June 24, 2006

Ortiz Getting Stubborn Re: Shift?

Despite the extreme shifts employed against him this year, David Ortiz says he'll keep hitting the way he has.
The only difference in my numbers is my batting average, and you know the reason why. All those balls that they take away from me with the shift, that's the only reason why I'm not hitting .300. I can do nothing about it. ... That's what they want me to do, change my approach. Then I'm going to shut down my home runs, bring my RBIs in. I don't want to change my approach. ... They get what they want [if I do that].
Is it me or has Ortiz been going the other way a lot less this year, not using the Wall? I understand his frustration -- and his desire to blast the ball through the mob on the right side of the field -- but he shouldn't be stubborn about it.

I maintain that dropping down a bunt every third game or so will make some teams think twice about leaving the left side of the infield deserted (it will also lift his batting average (and put a runner on base for Manny)). And having Trot Nixon in the #2 spot instead of Mark Loretta against RHP will increase the likelihood of runners on base for Ortiz, which would mean the infielders couldn't cheat as much in their shift.

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