August 2, 2006

In The Papers

Red Sox owner John Henry got a look at David Ortiz's walk-off stats and offered the only appropriate response: "Wow."

In the story, Providence Journal sports editor Art Martone includes a bit from Seth Mnookin's book Feeding The Monster. After popping out with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth of 2004 ALCS Game 4 (the game was tied 4-4), Ortiz was inconsolable. "You can't do it every time," Jason Varitek told him. "It's not humanly possible to get a hit every single time in these situations."

Of course, three innings later, Ortiz homered off Paul Quantrill to keep the Red Sox's playoff hopes alive. And, since that moment, when the game is on the line, Big Papi has been virtually unstoppable.

One of the main discussions about Ortiz has been at what point to opposing teams finally say the hell with Tizzle, let's gamble with Manny. Yeah, why don't you do that. You can say baseball players fail six or seven times out of 10, but with the game on the line, Ortiz is getting it done eight or nine times out of 10. On the other side, pitchers must know, however far back in their minds they try to put it, that this guy always comes through, and that has to effect their performance -- and just a little less velocity or a few inches of missed location can spell doom. So if Ortiz can continue to shut out all distractions at the plate and keep his cool, he should continue this amazing streak.

Ian Browne ( and Gordon Edes (Globe) also cited the stats.


Skating2Entropy said...

Nice to see your blog get its due. It is well deserved.

CaptainQuadzilla said...

totally great work. and super cool to be recognized.

my friends and i are having a debate about teh decision to pitch to ortiz or manny in potential game-winning situations. we know either is no picnic, but would love to have real numbers to prove it.

if you have time, could you run the same numbers for manny that you did for ortiz? thanks!