Saturday, November 6, 2010

Optional Reading

So, the Red Sox officially picked up David Ortiz’s one-year option for 2011. What does this mean? The Boston media and talk radio hosts are completely useless and out of touch. But, we knew that already.

Ortiz is a perfect example of the warped way many baseball people look at numbers and statistics. It drives me bonkers when an announcer says a player is “due” for a hit or a homerun. The implication being that if you bat .300 for a season, you should get one hit in every 3 or 4 at-bat span. That’s not how it works. Every player has hot stretches and cold stretches. They go 0-10, and then 5-6 and it all works out that way in the end. Ortiz simply had a slightly more drastic split than some other players. In 2009, David Ortiz hit 35 home runs in 150 games. In 2009, Kevin Youkilis hit 27 home runs in 136 games. Ortiz hit a home run every 4.3 games. Youk hit one every 5 games…on average. Does it matter if most of Ortiz’s came at the end of the season? I don’t see why. I’d be willing to bet that Youkilis had more games during the season where he didn’t hit a home run than Ortiz did. That’s the important number. How many games do you help your team win? It doesn’t matter if you help win an April game any more or less than if you help a September game.

So, Ortiz is a valuable player. Is he worth the contract? Apparently Theo thinks so. As a DH, Ortiz is a stellar option. Many of the EEIdiots have been saying the Sox should move more towards a utility DH. Instead of a true DH-type, simply have another player who DH’s sometimes. Have a fourth outfielder DH when he’s not needed in the field. Use the DH spot as a place to rest the regulars. Use Youk as DH instead of a full day off. Of course, then I watched the World Series. The announcers kept talking about the NL DH. They commented how it took a special player to be able to play without going into the field. The player needs to figure out how to manage himself during the game. That’s why Aubrey Huff was so nice for San Francisco. He had been a full-time DH before, so he knew how to do it. That would suggest that maybe Ortiz as a pure DH has some merit. Maybe it’s not as easy as plugging in Mike Cameron every once in a while. David Ortiz as a true DH is a valuable asset to a team…even if he hardly ever takes the field.

Does all that make his worth his contract? Who’s to say? I’ve never much cared how John Henry spent his money, as long as it didn’t prohibit other moves. People kept pointing to the deal Vlad Guerrero got in Texas. But, I think Ortiz is more important that that. I’m also not averse to overpaying a guy one year when he was vastly underpaid when he was banging out 50 home runs. The contract certainly looks right to me. It’s a quality player that fills a huge spot in the line-up. It allows the Sox to focus their attention on other needs.

Like a corner infielder.


  1. That's how I've always felt about Ortiz. He's not terrible now, but are we paying him a little above market value for his production? Probably. Like you say, he was a bargain when he was leading the Sox to World Series victories so that's fine. I'd much rather overpay a guy for seasons here than overpaying a guy from another team who then slumps here.

    If the one year deal motivates Big Papi then he'll be a huge bargain this year and we might overpay him next year, but that's the risk you take. If he follows the trend of other hitter sof his build and his production drops dramatically at 35 then the Sox have an easy out. Win/win situation.

  2. As long as they don't say "We didn't trade for Adrian Gonzalez because we were $5 million over budget"

  3. I don't know man. I have said this time and again that Ortiz was super human like from 2003-2007. Although, 12.5 million is a high number for someone who really cannot be counted to play in the field and can only sometimes hit off lefties. I do still think he gives credibility to our line up but he is only as good as his protection. This is Papi's last year in a Red Sox uniform.

    I worry more about catching then I do 3rd base because we all know Youk can play 3rd and Theo would gibe his first born up for Adrian. Not too mention we will get close to $30 million on the books next year with J.D and Papi gone.


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