Kevin Millar on M&M: David Ortiz is Hall of Famer, best DH of all time
|07.12.13 at 2:48 pm ET|
Kevin Millar checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon, and the MLB Network host was unequivocal when talking about the merits of David Ortiz, who earlier this week broke the all-time designated hitter hits record.
Ortiz has been on a tear for much of the season since returning in mid-April from an Achilles injury. He leads the team in home runs (19), RBIs (65) and OPS (1.041) while posting a slash line of .327/.412/.629.
And, according to Millar, Ortiz is far from done.
“I think he’s the best DH of all time, and I’m not just saying that because he’s a closer friend, either,” Millar said. “I’m telling you that because of who this man is. This man has dominated this position. I get so sick of, ‘Oh, he’s a DH. He doesn’t field, he doesn’t throw.’ That’s not his job. He’s a designated hitter. … He’s the best ever in history at that job.
“If they’re going to, at times, down the road, talk Hall of Fame — and his numbers aren’t even done — David Ortiz should be a Hall of Famer. He’s 37 years old. … He’s smarter, his body doesn’t have a whole lot of stuff going on there. He hasn’t ran in right field for 10 or 15 years, he hasn’t played shortstop for 10 or 15 years, so there’s not a whole lot of wear and tear.
“The man is in better shape than when I played with the guy. You go grab Big Papi’s arm, and this man is built like a brick. You look at this man that’s the best at his position in the history of the game.”
As for the rest of the Red Sox, Millar continues to like what he sees. He said this is the time of year when teams truly start to gel and find their identity as a unit, and he can see that developing for the Sox.
He pointed to Jose Igleisas — who Millar insisted has put on some muscle — Daniel Nava and the rejuvenated John Lackey as players who make this team fun to watch.
“You’re starting to see a whole different makeup,” Millar said. “We talked about makeup, we talked about the guys, but now you’re starting to see the guys buy into this ballplayer look, shirts undone, big beards, shaved heads. But they’re buying into this chemistry that they have.
“All this stuff is starting to come together, and you’re starting to see that the Red Sox are a pretty darn good team.”
But just like any other team, the Red Sox are not perfect. The team has one area in particular where it could use some bolstering, and it’s one a lot of other organizations are familiar with.
“Every team needs bullpen help. If I brought up the Detroit Tigers right now, you’d say, yup, they need bullpen help. I bring up the Red Sox, yup, they need bullpen help,” Millar said. “That’s no secret. Every team is out there trying to get a little stronger in that seventh, eighth and ninth inning. We understand it, but you have to go get creative now. Go get creative, go get a guy like [Brewers reliever and displaced closer] John Axford, who has velocity, who [might benefit from] a change of scenery and get off a team that’s been losing.”
On Nava, who had the game-winning hit Thursday: “You can’t say enough for guys like Daniel Nava. Every team needs a Daniel Nava, a guy who came out of nowhere playing independent league baseball, and gives you an at-bat day in and day out and does not swing at bad balls. You see him taking what the game gives him.”
On Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig: “There’s a fine line of class, confidence, swagger and then the next side of it is the arrogance. … The arrogance now came up in my opinion, and to me that’s handled behind the scenes. I’d put my arm around him, grab his traps and say, ‘Listen, slow your role. You don’t have enough dirt in your spikes to act like Barry Bonds.’ … You want to play this game with class. And you want to play this game hard, but let’s not cross the line like you’ve got 15 years in.”
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