Let’s just get right into this:
David Ortiz…what more can be said about the big lefty? He is the best DH in baseball and no one comes close to him. A player like Alfonso Soriano may hit more HRs in a given season but no one leads his team or throws his teammates on his back like Big Papi. Ortiz put up solid numbers last season; .309/.395/.564/.959, with 38 doubles and 30 HRs all at the age of 37. Then you add in what he did in the playoffs; .353/.500/.706/1.206, with three doubles and five HRs in 16 games. It’s easy to see why Papi is irreplaceable and I don’t ever want to see him in another uniform.
Another offseason, another reason for Ortiz to complain about not getting the contract he DESERVES from Red Sox management. With the news that Derek Jeter is retiring after this season, my Red Sox fan brain was wondering, what would Papi have to do to be considered a better player than Jeter? Not playing the field will hurt his case, and I think that this may be better discussion for the future, but Papi is on a tier just below Jeter as of today, which is saying a lot.
Sure he is 37, but does it matter? The man continues to rake at a level that few players can match in today’s game, and those guys are 28-31. Mike Napoli will fill-in for Papi on off days and even then you can feel the drop off. Again, due to his age and size, Papi will miss some games. There is no shame in 30 HRs and 100 RBI in 125 games. Give Ortiz three years and let him finish here at age 40, hopefully responsible for a fourth World Series championship.