Since trading Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, there has been one man who has missed “Manny Being Manny” the most – David Ortiz. Without Manny hitting behind him, Ortiz has regressed back to his normal mediocre
self and is no longer carrying the big stick as the folk hero he has become since going to Boston.
David Ortiz was nicknamed “Big Papi” for continually coming up big in clutch situations, especially during the postseason. While many will argue that Ortiz has been the most valuable player of the The Post-Curse Era Red Sox, perhaps that is only because of the man with dreads and baggy pants that used to wear number-24.
Let’s take a look inside the numbers.
Before coming to Boston, David Ortiz was just another mediocre overweight first baseman, barely managing to stay in the league. After six up-and-down seasons in Minnesota, Ortiz maxed out his production with a lackluster .272 avg, 20 HR, and 72 RBI season in 2002, and soon left the Twin Cities for Beantown. Eventually, Ortiz slid into the three-hole ahead of Ramirez and immediately began to reap the benefits. From 2004-07, he averaged .305 avg, 44 HRs, and 135 RBI in 152 games per season. More importantly, he compiled a .417 avg, 9 HR, and 30 RBIs in 31 playoff games over the same span. It seemed as if he was always delivering the big hit, and the fans showered him with chants of “Big Papi.”
But then came the day Manny was sent to Los Angeles. And Ortiz no longer had the world’s purest hitter staring down the pitcher from the on-deck circle. The man on the mound trembling at the prospect of
putting another man on base for the lethal Ramirez.
Over the next 40 games after Manny switched to Dodger Blue, Ortiz’s numbers dropped severely as he hit .255 with 4 HR and 30 RBI. In the postseason, where Ortiz normally reigns supreme, he’s batting .148
with 0 HRs and 1 RBI through 7 games. He is 0 for 10 in the ALCS thus far, and hasn’t homered in his past 54 postseason at-bats.
Looks like without Manny Ramirez protecting him, “Big Papi” has been looking more like “Big Sloppy.” Just imagine what A-Rod’s numbers would look like if Manny decides to put on the Pinstripes next April.