Praying for Papi

Now, I’m a Red Sox fan so of course I’m rooting for David Ortiz to come around at the plate, but I keep asking myself, who doesn’t want Ortiz to find an end to his struggles?

Yankee fans? Probably as well as the rest of the teams’ fans in the AL East, but watching the lovable giant groan and pout after each at bat is grueling to watch. Listening to his sad comments after the game makes it even more painful. After the worst game of his career where Papi went 0-for-7 with 12 men left on base, he commented to reporters “Sorry guys, I don’t feel like talking today. Just put down, ‘Papi Stinks’ “.

Who doesn’t hear that quotation and just feel bad for the guy? If you’re a reporter dying to get a remark from Ortiz, you hear that and you walk away. Who is going to annoy Papi when he is just depressed? Anger is one thing, but once that anger turns into just sadness, human sympathy takes over.

The smile of David Ortiz is one of the most recognizable things in sports. He’s the happy, smiling, always-there-for-you big man who eats opposing pitchers alive. Well the latter part of that statement is already gone, but amazingly enough, that smile has endured.

Ortiz has remained engaged. He still views video of himself between at-bats in the clubhouse. He hugged Manny Delcarmen after his two scoreless innings, and after Mike Lowell crunched a double, his third hit of the day, off the Wall in the eighth inning, Ortiz was the first Red Sox player to greet him in the dugout (Boston.com – Extra Bases Red Sox Blog)

His personality is amazing that even in the worst of times, he is still the biggest cheerleader on the team. Just look at the reaction when Papifinally hit his first home run of the year. The dugout erupted. The fans erupted. He was mobbed by teammates and hugged by everyone who could get to him. This team loves and needs Big Papi. Continue reading “Praying for Papi”

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The AL East is Too Good

Go check out the AL East division and look at who is leading it.

Tampa? Nope
Boston? Nope
New York? Nope

It’s the Toronto Blue Jays. They are 27-19, even though they have lost five in a row. They are a half game ahead of both the Yankees and Red Soxwho are both 25-18. Meanwhile, the Rays are 22-23 and sit 3.5 games back. Sound like a stacked division? It is.

Let’s look a little deeper into the AL East’s dominance:

The Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees are 1, 2, and 3 respectively in runs scored while the Red Sox are 8th amongst all of Major League Baseball. All four teams are in the top 6 in team OPS in baseball. Without a doubt, these are four of the top offenses in baseball and they are all in the same division, facing each other day in and day out. Continue reading “The AL East is Too Good”

Sox ’04 Banner Tainted? NO

Manny’s steroid use opens up a whole new box of questions, but the biggest one of all deals with a team he’s not on and season five years ago:

Is the 2004 Championship (and 2007 for that matter) he won with the Boston Red Sox tainted?

100% absolutely NO!

NO

NO

NO

NO

AND NO!!

 

I’m a Red Sox fan. I’m biased. Even so, I still can’t see how the 2004 Sox’s playoff run was tainted and here’s why:

  1. Manny is one player. One important player, yes, but one player nonetheless. Pitching wins championship, not hitting. Schilling was  a horse in the playoffs. You remember Dave Roberts’s steal. You remember Schilling’s bloody sock. You remember Papi’s walk off hits. You don’t point to something about Manny specifically. He played well. He hit well, but by no means did he carry the team. With him off steroids, that 2004 Red Sox team would still have won.
  2. Is it really cheating if everyone is doing it? Okay, yes it is, but let’s look at that Yankees’ roster that lost in the ALCS to the Sox in 2004. Alex Rodriguez? Steroids. Gary Sheffield? Steroids. Ruben Sierra? Steroids. Kevin Brown? HGH. Those are the known guys. I don’t doubt that many other players on that team were juicing. That’s not to say anyone else on the Red Sox wasn’ton steroids, but why does Manny taking steroids take anything away from the Red Sox’s playoff run if A-Rod and Sheffield, the Yankees’ sluggers, were both on ‘roids as well? It doesn’t take anything away. The playing field is still even and the Red Sox are still the rightful champions, without an asterisk.
  3. Manny wasn’t actually THAT good in the playoffs. He was good. He was real good in the 2004 postseason, but he was not unstoppable. Batting average? .350. On-Base-Percentage? .423. Those are pretty great. Yet, Manny had just two home runs and struck out eleven times. He had just five extra-base hits, but 16 singles. Tell me this, how much do steroids help on singles? If he wasn’t on steroids, he’s still hitting those steroids and probably those home runs (I dont’ know their distances unfortunately). Steroids didn’t make Manny hit well in that postseason, because Manny didn’t hit for power in the 2004 playoffs. Manny made Manny hit those singles, because Manny was born to hit and steroids just added slightly to that. His steroid use doesn’t change a thing.

That’s all pretty straight forward. So far, no player’s steroid use has caused anyone to doubt a team’s success. Keyword: team. Teams win. Players just make up a team and Manny was one player. This shouldn’t even be a debate: The 2004 Boston Red Sox were, are, and forever will be champions.