FanDuel - WFBC

August 01, 2006

Biggest deal in town -- Ortiz again saves day for Sox: I'm saying it now: David Ortiz is the best hitter, and clutch hitter, I've ever seen. I also understand why the Sox didn't need to make any deadline trades when this guy's in the lineup.

posted by dyams to baseball at 07:07 AM - 75 comments

Red Sox posting by a Yankee fan. I think that's a sign of respect. Or the Apocalypse. Ortiz has 8 career walk-off homers. I think Pujols already has seven. Ortiz is the bigger attraction by virtue of where he plays and his flair for the dramatics - but, yet again, the best hitter on that Red Sox team is Manny. Another 1.000+ OPS, huge OBP and his Hall of Fame credentials just keep getting bigger. Amazingly, there is no doubt in my mind that Ortiz will receive more MVP votes.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:09 AM on August 01

He's unbelievable.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:13 AM on August 01

"David Ortiz has hit 21 home runs in 138 at-bats in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since Aug. 1, 2004. Over that two-year period, no other player has hit more than 13 homers in LIPS. Ryan Howard ranks second with 13; Andruw Jones, Albert Pujols, and Aramis Ramirez share third place with 12."

posted by yerfatma at 08:22 AM on August 01

"He's unbelievable". I agree, but I'd have to throw in uncanny as well.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:58 AM on August 01

Red Sox posting by a Yankee fan. I think that's a sign of respect. Or the Apocalypse. It's both. After his post-season a few years back, and seeing how he continues to see the Red Sox through every rough spot they encounter, although it kills me to kiss butt to a guy in that uniform, it's definitely called for. Watching that game, as soon as two batters reached base in the ninth I knew the game was over. Ortiz rocketing one out of the park was almost a scheduled event. The Yankees, head to head with Boston, can deal (often) with Schilling, Beckett, and sometimes Manny, but Ortiz will continue to be the difference-maker. Last year I could make a case for A-Rod in the MVP race, and I still hate the DH rule, but seeing a guy this clutch is incredible. Plus he seems like a great guy. There, that's all my pro-Red Sox babble in one long paragraph. Don't expect it again (ha-ha).

posted by dyams at 09:06 AM on August 01

Amazingly, there is no doubt in my mind that Ortiz will receive more MVP votes. My guess is that if the Twins make the playoffs, Mauer will get the MVP over either of the Red Sox players. (And I know, Weedy, that you weren't suggesting that the MVP would ultimately go to one of the Red Sox players.) I'm not sure that he'd deserve it, but if things hold to form, he would finish with the best batting average in MLB, a top ten OPS in the AL and above average defense from a premium defensive position. Being from the same team, Ortiz and Manny will split some votes and I just don't see anyone else from the division leaders or wildcard contenders who is having a year that would capture the imagination of the sports writers who vote on these things.

posted by holden at 09:57 AM on August 01

Really? I think Jeter gets a shitload of consideration this year. That Yankees team has been busted up to hell, underachieving in parts, and still is contending. I know that will rankle many, but he's going to get a lot of consideration. I'm not sure Mauer can make up for the defficiencies in his other numbers with his batting average and OPS. Although impressive, he just doesn't score enough runs or knock enough in to get to the top of the list. Right now, my money is on: Jeter, Ortiz, and Thome. Darkhorses include Papelbon, Morneau (hurt by being a 1st Base guy - but he's got some numbers) and Vernon Wells. Actually, you're right - Mauer is right in there - probably in the top six. If I had a guess right now - I'd say given how last year he finished second, it's Ortiz's year. Anymore highlights like last night and it might be a done deal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:29 AM on August 01

I think Jeter gets a shitload of consideration this year. or at least his own signature fragrance.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:33 AM on August 01

How are the Yankees considered to be broken up by injuries? When you have an all-star team bult up like this team is, can it ever be considered a decimated bunch? Let's face it, even with a few guys down with injury, they still have plenty to work with. A few injuries even if key injuries should not stop this team with what they still have on that field everyday. Boston has less overall talent especially on the mound {2 great starters} and is in first. Heart accounts for quite a bit. What excuse would be used if they were completely healthy and still weren't in first? Months ago, it was Sheffield is bad for the team because he's only there for the money. Isn't that the reason why most people play pro sports anyway? Very few do it for love of the game anymore and Sheffield said and acted just the way most do but never say out loud. As far as Ortiz goes, I am amazed at how he seems to do just what is needed at the right time. None of hits seem wasted and many of his outs are very productive. His skills at first aren't bad either {especially for a big man}. I have to go with Ortiz or Mauer for MVP right now anyway. As far as the Yankees go, if they are using the injury excuse as to why they aren't in first, then they don't deserve to win. Derek Lee has been injured most of the season, the Cubs pitching staff has been less than allstar quality. And everyone blames Dusty Baker for it. I have yet to hear any Cub say they'd be in a far better place if they were a healthier team {although our idiot sports writers have} though Dusty did say it hurts a bit. If the Yankees can use that as an excuse then maybe if Bartman hadn't touched that ball 3 seasons ago, maybe, just maybe the Cubs would have won it all...NOT!

posted by melcarek69 at 11:02 AM on August 01

Yes, Ortiz is a great clutch hitter. I hope when history talks about David Ortiz, it doesn't forget to also mention the fact that he was well protected in the line-up by another great player: Manny Ramirez. I believe Ortiz would not have had the chances to get all of those clutch hits if it wasn't for Manny backing him up. I'm just glad these two are together, and I hope it stays that way for a few more years.

posted by zippinglou at 11:05 AM on August 01

Melcarek, what's with the ALL ITALICS? Annoying.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:20 AM on August 01

Really? I think Jeter gets a shitload of consideration this year. Maybe I have blinders on because of the hard-on that baseball writers/talking heads seem to have for Mauer. I think also that the writers love their counting stats (primarily HR and RBI -- see Andruw Jones' second-place NL finish last year), but this year each of the counting stats guys have something against them in terms of the way the voters vote -- Ortiz and Manny may split votes, Thome is a DH, Wells plays on a likely third place team, etc. When looking at Jeter v. Mauer, that's a tough one. I personally think Mauer is ultimately more valuable based on position (premium defensive position plus managing a very effective pitching staff) and when you consider some of the awful hitters the Twins have had in their line-up this year. Jeter has way more protection, even with the Yankees banged up line-up. (As an additional data point, it's worth noting that Jeter is second in VORP behind Hafner in the AL, with Mauer fourth behind Wells.) But my guess is that Mauer ultimately becomes the type of guy that gets probably greater consideration for these awards than is warranted because of his Jeter-like qualities (good guy/good interview, natural leader, plays the game "the right way," etc.). That phenomenon is also why David Wright may get more votes for NL MVP than his more deserving teammate Carlos Beltran.

posted by holden at 11:22 AM on August 01

melcarek69 As far as the Yankees go, if they are using the injury excuse as to why they aren't in first, they don't deserve to win. I don't follow the NY papers, but I haven't heard any whining coming from The Yankees, or their fans. They are to be commended for hangin' in the race, but, with their payroll, you would think that they would be fairly deep, too. All I hear from the Cubs camp is "Derek Lee has been injured" Prior, Wood , blah blah blah. "Heart accounts for quite a bit." Your words, not mine.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:25 AM on August 01

HOW ABOUT ALL CAPS AND ITALICS AND BOLD AND UNDERLINE AND VERTICAL MARQUEE WITH FANCY COLORS AND HUGE LETTERS!? I MEAN, I KNOW A LITTLE HTML CODE AND BOLD AND ITALIC ARE ALREADY PROVIDED! I SHOULD USE THEM TO SUIT MY WHIMSY.
WHO CARES IF IT MAKES IT HARD TO READ!
SERENITY NOW!

posted by jerseygirl at 11:51 AM on August 01

And so we saw it again. The Ortiz tour-de-bases while the visitors walked off the diamond with their heads down. The patented helmet flip as Ortiz approached the gang of teammates surrounding home plate. ``Dirty Water." Then ``Tessie." Then the interview with Tina Cervasio on the big board. Then 36,387 pouring into the streets singing songs and slapping one another on the back. Ortiz does the unthinkable and forces a good article out of Shaughnessy. The italics are my way of expressing my artisitic side No. False. Italics have a set connotation in English text, and are typically used to indicate the material is not original to the author. Bold would be for emphasis. Putting everything in bold is the equivalent of putting nothing in bold. If it makes you feel better, I have no problem with you putting your entire comment in italic because my eye skims past blocks of italics to find the context and then backs up. No context = no reading. If you can't be bothered to hew to the accepted conventions of a place, don't expect a lot of positive feedback.

posted by yerfatma at 12:03 PM on August 01

Ortiz is just sick. Sick I say. I'm hoping to get him to play for my summer league team next year. If the MVP was held now I think it's between Mauer and Jeter because Manny and Ortiz will split the votes. And while cathcer is certainly a premium position, shortstop is as well. There's still alot of baseball to be played, I expect one of them will be a bit more clear-cut by voting time. Gonna be some great races this year!

posted by vito90 at 12:16 PM on August 01

Gonna be some great races this year! That I agree with, definitely - from division/wildcard races all the way down to individual awards.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:19 PM on August 01

HOW ABOUT ALL CAPS AND ITALICS AND BOLD AND UNDERLINE AND VERTICAL MARQUEE WITH FANCY COLORS AND HUGE LETTERS!? I MEAN, I KNOW A LITTLE HTML CODE AND BOLD AND ITALIC ARE ALREADY PROVIDED! I SHOULD USE THEM TO SUIT MY WHIMSY. WHO CARES IF IT MAKES IT HARD TO READ! SERENITY NOW! Actually jg if you could make the text just like the opening of the Star Wars it would look even cooler (and possibly easier to read). As for David Ortiz, I think that he is slightly overrated for clutchness. A better word to describe him would be extremly consistant. During the game, one of the announcers said that Ortiz had 31 RBI in the 7th inning or later. Now if he had 50 total RBI that would be a big deal, but since he has 100 some it really isn't. Ortiz isn't clutch, he is consistant. Whenever he goes up to bat he is dangerous. It doesn't matter what inning, give him a pitch to hit and he'll kill it. He is a dangerous hitter plain and simple, but no more deadly and clutch in late innings than in the first half of the game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:30 PM on August 01

Can we vote someone off the island. The all italics is just annoying. By the way, Ortiz is a monster!

posted by tommytrump at 12:48 PM on August 01

I think that he is slightly overrated for clutchness. A better word to describe him would be extremly consistant. During the game, one of the announcers said that Ortiz had 31 RBI in the 7th inning or later. Now if he had 50 total RBI that would be a big deal, but since he has 100 some it really isn't. Ortiz isn't clutch, he is consistant. "[I]f he had 50 total RBI" why is this your gold standard? Who is it that has 50? Who is it that's ahead of Ortiz in the stats you choose to define "clutch"? I still am not sure I believe in clutch hitting. Having said that, I guess you didn't hear about the 2004 playoffs.

posted by yerfatma at 12:58 PM on August 01

But my guess is that Mauer ultimately becomes the type of guy that gets probably greater consideration for these awards than is warranted because of his Jeter-like qualities (good guy/good interview, natural leader, plays the game "the right way," etc.). That phenomenon is also why David Wright may get more votes for NL MVP than his more deserving teammate Carlos Beltran. Very apt comparison - and very much in the favour of Mauer. Additionally, you can give him some credit for that incredible pitching staff that the Twinkies are currently featuring, being a catcher and all. Yes, all points for Mauer. Wells has an outside shot if the Blue Jays manage to finish in second or better. He is very clearly, like Hafner, the best offensive player on his team (and the best on the best OPS team in the bigs)- but he plays an important defensive position at a Gold Glove standard. That's his advantage. Agreed though that his reward will be a nice spot on the ballot. I just think that the MVP award has become so much more than just cracking the numbers - it's the situations, the coverage and the hyperbole that influence it more than ever. Basically, I think the undercurrent is that Ortiz is the best DH anyone has ever seen, is one of the good guys in the league and provides the kind of highlights that make baseball interesting. Added to that his second place finish of a year ago - and I think he's the front runner - Manny or not. By the same token, but on the other hand, Jeter is a guy who some feel deserves an MVP on his resume given that he plays the game "the way it should be played", has had a long illustrious career and is having another "do what the team needs" kind of year. Despite all the money spent on that team - it is quite admirable that they've performed so well in the face of injury and poor performances by some key guys. When it comes to it - I think the voters conclude by saying that Mauer is young and has had high expectations since his draft year. He is coming into his own and they'll have an opportunity to vote for him at a later time. Jeter and Ortiz are right at their peak. This is their time and they should be justily rewarded. Plus, there is the spectre of steriods and greed that clouds all of baseball right now. There is added rpessure to pick someone who is the antithesis of that: Ortiz (obviously a big chicken wing fan), Jeter and Mauer all fit the part. In the end, I see it as a two horse race - Jeter and Ortiz, and it's too close to call with a lot of baseball left to play.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:21 PM on August 01

yerfatma: Thank you for the English lesson, much appreciated {better change my IM/email scenerios before the language police get me. And JG, instead of worrying about somebody else's way of expression, let's all just stick to the subject at hand. In this case, a very good arguement as to who will be MVP by season's end and eventually make even more money than can be imagined from it. My thoughts are that whether it be Boston or New York making and/or winning in post season play will determine who gets the award. I will play by that unwritten rule as to how I am supposed to type as to no longer offend those who have nothing better to do than criticize how somebody else does things. I thought this was about opinions and thoughts. It's pretty sad when the things that are said are shadowed by the why they are typed.

posted by melcarek69 at 01:33 PM on August 01

"[I]f he had 50 total RBI" why is this your gold standard? Who is it that has 50? Who is it that's ahead of Ortiz in the stats you choose to define "clutch"? I still am not sure I believe in clutch hitting. Having said that, I guess you didn't hear about the 2004 playoffs. yerfatma -- YYM can defend himself, but I read this as stating that if Papi had 30 RBIs from the 7th inning onward out of a total of 50 RBIs (60%), it would be more impressive than his current 30/100 (30% -- which is what you would expect consider that the 7th inning onward presumably makes up 1/3 of Papi's at bats). Basically, Papi's just a great hitter all the time.

posted by holden at 01:35 PM on August 01

And JG, instead of worrying about somebody else's way of expression, let's all just stick to the subject at hand. I will play by that unwritten rule as to how I am supposed to type as to no longer offend those who have nothing better to do than criticize how somebody else does things. I thought this was about opinions and thoughts. It's pretty sad when the things that are said are shadowed by the why they are typed.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:46 PM on August 01

I will play by that unwritten rule as to how I am supposed to type as to no longer offend those who have nothing better to do than criticize how somebody else does things. I thought this was about opinions and thoughts. It's pretty sad when the things that are said are shadowed by the why they are typed. You're doing it to yourself. When you use all italics, it 1) makes your stuff much more difficult to read, 2) goes against the grain of how italics are generally used on this site and 3) is really visually unappealling. But if you want to muddle your own message, I suppose that's your business.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:46 PM on August 01

I thought this was about opinions and thoughts. It's pretty sad when the things that are said are shadowed by the why they are typed. Oh, Heaven forfend! You're right, a bunch of people are having a conversation, you come up screaming and waving your arms and we should all just start tolerating that. Defining deviancy up!

posted by yerfatma at 02:00 PM on August 01

What kind of computer monitors do you people have? I can read everything just fine including the things typed in that crappy green color. JG just typed in italics {nothing better to do} and I can read it just fine. wFjr just copied my very words and in green. Yet, it reads perfectly clear to me. But hey, I'm never one to rock the boat. Didn't know that there was an etiquette involved in opinions. As far as muddling goes, if I can read it, I see absolutely no problem. But how about that David Ortiz? Or did some of you forget why this why this filter exists? I deeply apologize to those who have had to read my horrible writing as well as the whining of others who are actually here for the original post.

posted by melcarek69 at 02:00 PM on August 01

By the way yfm, this started because I typed a certain way that never knew was such a problem for some {and have used italics since they have been available here and other places}. There is no complaining here at all from me. In fact, to me it's all been quite ridiculous. I am a sports fan and follower like all of you who just types certain ways that for some reason are a problem for some. I came here to make an opinion about Ortiz, not be made the post by a couple of people.

posted by melcarek69 at 02:04 PM on August 01

Anyone want to make an argument for someone other than Pujols for NL MVP? I think the biggest competition will be Beltran, who (like Vernon Wells as noted in Weedy's post above) plays a premium defensive position and is raking. But I think D. Wright will cannibailze some of Beltran's votes. Unless Pujols misses any significant amount of time with his current elbow injury or the Cardinals miss the playoffs, looks like it's his.

posted by holden at 02:09 PM on August 01

Ortiz is amazing. It's nice to see those who've held out in giving credit to ortiz finally coming around. There's still those that won't quite give him credit, but they're fewer and fewer. The thing is, one day he's going to leave the winning run on third in the ninth against the yankees, and everyone's going to point to it as proving the whole clutch thing was over blown. I already hear people saying "I remember when he struck out against XXX. He's not God, but he obviously enjoys pressure situations, has great concentration, and is a fantasitic hitter. He's had a great run of 3 years or so. From Cliff Corcoran of bronxbanter: A good stat to measure "clutchness" is Win Probability Added (a.k.a. Win Expectency Added), which measures the effect each at-bat by a given hitter has on his team's chances of winning that game. You can read more on it here: http://tinyurl.com/camrp. Using the example from that article: "Bottom of the ninth, score tied, runner on first, no one out. The home team has a 71% chance of winning according to the Win Expectancy Finder (in this situation, the home team won 1,878 of 2,631 games between 1979 and 1990) [snip] Let's say our batter hits a single to put runners on first and third with no outs. This increases the Win Probability from 71% to 87%, for a gain of 16%. So, in a WPA system you credit the batter +.16" Negative events (say a double play in the same situation) result in negative points. Win Probability Added (WPA) is the total of all of those positive and negative points over the course of the season. As for Ortiz, from Jay Jaffe's latest: "Ortiz leads the AL in Win Expectancy Added with 4.15, well ahead of closest pursuers Jeter (3.40) and Dye (3.28)." Ortiz also lead the leage by a wide margin last year, but overall WPA is not a predictive stat. That is, players numbers are generally not consistant from year to year the way OBP or SLG or K/9 or BB/9 are. It's more a side-effect of an otherwise strong or weak season. -------------------------- I don't follow the NY papers, but I haven't heard any whining coming from The Yankees, or their fans. posted by mjkredline That's kind of obvious, or read any yankee blogs, because it's everywhere. I'm as sick of hearing the whining as yankee fans are of ortiz. I could give you a list of boston injuries that match up quite well with the yankees. And as the team with the (by far) highest payroll, they should be best able to deal with it, so I respectfully disagree with mr. weedy.

posted by justgary at 02:28 PM on August 01

yerfatma: "[I]f he had 50 total RBI" why is this your gold standard? Who is it that has 50? Who is it that's ahead of Ortiz in the stats you choose to define "clutch"? I still am not sure I believe in clutch hitting. Having said that, I guess you didn't hear about the 2004 playoffs.
Because he has 31 RBI in the 7th-9th innings, plus a few for extra-inning games. Effectively, the "7th-inning on" represents 1/3 of his at-bats. If he has 1/3rd of his RBI in 1/3 of his at-bats... that's not clutch, that's consistent. And I very distinctly remember the 2004 playoffs, because I was a long-suffering Sox fan who still gets a warm glow when thinking about that incredible two weeks in October... So on this, I agree with YYM: I'm a big fan of Ortiz, but walk-off hits are a fluke. However, he is crazily consistent, which makes him more likely to get these walk-off hits than, say, A-Rod who almost seems to wilt in the clutch, to overpressure himself and underperform when it counts. Ortiz gets hits in the 1st inning, the 3rd inning, etc. Ortiz did nothing to get into a situation where he is a potential winning run, so we can't give him too much credit for "walk-off hits"; he just capitalizes by getting those hits between 1/4 to 1/3 of the time- just like in any other scenario where he comes to the plate. That all said... he's a dangerous hitter, and no pitcher wants to face him, much less knowing that Manny Ramirez is on-deck. That's a lethal combination, and Ortiz is my MVP this year. I think he'll win the MVP in the same way some actors and actresses win Oscars; they turned out their usual great performance, and the voters said "Man, how do we not give it to someone who's so consistently good?". When it seems like every day you're watching Ortiz get that walkoff hit, and his counting numbers are topping the league, it'll be hard for the voters to keep ignoring his MVP candidacy. I think the voters will say, barring some insane September performance by someone to all but single-handedly pull their team out of 3rd into the playoffs, that Ortiz deserves it this year as much for what he's done from 2004-2006 in total, as for what he's doing in 2006 specifically.

posted by hincandenza at 02:32 PM on August 01

I'm a big fan of Ortiz, but walk-off hits are a fluke. However, he is crazily consistent, which makes him more likely to get these walk-off hits than, say, A-Rod who almost seems to wilt in the clutch, to overpressure himself and underperform when it counts. Seems like you're just playing with words. He's a very good hitter who's simply more consistent than arod? To be consistent, ortiz has to hit well 7-9, and he does. But you're saying arod melts. So how is that not being clutch? Going by your reasoning, the only way a player could be clutch is if he sucked, but did great with the game on the line. Because if a normally great hitter does great with the game on the line he's just being himself. Unless you're arod. So you can be unclutch as a great hitter, like arod, or consistent, like ortiz, but not clutch? Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud, but your theory makes zero sense to me.

posted by justgary at 02:40 PM on August 01

Going by your reasoning, the only way a player could be clutch is if he sucked, but did great with the game on the line. No, you could be "clutch" by being great and then being superhuman with the game on the line. If you batted: .313/.406/.555 normally, but batted .356/.443/.628 in "RISP" or "game on the line" or "from the 7th inning on", then you could be considered "clutch". That is, if you believed in "clutch" (or "choke") instead of "random probability distribution".

posted by grum@work at 02:54 PM on August 01

I deeply apologize to those who have had to read my horrible writing as well as the whining of others who are actually here for the original post. You must be a top-shelf houseguest, melcarek. Sarcastic disdain for the customs of the establishment. Making hypocritical judgments about the residents. (Your first post was about 10% about Ortiz and 90% about the Yankees and the Cubs, now everyone is supposed to hew to the topic?) I have seen many statistical analyses that "prove" Big Papi isn't that clutch. I've also seen similar treatises that "prove" Jeter is a sucky defensive shortstop. I've enjoyed the statistical revolution in baseball, but to me, these types of analyses just rain on the parade. "I know you SAW Jeter come out of nowhere to make that game-saving play, I know you SAW Ortiz hit all those unbelievable game-winning dingers, but the truth is, this here spreadsheet says it was nothing special." I appreciate the use of stats to illuminate the mysteries of the game or to uncover underrated players and talents, but using them to tell baseball fans that what appears to be wonderful and miraculous is just ordinary - what's the point of that? Maybe Bill James is right and there's no such thing as "clutch". But if there is, and you look it up in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Big Papi getting mobbed at home plate by his teammates. The layout editor certainly would have plenty of images to choose from.

posted by Venicemenace at 03:07 PM on August 01

I could give you a list of boston injuries that match up quite well with the yankees. Okay I'll bite. But I haven't seen the Sox lose any of their corner outfielders/middle order hitters this year. Even Beckett, who could be counted on for a trip or two to the DL, has been healthy. As far I can tell you have to answer with Boomer (what kind of performance were you expecting?) and Coco Crisp. Though the ass-end of their rotation hasn't been terrfically consistent. Being able to count on the Ortiz/Manny combo is pretty nice, no? (it's miles ahead of the A-Rod/Giambi) That said, it is easy to lose a Sheffield and Matsui if you can slot in a resurgent Giambi (gee-youz-dah) and go out a grab an Abreu. But with the Big Unit looking small and Posada, Cano, and a few others having worse years than last, I feel rather fine with suggesting the Yankees are performing well in the face of an adversity not necessarily shared by the AL East leaders.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:08 PM on August 01

Oh fuck all this, I'm just very, very happy that David Ortiz is a member of the Boston Red Sox. Good night, and good luck.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:09 PM on August 01

That is, if you believed in "clutch" (or "choke") instead of "random probability distribution". I believe in clutch, but I think that it is vastly overrated. The first thing that is needed for so called clutch players like Ortiz is men on base. If the Red Sox are down three in the ninth and there is nobody on, Ortiz can't hit a walk off home run. However, since he plays for the Red Sox, he is much more likely to have players to drive in in these situations since he plays with a very good lineup. Likewise, players who play on bad teams such as the Pirates are not as likely to be viewed as clutch players since they are never able to find themselves in those situations. With a lower quality lineup less players get on base, thus creating less game-winning RBI oppurtunities. Also, if they do come up in a potential game winning situation, they could be pitched around if the next batter is not as much as a threat. Opposing teams can't do that against the Red Sox since walking Ortiz just puts another man on for Manny Ramirez, a dangerous hitter in his own right.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:14 PM on August 01

That said, it is easy to lose a Sheffield and Matsui if you can slot in a resurgent Giambi (gee-youz-dah) and go out a grab an Abreu. Exactly- when you have a payroll that is almost twice as large as your competitor's, you should be able to absorb almost twice as many injuries. By the way, you forgot about Wakefield, Clement, Foulke and Wily Mo!

posted by Venicemenace at 03:18 PM on August 01

cant anyone just agree that ortiz is just one of the games better hitters. period. end of story. he is no better than say, pujols, arod(when his head is not in his ass), manny, thome, and the list goes on and on. he just happens to be very consistent. if everyone remember, mcguire was the same way when he was with the cards. he to had a very good hitter behind him so pitchers would have to throw to him. and as any good hitter will do, they take advantage of the situation.

posted by canes09 at 03:21 PM on August 01

I for one agree that there's no such thing as someone who gets better in the "clutch" but think that you can still use the word legitimately. In close and late, high pressure situations, when the other team's top talent is [in theory] on the mound, you have to expect that an average player is going to overthink, or be overmatched, and suffer some dropoff in his production. Those who I consider clutch are exactly as described in great detail above - people who stay consistent and post the exact same stats regardless of the situation. Situation gets tougher, outcome remains the same. ARod outthinks himself. I can empathize as I have had some analogous situations in real life. Ortiz doesn't. In my mind, he's clutch. I just think the definition needs to be changed.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:34 PM on August 01

By the way, you forgot about Wakefield, Clement, Foulke and Wily Mo! Clement and Wakefield are important losses for sure (I have vastly underrated Wakefield in years past). But I think you all would rather see a little Jon Lester than either of those two - so not as much of a loss is it? Not with Schilling and Beckett up front. C'mon show me the Sox fan who decries the loss of Matt Clement! Pena is a platoon player. Sheffield and Matsui were everyday middle of the order guys. I just think people are loathe to admit that the Yankees are actually a team that has played well despite their payroll. It's an easy excuse. The Yankees have yet to play a game with Abreu, so any "absorbing" has been done by the players already there. Let's not suggest that Sheffield and Matsui were recent additions to the DL. they haven't played all year. The Yanks have had Melky in the field for three months. Credit where credit is due. They've stepped up.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:39 PM on August 01

JG just typed in italics {nothing better to do} I was quoting you, not typing for nothing better to do. We use italics to quote around here.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:18 PM on August 01

C'mon show me the Sox fan who decries the loss of Matt Clement! It doesn't matter if the player sucks or not, if the sox were depending on them, and they're injured, then they've got to replace them. Basically, you're pointing to the yankee injuries as worse because the players that went down are better players, which only points to the fact that they have the talent to overcome the injuries. So I'll certainly give them credit for having a hell of a lot of talent. By your reasoning if jeter and agon were both injured you'd say the yankees have more to overcome because Jeter is a better player. But other than ortiz and manny you can go up and down the yankee lineup and it would be the same case. So while yes, the yankees have won despite injuries, they've also won because of their payroll. To lose their corner outfielders and still have damon, jeter, arod, giambi, come on, why would you expect this team to not be in the middle of it? As for a comparison, the sox went into the season with five starters. Three have been injured most of the season. They came into the season with foulke as their closer. Foulke is injured. Coco was suppose to replace damon but was injured for the first 40 or so games of the season. Check out pena's stats next to the yankee corner out fielders and tell me it wasn't a huge loss. He was a double away from the cycle last night. He just came back. Timlin had a stint on the dl. Now trot is out and tek is having Xrays. And yet, they're still in first place (probably until tonight). They've absorbed everything. How? Youk has stepped up to be a good lead off hitter. Papelbon has stepped up to take foulke's place. Lester has stepped into the rotation. But it's only the yankees who have stepped up with injuries. Sorry, just don't get it.

posted by justgary at 04:21 PM on August 01

I should add that the sox are able to compete with injuries also because of their payroll. I just don't hear the same violins playing in the back ground.

posted by justgary at 04:26 PM on August 01

I agree with you Bernreuther....it's not about doing more in certain pressure-filled situations -- it's about not doing less in those situations.

posted by smithers at 05:35 PM on August 01

Since the end of the 2004 regular season, Ortiz has come to the plate in a walk-off situations 19 times -- and reached base 16 times. He is 11-for-14 (.786), with 7 HR and 20 RBI. In 2005 and 2006, he is 8-for-9, with 5 HR and 15 RBI! -- The Joy of Sox

posted by Boxscore at 05:57 PM on August 01

Maybe Bill James is right and there's no such thing as "clutch". After 2004 Bill James was quoted as saying he was going to re-evaluate his opinion based on Papi's performance. Maybe he investigated the "Consistency-Clutch Paradigm" as well. For the record, I don't believe in clutch; I believe in good players who continue to perform well in tough situations. I also think saying a good player is "consistent" implies he must be clutch. Whatever that is. Weedy, does Trot Nixon still count as a corner outfielder even if he hits like a middle infielder? Assuming Wily Mo hits the odd curveball, that might be addition by subtraction. Same with Clement. But not so much for Foulke, Wakefield, Varitek, Wily Mo, Coco. Also, I'm really feeling the Doug Mirabelli hangover at this point, especially with him as starting catcher for the interim.

posted by yerfatma at 05:58 PM on August 01

I don't think you can give the MVP to a DH. The award should go to someone who plays the whole game, not just grabs 4 or 5 ab's.

posted by tommytrump at 08:49 PM on August 01

David Ortiz is the best hitter and clutch hitter, I've ever seen. posted by dyams to Baseball at 7:07 AM CDT (49 comments total) There's no doubt Ortiz is a great hitter but not the greatest I've ever seen. Perhaps I go back alot longer then you but I can think of, Tony Gwynn, Andre Dawson, George Brett, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Mike Schmidt, Edgar Martinez, Wade Boggs, barry bonds, Manny Ramirez, Larry Walker, Frank Thomas. I saw Willie Mays play when I was a child. I'm sure I can think of others, the best hitter I've seen recently in person is Albert Pujols. My alltime Top 10 ever doesn't include Ortiz. 1. Babe Ruth 2. Ted Williams 3. Lou Gehrig 4. Roger Hornsby 5. barry bonds 6. Ty Cobb 7. Jimmy Foxx 8. Stan Musial 9. Tris Speaker 10. Hank Aaron Honorable Mention=Mickey Mantle David needs to improve on his career .283 BA to be placed amoung the all-time "Best Ever" IMHO.

posted by skydivedad at 10:17 PM on August 01

Oh, I forgot to mention A-Rod.

posted by skydivedad at 10:27 PM on August 01

No, you could be "clutch" by being great and then being superhuman with the game on the line. That makes it a little clearer to me. However, I still think it's all about perception. You can look at it as consistency, or you can look at it as doing as well in pressure situations as non pressure, which I would conclude as clutch. I was actually going to link the joy of sox post here, but it's already done. Is that not super human? Isn't that better than 3rd inning ortiz? They actually added more: from the 2004 playoffs, there have been 13 potential walkoff games and Ortiz has delivered the winning hit in 11 of them. In both of the other two games, he walked (one regular and one intentional). Honestly, I understand what's being said about needing manny behind him (like any great hitter needs protection), and I get that ortiz gets the chances (what yym said), but looking at these stats i also think yym and others are grasping at straws. I'm trusting those stats, but they're so out of this world it's hard to believe it. I don't think you can give the MVP to a DH. The award should go to someone who plays the whole game, not just grabs 4 or 5 ab's. posted by tommytrump I agree, as well as with pitchers, unless that dh or pitcher is the most valuable player in the league, then I disagree with you.

posted by justgary at 11:26 PM on August 01

The Captain is down and out for 4 - 6 weeks. Damn.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:38 AM on August 02

Will definitely miss the defense and the pitching assistance on Varitek. The only "good" thing about it was he wasn't producing much offensively this year. You know the game was bad when people (including me) were more interested in the bird.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:25 AM on August 02

My alltime Top 10 ever No love for the Yankee Clipper? Is it just an accident or do you intenionally type Barry's name in all lower case letters? Inquiring minds want to know. I agree, as well as with pitchers, unless that dh or pitcher is the most valuable player in the league, then I disagree with you. Thats too funny. I think if you have a situation like last years AL MVP race, where the numbers were close then weather or not the player in question is a DH or positon player is the tie braker.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:30 AM on August 02

Yes indeed using lower case only for barry bonds purposefully. It signifies the "little bonds" presteroid. The "little bonds" was one hell of a hitter in his own right.

posted by skydivedad at 07:44 AM on August 02

It doesn't matter if the player sucks or not, if the sox were depending on them, and they're injured, then they've got to replace them. It doesn't matter if they suck or not? All injuries have the same impact because they need to be replaced? I respectfully disagree. Some injuries are hardert to overcome than others. Although, the Sox pitching has suffered more than I previously indicated, their replacements have been better than the guys that were injured to begin with - especially in the case of Foulke and Clement. The Yankees did not bring up a guy that was as good as Sheffield or Matsui - they brought up Melky Cabrera and played Bernie Williams. Abreu has played one game, so I don't think he counts to any of the past success. Anyway this is the most pointless six-beer sports argument I've had in a long time. God, I love 'em.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:10 AM on August 02

their replacements have been better than the guys that were injured to begin with - especially in the case of Foulke and Clement. What replacement has been better than a healthy Keith Foulke? Papelbon? That's cutting it rather fine, given Papelbon was supposed to be a starter.

posted by yerfatma at 08:40 AM on August 02

With the steal of second, the bird is tied with David Ortiz for stolen bases this year.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:38 AM on August 02

The bird really was more interesting!

posted by jerseygirl at 09:50 AM on August 02

What replacement has been better than a healthy Keith Foulke? Papelbon? That's cutting it rather fine, given Papelbon was supposed to be a starter. I'm not sure I agree with that persepective. I mean, this scenario makes it all the more fortuitous for Boston. Like if Melky Cabrera came up and hit .330 with 15 homers, no one would care about losing Sheff - much like no one in Boston cares that Foulke was the closer in game 1. And Papelbon started the season in the pen. My understanding was he was to cut his teeth in the pen and projects long-term as a starter. That may have changed, but I don't remember Paps scheduled to start any game at all. It's not like you lost a starter to gain a closer. You turned a potential starter/first-year reliever into a dominant closer, had Jon Lester throwing BBs by June and never had to deal with any Manny or Ortiz injuries. The recent loss of Varitek is big though. Anyway, my point was the loss of everyday middle of the order guys is tougher than losing a 4th and 5th starter. Because one is eminently more replaceable than the other. Perhaps talking this way about the Yankees and Red Sox is more or less the exception to the rule since all their guys are replaceable. Losing a Matsui (clean-up hitter) would cripple most teams. It didn't dent the Yankees because they brought up someone to play his position, moved Giambi to the clean-up spot and traded for Abreu at the deadline. But they also lost Sheffield. Basically, he was not "replaced" by another All-Star. The other guys (and one of the primary reasons why Jeter will finish in the top three for MVP) picked-up the slack. I guess, in NY, the slack is just easier to pick up. I can certainly admit that.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:21 AM on August 02

Weedy, I gotta disagree with your first graf. First off, if Melky Cabrera came up and turned water into wine, the loss of an All-Star still hurts. The lineup could still be improved by shuffling people around, etc. Papelbon was supposed to start the season as the long-relief guy, but his presence allowed the Sox to trade away Arroyo. Yes Papelbon's been amazing in the pen, but we could still use the old, healthy Keith Foulke in some capacity. It's not like Seanez, Tavarez and the parade of sore arms that have helped bail water are ideal.

posted by yerfatma at 10:54 AM on August 02

The bird really was more interesting! I found the bird story highly amusing, thank you for the link. The rest of this conversation is way over the head of this Texas Rangers fan, I'm trying to figure out why we needed Matt Stairs.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:03 PM on August 02

Anyway, my point was the loss of everyday middle of the order guys is tougher than losing a 4th and 5th starter. But isn't there a bigger gap between the replacements you can find for an injured hitter than a pitcher? Your assessment of losing Matsui is accurate for a team like the Royals (assuming the actually HAD a player of that caliber). But for the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, White Sox, Angels, etc. I actually think the shuffling is viable. They can move an existing hitter to the 4-spot and find production, they'll be hurt further down the order and can't really replace the All-Star, but you can minimize the impact. When you lose a pitcher, regardless of their current production, and replace them with a far lesser pitcher the pressure shifts from preventing runs to scoring as many as possible to offset. btw, let's not forget that Dan Shaughnessey once referred to David Ortiz as a "Giant sack-of-you-know-what" after his signing in January 2003. Sorry Dan, it's just too brilliant.

posted by YukonGold at 12:11 PM on August 02

Yep - all valid points for sure Yuks and Fatty. The Sox injuries are probable more comparable than I have credited. Coupled with the ability of those teams (and the other teams mentioned, Yuks) to shift and minimize the damage, you're both right. However, I still think in principle it is harder to replace All-Stars in the middle of the lineup than a 4th and 5th starter simply by virtue of the fact that the Yankees lost (conservatively) 225 games of service from Matsui and Sheffield and their average contributions - which in win shares and VORP are quite high - compared to the equivalent win shares and VORP offered by your Wakefields and Clements - 30-40 games and much lower in the other categories. However, this is more than offset by the Yankees ability to have such depth that they can mitigate the impact and, actually, the fact that the Red Sox have a lot of younger talent and are more or less mitigating the impact the old fashioned way - bringing up the good prospects and having them contribute in very meanignful ways. I think all things considered, these are two very resiliant teams. But I am still impressed as hell at Jeter's season, and the luxury of having two guys like Ortiz and Manny who both don't get injured at all it seems shouldn't be underestimated.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:33 PM on August 02

I'll be interested to see how the Sox are impacted by the losses of Varitek and Nixon. You could say that both are having off years, but their contributions are still something that needs to be replaced. Is it fair to assume that the loss of both on consecutive days is as catastrophic as just losing Manny alone? The win shares say it's close. But now I'm dipping my toes into the big kid's end of the pool

posted by YukonGold at 03:52 PM on August 02

They are having a name the bird discussion over at Boston.com. My favorite is "Little Papi."

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:28 PM on August 02

CrowCrow Crisp and Wily Crow Pena and Jonathan Grackelbon were my favorites.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:55 PM on August 02

I think all things considered, these are two very resiliant teams. But I am still impressed as hell at Jeter's season, and the luxury of having two guys like Ortiz and Manny who both don't get injured at all it seems shouldn't be underestimated. I don't really disagree with you weedy. I guess basically what I'm saying is this (not sure I've been clear): If the sox and yankees lose their ss/tb/sb/fb etc one can always say the yankees lost more. They simply have more obvious talent. But I think it goes deeper than that. If foulke isn't injured and can take over closing, how many games does pap win as a starter? If clements and wells pitch even slightly over 500 ball, and they've done it in the past, the sox are in a better position. Add all those wins together and I don't think the yankees would be near as close (or ahead at this moment) as they are. Yes, the yankees have played well, but I just disagree with this idea (mainly by the media) that they've been some scrappy club up until now. Most clubs would kill for the talent they have with out matsui and sheffield. The yankees are where they are because they have enough talent to overcome the injuries, and boston has also had their share of injuries, especially on the pitching side. Now that the sox are starting to have position players go down, along with a pitching staff that is still without key members, the sox might be in trouble. But if they fade, the biggest reason will be they simply didn't have the talent to overcome them.

posted by justgary at 10:56 PM on August 02

You're with me, sober second-thought.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:13 AM on August 03

But if they fade, the biggest reason will be they simply didn't have the talent to overcome them. Maybe moreso that they're supposed strength in March (starting pitching...remember the whole "we have 7 legitimate starters" discussion) turned out to be there weakness.

posted by YukonGold at 09:14 AM on August 03

Same with my Jays - whom Baseball Prsepectus dismissed in the pre-season based on having too many guys who slug .450. They thought the strength was in pitching. Holy shit were they ever wrong. Unless it was Opposite Day.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:02 AM on August 03

Injuries are always the great intangible that pre-season predictions cannot account for. In 2004, all five Red Sox starters made every single start without injury. This year, no such luck.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:06 AM on August 03

Maybe moreso that they're supposed strength in March (starting pitching...remember the whole "we have 7 legitimate starters" discussion) turned out to be there weakness. Well, we've come back full circle to the injuries, correct? And it's partly the sox fault for depending on old pitchers (wells, foulke) and fragile pitchers (clement).

posted by justgary at 11:31 AM on August 03

Why do you consider Clement to be fragile? Looks to me like he's made 30 starts a year consistently since his career as a starter began. (link) It's true that relying on 30-something veterans (or in Wells' case 40-something tubs) to carry your team can get you slammed with injuries. But I don't think that differentiates the Sox from the Yankees this year...it's not like Sheffield and Matsui are spring chickens.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:46 PM on August 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.