To quote CBS Boston’s Dan Roche:
There were some out there who didn’t think Big Papi would return (because his Achilles was so bad) or even should return (because of how well the Sox were doing without him).
They were wrong on both cases.
David Ortiz is simply amazing.
It is extraordinary that at 37-years old, Big Papi is putting up career numbers at the plate.
Remember that Ortiz’s only success has been as a designated hitter, as the extent of his defense since 2005 is playing first base 46 times.
Here are his numbers from this season:
(Stats courtesy of MLB.com)
68 11 24 45 9 0 4 17 4 1 10 0 0.353 0.384 0.662
Actually, Ortiz’s hitting resurged starting back 2011.
Looking back even further, Ortiz’s 17-year baseball career has been chock full of ups and downs.
Between 1997-2002, Ortiz was an irrelevant player with the Indians. In his best season he posted a .272 batting average, with 20 home runs and 75 RBIs.
It wasn’t until he arrived in Boston back in 2003 that Big Papi became a household name.
From 2003 -2007, Ortiz was an MVP candidate five times and won four Silver Slugger Awards.
Fast-forward to 2011, and at 35, Big Papi won his fifth Silver Slugger after slowly declining for four seasons.
The main reason is Ortiz has somehow cut his strikeouts almost in half, which obviously made his batting average jump.
2009 541 134 0.238
2010 518 145 0.270
2011 525 83 0.309
Maybe Big Papi got some better contact lenses, or found a fountain of youth?
Regardless, the Hall Of Fame buzz for Ortiz is swirling.
And why shouldn’t it, right?
I mean Ortiz looks to surpass Edgar Martinez as the best designated hitter ever.
And since Martinez is in the HOF, Ortiz is a shoe-inn, right?
Sure, as long as Alex Rodriguez gets consideration too.
At least A-Rod has been an all around super star, every single season of his career.
Oh but wait, as I almost forgot according to Joe Giglio of the Bleacher Report, Ortiz is the exception not the rule.
As unlike Big Papi, A-Rod told the truth.
See back in 2009, the infamous Mitchell Report leaked the names of David Ortiz, along with Alex Rodriguez and others that had tested positive for PEDs during the 2003 season.
Neither one has failed a PED test since, but because Big Papi denied ever using PEDs just over the counter supplements, so he is still HOF worthy.
If only A-Rod didn’t forgot to be dishonest he would have been a first ballot guy.
So I guess Barry Bonds will be joining Ortiz in Cooperstown too.