David Ortiz Is Every Bit as Bad Now as He Used to be Good

It’s so weird to see such a prominent slugger like David Ortiz go from having it to not having it so quickly. It’s one thing for a guy to be a flash in the pan — an All-Star one year and nothing the next. It’s even understandable to see someone have a few peak years and then just drop off after that — it happens. But for a guy who was easily the best clutch hitter in the game for a good five year stretch to just all-of-a-sudden lose it as much as he has is terrifyingly maddening. Big Papi was baller-status, three straight 40+ home run seasons, five straight 100+ RBI seasons, and three years in a row with an OPS over 1.000. Guys who can dominate the game as well as he did, being one of the top-five hitters in the game, don’t just come to a point where they can’t hit anymore the way he has.

I often laughed at critics who asked what was wrong with players if they slumped for three or four weeks to start the season — it’s baseball, a game of averages — things will even out, I always thought. But for David Ortiz, it’s hard to think that he’ll be able to turn it around and go back to being Big Papi. Those days are long gone. The guy’s 33 and looking at his second sub-par year in a row. A month and a half of at-bats is a good sample size. No home runs, especially for a lefty at Fenway Park, is just embarrassing for a guy who once hit 54. Going 0-for-7 against the Angels in a 12-inning game with 12 men left on is easily the low point for him. The Red Sox really have no choice but for him to take the weekend off and hopefully get his head straight. Dodger fans went through this maddening process last year with Andruw Jones, but Andruw wasn’t on top of the baseball world as a hitter to the extent Ortiz was.

Whatever it is that David Ortiz doesn’t have any more has certainly sapped his confidence. He’s no longer the same guy and now that’s killing him mentally. Maybe he can be a decent or good player, but the days of him being Big Papi are over. How did this happen so quickly?

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  • Gene

    Maybe he was using steroids and stopped. That is my first thought these days whenever there is a major performance decrease by a player.

    Thanks Donald Fehr and Gene Orza for enabling so many players to put up inflated statistics in a game where statistics are more closely followed than in any other.

  • SpinMax

    Cecil Fielder, Mo Vaughn, Andruw Jones….when they break down they really break down.

  • JS

    I wonder if it’s the same with Derrek Lee, who is giving the Cubs bupkis while Micah Hoffbauer is hitting big time.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    JS, it’s fair to figure that could be the case with anyone, even Lee. I always wonder about that one season he flirted with the triple crown. Where did that come from?

  • Jeff J

    I’ve heard that he has a wrist and an ankle injury at the same time, which is causing his entire swing to be thrown off. Who knows if its true, but if you can’t place your feet how you are used to, and you can’t get the bat around the same due to those injuries, combine that with the mental issue of not being able to hit, and I can see how it will take a while to get your new swing adjusted. I do agree with gene however that the first thing that pops in my head when a player goes down that quickly is that maybe it’s steroid related. Maybe Ortiz just has to say to F*&$ You to Jobu!!