Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Big Babi

I know I should be writing about Randy Johnson, and Derek Jeter, and A-Rod, and Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada's good swings, and Scott Proctor's grueling season...but it's getting harder to feel up for the games at this point, 10.5 ahead of the Sox and with the best record in the AL. Proof of this is the relative quiet over at Bronx Banter during the games. It's been more like Bronx Murmur recently, compared to the lively and rapid-fire pace of the pre-Red Sox plummet.

So, today I'm going to get on David Ortiz. I assure you that this might be the first time I've ever directly attacked Big Papi. Despite his Yankee Killer reputation and his status as a Red Sox icon, I kind of smile when I see the jolly ball of jelly. He seems to be the ever-cheerful kind of teammate that makes the long season go by more pleasantly. All that got flushed down the toilet for me forever after his recent temper tantrum about the MVP.

You can read the link yourself, but I want to highlight the things he said and punt them into next year. Let's start:

"I'll tell you one thing," Ortiz said. "If I get 50 home runs and 10 more RBI [which would give him 137], that's going to be a round number that no one else in the American League will have."

1.097 OPS is a nice round number that only one guy in the AL has. That guy is Travis Hafner and he's been a better DH than Ortiz all year. He's hurt though. Maybe the guy with a 1.048 OPS, in 2nd place, should get the award. Oh, wait. That's not Papi either. It's his teammate, Manny Ramirez. Hmmmmm.....Maybe "Runs Created per 27 outs" will help his case. He is a self-proclaimed home run and RBI machine after all. Well, he's good but he's in 4th place behind Hafner, Ramirez, and Jim Thome. Two of those guys are DHs and one is your teammate Shrecker. What else you got?

"But they'll vote for a position player, use that as an excuse. They're talking about [Derek] Jeter a lot, right? He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games."

It seems to me that a guy who deserves to be the MVP doesn't need to crap on other players to build himself up. To his credit, Jeter said he doesn't care about individual awards because he only cares about winning the division at this point. Ouch. Sounds like an MVP to me. Whaddaya know? Jeter leads all AL players not named Hafner in VORP, and will clearly finish the year in 1st. In fact, considering Ortiz' argument that they'll vote for a position player (talk about post-traumatic stress disorder from last season's loss), even if they went DH you're not the best. Plus, there is an actual metric that tells us who helped his team win the most games. It's called Win Shares. Right now Jeter and Manny (your superior teammate who hits behind you) have 27 win shares to your 23.
"Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup," Ortiz continued. "Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be."

Yeah. Look at my collection of shitbags. The Red Sox players are practically on the junk heap. Word to the wise Papi, MVPs don't crap on their teammates to make themselves look better. Also, it does occur to me now that Manny Ramirez (who is better than you) hits behind you for protection. If Derek Jeter hit in front of Manny Ramirez, he might score 150 runs and hit .350, so stop your complaining.

Ortiz said if he had a vote, he might cast it for Jermaine Dye or Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox, or Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins.

Okay, eliminate Konerko because both Dye and Thome are having better years. Morneau might be the MVP in 2007 but his teammate Joe Mauer is the man on that club and he plays the toughest position on the field. He also will be the first player at that position to win a batting title in the AL if he can hold off the other MVP candidate more deserving than you, Derek Jeter.

"All depends on who makes the playoffs," he said. "Dye is having an unbelievable season, an incredible year. Konerko, too."

Yup, all depends on the playoffs. Of course A-Rod won it playing shortstop and hitting 47 dingers for Texas in 2003. Maybe if you had a glove....
"Morneau, he's having a great season, but in Minnesota, there's no publicity. I bet you nobody knows who he is."

Yeah, but everyone knows who Joe Mauer is and he might win it. He plays catcher...also a position with a glove. He also has more win shares than you (26).

Ortiz also noted that Alex Rodriguez won the MVP in 2003, despite the fact his Texas Rangers finished last in the AL West. That season, A-Rod hit .298 with 47 home runs and 118 RBI.

So, I guess your whole thing about the playoffs was just a joke then....or did you just forget while you were feeling sorry for yourself.

"I'm right there," he said, "but I'm not going to win it. They give it to [Rodriguez] one year, even though his team was in last place, so now they can't play that BS anymore, just because your team didn't make it. They gave it to Alex that year because of his numbers. But they always have a reason to vote for whatever, so that's why I don't worry about it."

Yes, David. They always have a reason to vote for whatever. In 2001, they handed the hardware to rookie Ichiro Suzuki for his 242 hits, 56 stolen bases, .350 average, and CANNON ARM in RIGHT FIELD, while playing for the Major League record holding 116-win Mariners. In 2002, Miguel Tejada won the award for piling up 204 hits and 34 homers for the 103-win A's, while playing SHORTSTOP. In 2003, it was the 47 home run hitting SHORTSTOP, Alex Rodriguez. In 2004, Vlad Guerrero won it because he hit .337 and accumulated 206 hits, while actually THROWING A BASEBALL part of the time for the division winner. In 2005, well you know all about 2005 don't you?

Being the best player at your position is a start. Actually wearing a glove helps. Being on a winning team is something important too. You can't claim any of these things Papi, plus you just made yourself look like a grade-A jackass in front of the world and your teammates. Good luck with the voting.


mehmattski said...

Excellent work. While I agree with some posters on other blogs who pointed out that at least Ortiz is speaking candidly (unlike most athletes), being candid and being ignorant don't really have to go hand in hand, do they? The bit about complaining that it always went to a playoff man, and then using A-Rod 2003 as an example... I'll take Jeter's cliches any day of the week.

More simply, as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles said before me:

I second that emotion.

Anonymous said...

Nice work on the photo above - a rare shot of Papi with a glove! Was that intentional?

- pistopete

JL25and3 said...

C'mon, Mike. Stop beating around the bush and tell us how you *really* feel.

murphy said...

i think you just brought sexyback, mike. that was a hot rant.

3rd gen yankee fan said...

Gawd DAMN, Mike. Best (and funniest) rebuttal I've read yet.

"Yeah. Look at my collection of shitbags."

Mike Plugh said...

Thanks 3rd Gen.

I debated about typing that one...."shitbags". I try to keep it clean at COH, but from time to time I go with what's first in my mind at the time. "Shitbags" it was....

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