August 5, 2006

Mirabelli Twists Ankle -- Who'll Get Hurt Today?; A Claim That Ortiz Isn't Clutch

Doug Mirabelli twisted his left ankle while tagging Carl Crawford out at the plate in the first inning last night and will miss a few games. Mirabelli:
I tried to stick out my foot to block the plate, and his foot hit my foot and moved it to the side. Sometimes the initial pain will subside after 5 or 10 minutes, but this wasn't going away. ... Fortunately the ligaments are okay and there are no fractures.
Tito: He's going to be down for a few days. I think we're real hopeful it won't be a DL. ... Alex Cora is the emergency catcher, but the team will likely call up Corky Miller from Pawtucket (although that apparently would leave the PawSox with no catchers).

Mike Lowell is also expected to be out for several more days. X-rays and a fluoroscope showed no broken bones, but Lowell is having trouble walking and remains concerned: "I can't put any pressure on it. That's concerning me, to be honest. I can't push off on it."

Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon on Ortiz: "It's amazing. He's truly amazing. I don't know what to say. Every team has seen it. He does not miss a mistake. And he's got this propensity in the clutch that's incredible."

However, blogger Matthew T. Sussman says Ortiz is not clutch -- or at least not as clutch as we think. After writing a bunch of stuff that makes very little sense, he closes with this:
Clutch hitting is not built on statistics, it's built on memories. Ortiz did some great things in the 2004 posteason, and he's still doing great things. But it was the drama in 2004 that allow fans to remember every game-winning hit Ortiz knocks. Ortiz smashes a game-winning yardshot off [insert name of generic closer here], and Boston goes nuts. And ESPN leads off with it. And essays are written about how friggin' awesome Papi is.

Those hits re-invoke visions of that World Series championship run. Other players — heck, other Red Sox — are contributing to game-winning series of events, but "PAPI DOES IT AGAIN!" looks great on the front of a newspaper.

So while I completely respect Ortiz's ability and his results, his potent bash-happy lineup has pushed Big Papi to the point where he's a bit overrated.
Seth Mnookin responds.

Ortiz on Maddon's 4-Outfielder Shift: "Bad decision. Everything is fine. I don't care about that shift anymore."

The Red Sox and Orioles got around the Devil Rays' threat to place a waiver claim on Adam Stern by agreeing that Stern will not become Baltimore's property until after the season, when waivers are not required.

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