|David Ortiz: ‘They call me Super Papi’||09.19.14 at 11:54 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — Decades from now, assuming that baseball does not hurtle towards a clockless extinction, David Ortiz will remain a reference point in Red Sox history, a necessary landmark and point of comparison for any slugger in the team’s uniform.
Ortiz slammed a pair of homers — the 33rd and 34th of his season — while driving in three runs, not only propelling his team to a 5-3 victory over the Orioles in 10 innings but also eclipsing 100 RBIs, in the process, crossing the 30-100 threshold for the eighth time in his Red Sox career. He now stands alone in team history for the most such seasons in Sox history, leaving behind Ted Williams, who had seven in his illustrious career.
The volume of seasons Ortiz has produced while reaching recognizable slugging plateaus is impressive enough in its own right. The fact that he is still producing at this level as a 38-year-old qualifies as astonishing and historic. Ortiz became the sixth player in big league history at the age of 38 (or older) to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs, joining Babe Ruth, Fred McGriff, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas.
“They call me Super Papi,” Ortiz grinned. “That’s right. Put it down like that.”
|Buster Olney on MFB: ‘A little scary’ that Red Sox are so reliant on David Ortiz||09.17.14 at 12:59 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox‘ prospects for next season and other baseball news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
David Ortiz recently talked to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford about how he feels he proved his worth this season after being disrespected last offseason. Olney said he understands Ortiz’s feelings, but he also appreciates that the Red Sox can’t go overboard to keep the aging slugger happy, despite his solid production.
“He was tremendous. He certainly I think added to numbers that are already Hall of Fame-worthy,” Olney said. “But in some respects it’s got to be a little scary for the Red Sox, because I kept on hearing from people with other teams, they’re like, ‘You know, David Ortiz is great, but when you’re in a position where the Red Sox are and you have a player in his late 30s who’s your best offensive players, that’s a little scary. And you don’t want to be out on that ledge. The fact that they were so reliant on him this year, where it felt like if Ortiz didn’t hit they really didn’t have much around him, it probably is an impetus for the Red Sox to go out and make some improvements. He was great, there’s no question about it.
“And I know that part of [his attitude] is related to David’s feeling about the contract and was it handled right. The bottom line is, is that where we are in 2014 is that designated hitters, like closers, do not get huge dollars. That’s part of the reason why — and age has a lot to do with it — why the Red Sox are never going to go way out on a long-term contract on a player in that position.”
Asked what was the key to the Sox’ struggles this season, Olney said: “Offense. Taking a big step back. AJ. Pierzynski was supposed to be more than what he was, it just didn’t work out. They clearly didn’t get as much out of [Xander] Bogaerts than they thought they would. Jackie Bradley Jr. wasn’t close to being what they thought he would. And I know Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t had a huge season with the Yankees, but he’s a much better offensive players than Jackie Bradley Jr. was, and they never made up for what Jackie couldn’t do. And that’s been a problem all year for the Red Sox.”
Olney said it’s not unreasonable to think the Red Sox could return to the top next season, pulling off another worst-to-first, especially when looking at issues the rest of the American League East teams have.
“I do think if [Rusney] Castillo makes an impact for the Red Sox next year, if you see Bogaerts bounce back, if Mookie Betts is a great player for them all season and if they get one rotation anchor, then yeah, you could absolutely see the Red Sox bounce back,” Olney said.
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|No fracture, but David Ortiz day-to-day after suffering foot contusion||08.24.14 at 5:08 pm ET|
Ortiz exited after favoring the foot while rounding first base on a single to deep right field. Upon returning to the base, the DH walked off the field with manager John Farrell.
The initial injury seemingly occurred in the fourth inning with one out when Ortiz fouled a ball off the inside of his foot, sending the DH to the ground while bringing on the Red Sox training staff. An initial fluoroscan on the foot after Ortiz was removed from the game did not show a fracture.
“He’s day-to-day. The foul ball off the foot obviously after he hits a ball off the wall in right and can only get to first base. It’s a contusion. The fluoroscan at this point proved negative. No fractures of any kind based on that test,” said Farrell. “We’ll check him once we get to the ballpark tomorrow and obviously throughout the night tonight.
Ortiz reached two more times (single, walk) in his four plate appearances, making it 20 times he has safely gotten on base in his last 26 plate appearances. While Kelly Johnson — who entered as a pinch-runner — hit a double in his first plate appearance, the fact that Johnson rather than Ortiz was at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, ultimately striking out to conclude the Sox’ 8-6 loss, represented a source of some frustration for the Sox.
“Anytime you lose David Ortiz out of your lineup, it’s a hole. That’s not to take anything away from Kelly Johnson who doubled in his first at-bat. We’d like to have David up at the plate more often than the four or five times a night to begin with,” said Farrell. “It’s someone that we miss, who’s been a main cog in our offense daily and year-to-date. Hopefully this is just a short-lived loss in the lineup for him.”
|Warnings issued after David Ortiz, Robinson Cano hit by pitches||08.23.14 at 4:19 pm ET|
Half an inning after Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was smoked on the inside of his left forearm by Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush, Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson drilled Mariners star Robinson Cano on the backside with a 93 mph first pitch. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez immediately issued warnings to both dugouts.
Ortiz stayed in the game after receiving a brief visit from a Red Sox team trainer while doubled over in pain behind the plate. Cano, likewise, stayed in the game, though he perambulated to first at a languorous pace.
|Video: Red Sox executives take ice bucket challenge||08.22.14 at 7:41 am ET|
COO Sam Kennedy, speaking on behalf of the group, nominated the Pawtucket Red Sox, Liverpool FC and The Boston Globe to take the challenge.
David Ortiz was on hand to help douse the executives and other personnel with buckets of ice water.
|Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz finds little satisfaction in milestones; Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli day-to-day||08.21.14 at 6:59 pm ET|
Ortiz was 4-for-4 with three singles and hit his 30th home run of the season, was set for his fifth at-bat in the Sox’ 8-3 loss to the Angels Wednesday night.
Instead, up came Alex Hassan.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game Ortiz was dealing with some “general soreness” after spending most of his night on the base paths. On Thursday, Farrell said the decision to pinch-hit for Ortiz was meant to “get him off his feet.”
According to Farrell, Ortiz is out of the lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Angels on a planned off day with the Sox in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. He said Ortiz’s removal from Wednesday’s game and his status Thursday is unrelated.
“We’ve got a scheduled off day next Thursday prior to opening up a series in Tampa, so rather than running him a stretch of 17 consecutive, that’s where today comes in,” Farrell said. “But there are some periodic off days throughout September that we’ll have a chance to catch up on.”
Ortiz is 14-for-26 (.538) with five multi-hit games through the first seven games of the Sox’ 11-game homestand. Thursday’s homer marked his eighth 30-home run season, tying him with Ted Williams for the most in Red Sox history. Read the rest of this entry »
|David Ortiz reflects on milestone night, career with Red Sox||08.17.14 at 10:10 am ET|
David Ortiz, however, is a rare exception. And he verified that with another landmark night on Saturday.
The slugger launched home runs No. 400 and 401 in a Red Sox uniform in a six RBI showcase against the Astros, becoming just the third player in club history to reach that mark.
The other two players to reach that milestone? Williams (521 home runs) and Yastrzemski (452).
“It’s an honor to be up there mentioned with those legends,” Ortiz said after his 3-for-5 night that led the Sox to a 10-7 win. “You’re not expecting to be mentioned with those guys.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said what’s most impressive about Ortiz’s accomplishment is the pace in which he did it. Ortiz is in the midst of his 12th season with the Sox and reached the 400 home run mark in the third inning of career game No. 1,630.
Williams reached that plateau in the middle of his 15th season. Yastrzemski in his 19th.
“When you consider how many fewer games he’s done it in is really remarkable,” Farrell said. “He’s in rare company with the two other guys he’s now linked to. To see it in roughly 60 percent of the games with one and almost half the games of the other. It’s amazing what he’s been able to do here.” Read the rest of this entry »
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