Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
With a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’ 12-3 pounding of the Baltimore Orioles last night, Ortiz joined Williams as the only players in franchise history to post seven 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons. And for good measure, the homer was the 431st of Ortiz’ career, tying Orioles great Ripken for 45th on the all-time list.
“It’s a huge honor for myself to be mentioned with one of the greatest that ever played the game in this organization,” Ortiz said of Williams. “Got to keep the line moving, try to keep on producing.”
“Things happen for a reason,” Ortiz said. “We have a great medical staff, and we have a manager who’s been unbelievable. Everything that is happening is based on what John (Farrell) has done with all of us. He’s the No. 1 reason why everything has changed around here.
“I remember I had a setback in spring training. He came to me, straight up, and he was like, ‘Hey, I know I need you, but I’m not going to rush you. Take your time. Make sure you’re good to go. When you’re good to go, you’re working.’ Those are things that stay in your mind and keep you positive and make you feel like you want to be ready soon, as soon as possible, so you can come and play for that guy and go to war with him. He’s been incredible.”
Five years or so after a good chunk of Sox fans were desperate to rid themselves of Ortiz and turn the page on his era, the man is still putting up elite numbers as a DH.
There's not very many full-time DH's in baseball, but just to see how Ortiz stacks up against the rest I headed over to ESPN. There are six batters in the AL with at least 300 plate appearances as a DH this season: Ortiz, Victor Martinez, Billy Butler, Kendrys Morales, Albert Pujols, and Seth Smith. [Note: I'm pretty sure Adam Dunn should be here as well... hmmm.] You can see the list here.
Of those players, Ortiz has at least 60 fewer at bats than everybody at the position except Pujols and Smith. Despite that he has nearly twice as many home runs as everybody but Morales (23), 20+ more RBIs than everyone, more doubles than everyone, and has the highest AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. And, if you're a big fan of OPS like I am, Ortiz is rocking a .960 while the next highest guy on the list, Morales, has a .793. And if you like WAR, Ortiz has a 4.3. Morales, also second here, has a 2.8.
At this advanced age, years after people already wrote him off, Papi is still performing on an entire other level than his peers. I've probably said this fifteen times over the past 5 years, but every day we get to watch David Ortiz swing his bat for the Boston Red Sox is a gift. And it's a gift that doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Clay ready for great unknown | Everything clicking for red-hot Sox | Globe - Red Sox rout Orioles 12-3 behind Buchholz | For Ortiz, a milestone at the expense of a rookie | WEEI - Ortiz: 'Huge honor' to match Williams milestone | Final stepping-stone: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox primed for October | CSNNE - Playoff wrap: One more victory clinches it for Sox | Outfield health may force Sox to adjust roster