...was 0-7 with three K's yesterday. Left 12 men on base all by himself, tying a club record. One decent at-bat from him and they probably win the game. I've had hopes here and there that he is breaking out of it, and I've said he deserves the opportunity to work it out in his own time-but yesterday was a powerful bucket of ice cold reality. This is turning into a slump of epic proportions. What to do? I searched the web for some answers...
Papi's problems may be deeper than a slump. I admire francona in a way for believing in papi. I believe in him too. But i thought terry should have sat ortiz down for a game or two starting 2 weeks ago. Now we are almost 6 weeks into the season and papi has cost the sox offense some real problems now. Today was embarrasing as ortiz goes 0-7 and 3 k's and a little tapper in the 12th. Our exclusive .200 club, namely ortiz and varitek, managed to end an inning 7 times today between them. Ortiz 5 times and tek 2 times in a 12 inning game. I think we are now past the point of a 1 or 2 game benching. I don't think ortiz confidence can get any lower. Simply put, the sox should have won today. My best guess is ortiz should get a couple days off and maybe look at more film of the good days and maybe some tests and xrays on his wrist might be in order to be sure it is healed properly.
If that doesn't work a trip to pawtucket is in order to iron out his problems. At this rate no way papi makes it to 7/31. He will be replaced in the lineup before then. Anyone for barry bonds?
Ouch. Barry Bonds? Things aren't that bad, are they?
From Sons of Sam Horn:
The problem is, as DH, his entire value is tied up in his hitting, and place in the lineup. You can't just say "oh, he's been flashing the leather and saving us games" - all he is supposed to do is hit - you can't even say "but he is still drawing lots of walks and scoring runs". If he cannot hit (or rather get on base) like he used to, then it I think would behoove Tito to move him down, while continuing to let him hit and try and work his way out of this. You can't yet pull him from the order nor should you - he may get stronger and bounce back in a month or two, but I think the 2 through 6 slots might "flow" for the time being better without him constantly making outs and breaking up a good string of productive hitters. Switching him with Drew in the 5 spot would maintain the LRLR, but might result in Youks getting more walks, so that would be a calculated gamble. Or you could slide everyone up and put him at 6/7? No easy answer, but how much longer do you wait? Another 50 ABs? Another month? How long can an AL East team have a DH with a .600 OPS in the 3 hole? You know you would be probably ridiculing other AL East teams if they had such a player long term with those numbers in the 3 hole....
I'm just not so comfortable with him trying to hit his way out of this in the 3 hole. I know you don't want to bum the dude out an make it like a demotion which won't help his attitude, but at the same time, how much extra pressure is he putting on himself BECAUSE he is hitting 3rd and is supposed to be "the man"?
Good points, all. I've been feeling the same way, that the fact that he does nothing but hit has been a major contributor to the scrutiny and frustration. No real concrete suggestions as to "what to do", but I guess the poster figures that's what we pay Tito for.
He looked awful in that last AB today when the bases were loaded. He was tentative and aggressive at the same time. He was so eager to jump on a fastball that he swung (and missed) one that was obviously a ball, then on the 3-2 count he does that feeble half swing. He's messed up, the embodiment of someone who is pressing.
I agree he needs time off. They should invent some 'injury' to keep him out of the lineup for a week, like an infected paper cut or a hang nail or something. Let him get his head together without the media being on him every day.
This is the solution I'm leaning to right now, what the Yankees did with Wang. Make up something-anything-to get him out of the lineup. Do an MRI on the wrist and say something face-saving like it shows somethign questionable (maybe it does) and he's going back to Boston to have it looked at. DL him, give him a two-week breather, send him to Pawtucket to work on the swing, whatever. Just get him out of the national media spotlight and in the meantime, get someone who can be at least somewhat productive in the lineup (someone not named Barry Bonds, that is.)
I don't believe David Ortiz as a force is done-although I don't see the '03-'07 guy ever coming back-but he's killing this team right now and he knows it. Papi, we love you, man, but we all need a break, and I think in the end we'll be a lot better off for it.