PAPI!

Capt.d1cafa6464f94e4391cdef371fb2ba18.white_sox_red_sox_baseball_maea123

It's been a long time.

A long time since the Big Man took that sweet, vicious swing, since the ball soared deep into the night, since Fenway rocked while he lumbered around the bases, the ever-present smile wider than ever.

It's been so long that we'd forgotten what it feels like — forgotten, perhaps, that no one has ever done this as many times in a Red Sox uniform. Twelve times, including the postseason, Ortiz has ended a game with a home run, all but one of those in Boston. An astounding 18 times, he's ended a game with any kind of hit — 15 of those in Boston.

It's been a rough season for Ortiz. The horrible protracted slump to start the season. The revelation that his name is among those on the (now ruled) improperly-seized list of players to have possibly tested positive for performance-enhancing substances.

But since June 1, when Ortiz bottomed out at .186/.282/.284, he's been among the best hitters in baseball — posting a .910 OPS with 21 home runs and a .556 slugging percentage. Over 162 games, that would translate to 48 homers and 135 RBI.

It's good to have him back. Baseball's just more fun when David Ortiz is hitting home runs.

16 comments… add one

  • Hard to believe it’s been almost two years since he did the walk-off trot!

    dw (sf) August 27, 2009, 9:30 am
  • “Baseball’s just more fun when David Ortiz is hitting home runs.”
    Maybe for you…I liked it much better when he was slumping.

    John - YF August 27, 2009, 9:42 am
  • “…Baseball’s just more fun when David Ortiz is hitting home runs….”
    depends on your point of view i guess…i wouldn’t use the word “fun”…”interesting” maybe, but certainly not fun…
    “…The revelation that his name is among those on the (now ruled) improperly-seized list of players to have possibly tested positive for performance-enhancing substances….”
    careful choice of wording there…i like that…i’m certainly not going to advocate breaking the law to catch lawbreakers…
    the only good thing to come out of this mess is that is does put all fans on notice that their particular heroes are not immune to the scandal, despite the shortcomings of the mitchell report…i specifically remember sf cautioning everyone that the news could get more unpleasant for fans of many teams as time went by…the thing is that the love of the game, and the willingness to play the hand we’re dealt player-wise, is what makes us good fans…nice post paul

    dc August 27, 2009, 9:51 am
  • And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Stats are only useful here when they support pre-determined biases. But I suppose monthly splits are too complex for some people.
    April: .623 OPS
    May: .520 OPS
    June: 1.062 OPS
    July: .845 OPS
    August: .841 OPS
    Yeah, one good month means “he’s back” here even when his season looks like Melky Cabrera’s. One good month twisted to fit preconceived biases. Why bother?

    Rob August 27, 2009, 9:52 am
  • The ONE pitch I saw last night was this one. A thrill.

    SF August 27, 2009, 9:57 am
  • Yes, it’s always much more instructive to break long samples into smaller ones. I’m always careful to avoid the LSS designation.
    I can play this game, too:
    April 1 – May 30: .570
    June 1 – Aug. 1: .937
    Aug. 2 – Aug. 13: .307
    Aug. 14 – present: 1.367

    Paul SF August 27, 2009, 9:58 am
  • so sample sizes don’t matter? I was under the understanding that while parsing data can be fun for all involved (I’m right, see he went 0fer last night, no I’m right, he went 2fer4 with a dinger!) you need to look at a larger body of work.
    The statement “since June 1, when Ortiz bottomed out at .186/.282/.284, he’s been among the best hitters in baseball” is looking at a larger body of work, and is a true statement.
    Hey, Melky’s having a pretty good year as well.

    dw (sf) August 27, 2009, 10:00 am
  • Gee, I wonder what could explain those wild swings?
    Hmmmmm…
    2009
    Home: .239 .321 .518 = .840
    Road: .215 .316 .378 = .694
    Where’d they play last night?
    Superficial analyses yield superficial conclusions.
    We could do this all day. I’ve learned my lesson. I’d sooner bang my head into a brick wall…repeatedly.

    Rob August 27, 2009, 10:16 am
  • I’d sooner bang my head into a brick wall…repeatedly.
    Please, for everyone’s sake, go do this.

    SF August 27, 2009, 10:29 am
  • How soon? I’ll provide the wall.

    Paul SF August 27, 2009, 10:33 am
  • Superficial analyses yield superficial conclusions.
    You mean, superficial analysis that assumes causation when only correlation is evident?

    Paul SF August 27, 2009, 10:34 am
  • Actually, I would warn against banging the head against the wall. It might damage the chances at a sock puppetry career.

    SF August 27, 2009, 10:35 am
  • Didn’t Rob say yesterday that he was gone for good? I guess we can postpone the going-away party.

    Atheose August 27, 2009, 10:52 am
  • The surgeon general is investigating whether a warning needs to be placed on YFSF. Apparently we’re addictive.

    Paul SF August 27, 2009, 10:55 am
  • damn, why bother?…

    dc August 27, 2009, 8:04 pm
  • Rob’s and paul’s respective breakdowns are certainly equally valid to analyze and they do interestingly show different ways of looking at Ortiz’s performance.
    From one point of view, he has been great since June 1. From another, that period is heavily skewed by having incorporated in it a shorter one-month span of great hitting followed be a good stretch of mediocrity (esp by the standards he set in his post-Twins years).
    Since every player has had his ups and downs over the almost 3 months covered by the original post, it would seem the only thing I would say about Ortiz since June 1 is that he has been overall very good during that period but with little consistency and some wild fluctuations between incredibly hot and incredibly cold. And when you add the pre-June 1 data, it’s of course not a good year for him at all.
    I can also say – unequivocally – that I have much more “fun” watching the Sox play when Ortiz is slumping horrendously.

    IronHorse August 27, 2009, 9:24 pm

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