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It's time for the Red Sox to cut ties with David Ortiz

May 5, 2010, 8:17 AM EDT

David Ortiz strikeout.jpgAlready platooning with Mike Lowell because he can’t hit lefties, Big Papi is now seemingly unable to hit righties too.  His line last night was ugly:  0-for-4, with two strikeouts and two double plays. As I mentioned in this morning’s recaps, the second double play came with the game tied 1-1, the based juiced and no one out.  See the fail of it all here.

Ortiz now sits at .149/.240/.358.  And actually, he’s hitting worse against the righties than he is the lefties (.614 vs. 694 OPS, respectively).  He’s been atrocious with runners in scoring position (.356 OPS).  He has brought absolutely nothing to the table this season sans a butt in a roster slot that Mike Lowell’s excellent hitting — .317/.391/.512, including a pinch-hit RBI double soon after Papi’s DP — is making increasingly redundant.

At least his teammates have his back. Here’s Dustin Pedroia:

“David’s fine. He’s one of our teammates. It could’ve
been me that hit into a double play. It happens to everybody, man. He’s
had 60 at-bats. A couple of years ago, I was hitting .170 and everyone
was ready to kill me too. What happened? Laser show so relax. I’m tired
of looking at the NESN poll, ‘Why is David struggling?’ David’s fine.
He’s one of our teammates. We believe in him. He came out of it last
year, he’s going to come out of it this year.”

Pedroia is probably referring to 2007, when he was in the .170s at about this point of the season. Of course he was also 23 years-old at the time, was making the league minimum, was not expected to carry much of the Red Sox’ offensive load, had defensive value and turned it around to earn Rookie of the Year honors.  Not exactly the same situation.

Pedroia is right about the fact that Ortiz did come out of it last year.  But is that something the Red Sox can count on again this year? And even if it is, is it something for which they can afford to wait?

If I’m Theo Epstein I thank David Ortiz for his service but send him off on an ice floe or a burning viking ship or whatever it is you do with old DHs who can’t cut it anymore. Harsh? Maybe. But the AL East is pretty harsh too, and the Red Sox stand 6.5 games behind a couple of teams who show no signs of slowing down.

Something has to be done.  David Ortiz has got to go.

  1. yossarian - May 5, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    “Laser show so relax” !
    I already can’t wait for the day that Pedroia retires and moves into a studio/booth.
    (recCaptcha: these pimply — that’s just insulting)

  2. Pistol - May 5, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    I hope they keep him in the lineup, he’s a rally killer and an automatic out . If their so-called run prevention worked (where they came up with that bs is beyond me ) they could carry a slumping bat . Ortiz is beyond slumping, it’s over for him . No juice , no hits for poopie . Like I said I hope they’re sentimental enough to leave an automatic out in there . They know they can’t compete with the Yankees , and Rays , they better hope the Jays don’t pass them . Wouldn’t that be great ?

  3. Ben - May 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    You paying attention, Ruben Amaro, Jr.? This is your future.

  4. Leroy - May 5, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    Pedroia , now there’s someone to listen to . That malignant dwarf is lucky to be in the bigs . His stay won’t be all that long , as fast as he came in he’ll be just as fast to leave . If you were to put him in a real ballpark for 81 games he’d be beat out by any average second baseman. If he played in Yankee stadium (God forbid) he’d maybe hit eight to ten home runs . He’s probably Ortiz little fetch boy .

  5. SouthofHeaven - May 5, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    After everything he’s done for that team (an Idiot is an Idiot to the Nation) they’ll let him finish out the season, quietly lowering his number of at-bats as the season progresses, and then let him retire in October. I hate the Sox but he deserves that much.

  6. Moses Green - May 5, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    You are a mesomorph and a malignancy. Dustin Pedroia can’t hear your lunatic ranting because his ears are clogged up with his World Series Ring, AL Rookie of the Year trophy and AL Most Valuable Player trophy. What have you achieved in your miserable, pathetic life that matches that, fuckwit?

  7. Bill@TDS - May 5, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    I don’t care what you think about Dustin Pedroia, “Laser show so relax” has to be one of the five or six most magnificent English-language sentences ever uttered (the source actually uses a comma, but it’s better without, and in either case, I can’t play it back in my head in a way that makes it sound like something a human would say).

  8. Joey B - May 5, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    His stats post-May were about identical to Teixeira’s stats post-May, so while I skeptical, I’m not 100% sure he’s finished, though more likely than not.
    Having said that, there are other options, depending on health. If and when Cameron and/or Ellsbury return, they can split Papi’s RH ABs, cutting Papi down to 1/4 season. They also don’t have to bat him 6th. It doesn’t sound like rocket science to draw a profile of a pitcher that Papi is most likely to hit. Get him 2 games a week against the weakest pitchers. If he handles it, give him a 3rd. If he can’t handle the weakest guys, I love you Papi, but everyone has to retire at some point.

  9. Pat Gray, Cavendish, Vermont - May 5, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    It’s that darn Youkilis that’s got to go. Keep Big Papi and bring back Manny!!!

  10. hardjuge - May 5, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    You still need the brain restart with the taser! Maybe the Yankees should get rid of Tex, his April stats are always terrible. LOL
    Can’t believe you were a lawyer. Guess your doing this because so many judges threw you out of their courtrooms.

  11. aceshigh - May 5, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Couldn’t have said it better…not to mention his Silver Slugger award and Gold Glove.
    People can make fun of Pedroia’s size all they want…the guy is a grinder and a gamer, and any team in MLB would be lucky to have a guy like that.

  12. michael klein - May 5, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Just watch….Omar Minaya will figure a way to grab him for the Mets. Omar Minaya is just that stupid. He will get a first-baseman who speaks Spanish.Just what the Mets need.(Ha, Ha, Ha)…LOL

  13. KR - May 5, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    You know Craig, while I’m glad you’re getting paid now and all, I rather miss the THT comment section. The comment section here is… well, look at it. I’m surprised some of these people remember to breathe.

  14. hardjuge - May 5, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    You mean to say that they pay Craig for this! LOL, where do I sign up?

  15. da - May 5, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Pedroia is an all-star. I can’t even name who plays 2nd for the yankmees, nor should anyone. Big Papi has had his day and looks like it is time to phase him out. The last days of Babe Ruth were sad to watch as well.

  16. bacchus - May 5, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Looks like the extraction of Ortiz’s jersey from the foundations of the new Yankee stadium is finally paying off. hahaha. Although he was a force to be reckoned with in the past, that’s the past and looks as if he’s done and ready for Epstein, and the rest of the organization to ungraciously give him the boot (ie: “thanks but no thanks” treatment). I’ve always been disappointed with the way the Red Sox get rid of the players who contributed so much to their “success”. Being more appreciative to their stars in decline and treating them with dignity is one way that the Busted Red Sox could learn from the Yankees.

  17. JBerardi - May 5, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    You mention Lowell’s hitting, Craig, but Jeremy Hermida is a factor here too. He’s hitting a decent-enough .255/.317/.491; also he’s still fairly young, was a highly-regarded prospect in the not-to-distant past, and can at least pretend to play a defensive position. Really, he’s not so unlike the 2003 version of David Ortiz. A Hermida/Lowell platoon at DH would easily give the Red Sox an .800 OPS from that slot, maybe better. That’s basically all you can hope from from Ortiz at this point anyway, so why bother with the guy? I think the best analogy I can make is that it’s like a guy desperately trying to fix a computer that was awesome in 2004. Hey idiot, you can get brand new one that’s even faster for $299 at Best Buy. There’s no point in wasting your time and money on some outdated model.

    Oh, and I don’t want to hear any arguments about Ortiz being integral to the clubhouse chemistry or whatever. The Red Sox could not possibly be any more flat and lackadaisical than they’ve already been in 2010. I guess it’s tough to inspire people when you’re 1. sucking up ABs that might otherwise go to those people and 2. using those ABs to put up a sparkling 149/.240/.358 line. Yeah, somehow, I don’t think that’s doing the clubhouse any good right now.

  18. Above Average Citizen - May 5, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    I have a better idea. Why doesn’t Hardball “ax” Calcaterra and then close up shop altogether. By “ax” I don’t simply mean “fire the guy”, if you get my drift. Why do we let stupid, ignorant SOBs who have never played the game to any degree of excellence tell us what should happen in our national pastime? Why do we spend endless hours reading stuff that these fools write, while we condemn SEC employees who read porn for eight hours a day? What really is the difference?

  19. Plutoboy7 - May 5, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Time to look at picking up AGon and letting Youk move back to 3rd. Solves the inevitable problem with Lowell, who can DH until you find a better candidate. Can’t wait to see what kind of numbers Adrian can post at Fenway, look at what he’s done at San Diego in the last 3 years averaging 35 HR in a pitchers park and no reason not to pitch around him. Defensively : GOLD GLOVE, Nuff said.

  20. David - May 5, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    I thought Boston would release Ortiz last year. No way they bring him back for 2011.

  21. paul - May 5, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Worst part of it is they are getting him out on fastballs down them middle

  22. Ladyfan - May 5, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Your moniker “Above Average Citizen” says everything about your attitude and nothing at all about your IQ. Instead of looking down your nose at the rest of us baseball fans, why not come up with an actual useful suggestion?
    That being said, the old truism, “one rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel” is a truism because it’s true. You can feel the mood of the entire stadium, and the team, fade to black every time Ortiz comes to the plate with anyone on base and the game on the line. We know what’s going to happen, and it does. Time after time after time. While his teammates’ loyalty is to be commended, and while I myself will never forget Ortiz’ former glory, the operative word is “former”. Mr. Ortiz, it is time to depart gracefully. Do the right thing sir . . . .sit down.

  23. AndrewM - May 5, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Please..they have won 7 of 9, so you better hope that they keep him in.

  24. Laura - May 5, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Pretty sure the name you’re looking for is Cano — you know, the guy who is currently: first in the league in OPS, second in batting average, home runs, and runs scored, third in hits, and fourth in RBIs… and the AL player of the month for April.

  25. whitty - May 5, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    I don’t know. Why do you read this stuff? Why are you here?
    I like Craig, he’s honest about what’s his opinion versus what’s a fact, he generally explains why he thinks what he thinks, and he does a good job of balancing fact-based objective reasoning with his own subjective observations.
    Nobody’s making you read HardballTalk. If you don’t like hearing people’s opinions, especially those people ‘who have never played the game to any degree of excellence,’ there’s innumerable other outlets for you to get whatever you’re looking for. And if you don’t understand the concept that HardballTalk isn’t shoving its content down your throat, maybe the Internet’s not for you.

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