway, having a statue outside the old ballpark and an official spot in the namesake town of his clubhouse nickname: Cooperstown.

With three more hits in a 3-1 Game 5 victory, Ortiz is batting .733 (11-for-15) in this World Series and .476 (20-for-42) in his World Series career — the best average in history among all men who have at least 50 plate appearances in the Fall Classic.

Brian MacPhereson from the Providence Journal talks about both the statistical impact Papi has had, as well as his leadership:

The statistics are astounding, eye-popping, laughable — take your pick of incredulous adjective. He’s hitting .733 with a .750 on-base percentage and 1.267 slugging percentage. He singled twice and doubled in Game Five, and his slugging percentage went down.

And that’s after Ortiz pulled the entire Boston team aside in the middle of Game Four to deliver a passionate pep talk immediately before Jonny Gomes hit a three-run home run. There’s nothing that has happened in the World Series that the Red Sox can’t credit to Ortiz.

If you prefer to look at things on a micro-level, then this in-depth look at one at-bat from Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs is probably right up your alley:

If you were watching, you understand, because the extended at-bat felt a little like theater. There was nobody on and there was one out, but it felt like a moment with substance and meaning. It felt like it meant more than it did, and Wainwright got an ovation after Ortiz was retired. The thing is, any pitcher should probably get an ovation at this point if he’s able to get Ortiz out. In the first inning on Monday, Ortiz doubled on the first pitch. In the fourth inning, he singled on the second pitch. I don’t need to tell you about his numbers in the World Series; I’ll just remind you that those numbers don’t include what could’ve been a Game 1 grand slam. Ortiz has been the story, so pitching to Ortiz must be a story as well.

Lastly, in a Evan Drellich piece detailing all of Papi’s accomplishments, it is this quote that stands out:

“I was born for this,” Ortiz said.

After how he has played so far this World Series, it is tough to argue with that.

→ Papi reminds the Red Sox that “This is Our Time”

No one has the full text of the speech,1 but the summaries make it sound pretty powerful:

“He just said, he called us all together and said, ‘Hey guys — this opportunity doesn’t come around very often. Let’s seize the moment, let’s have fun, let’s be ourselves. Let’s have some fun. Let’s go out there and let’s get after it, let’s play our game.’ And we did that. He, that guy, he leads by example, he leads by his voice, he keeps you loose, he gets on you when he needs to. He’s a great teammate. When that guy speaks, you listen, in the postseason especially.”


“It was pretty powerful,” bench coach Torey Lovullo said. “I wasn’t exactly sure what he was going to say. He brought up some good points. This is our time. Let’s play our type of baseball. It was a pretty powerful moment. Everyone came together and rallied behind those words.

It seemed to help yesterday. Hopefully, it will help tonight too.

  1. He apparently did not release the text of it via a press release earlier in the day. 

→ Jeff Passan discusses Big Papi’s Hall of Fame Chances

Numbers aren’t the true issue for Ortiz. When The New York Times reported Ortiz tested positive for a PED in 2003, he denied having taken it. While there was a loophole – reportedly eight of the 104 players on the list from the survey testing had used 19-nonandrostenedione, a tainted supplement – it never has been confirmed Ortiz was one of the eight. And considering mere PED speculation left this year’s class empty, the presence of a positive, no matter what caused it, may initiate a death blow before his candidacy even begins.

That New York times article was ridiculous at the time, and it is even more ridiculous now to look back at it. If some random hack writer for a once-great newspaper can end someone’s hall-of-fame chances, then something is seriously wrong with the selection process.

→ Fan Video of Papi’s Grand Slam

What a moment.