Sabermetricians across the country that study baseball statistics are cursing David Ortiz. The reason being is they don’t believe in clutch hitting, they describe it as nothing more than random chance in action. Well if that’s the case David Ortiz sure gets a lot of action, and he’s certainly the “luckiest” hitter in baseball.
This season, and really throughout his whole career in Boston, David Ortiz has helped carry his team to victory time and time again, and yes, the team’s carried by the mighty piece of lumber he wields at the plate. David Ortiz is not a gold glove defensive player, in fact David Ortiz rarely plays a defensive position on the field. What David Ortiz is, is the shining example of what a teammate and leader is supposed to be. A truly valuable baseball player is a player who helps his team win games, and what wins games? Runs scored and outs not made. David Ortiz from a pure statistical standpoint does this to the T.
Thus far this year David Ortiz is leading the league in RBI, HRs, SLG, and is tied for Runs scored. He is also near the top of the league in categories such as OPS & OBP. Looking at these stats Ortiz and A-Rod are the only ballplayers with numbers this impressive on teams in the playoff hunt. So what separates them? A-Rod playing a horrible 3B half the year and a great 3B the second half of the year? I don’t think so. A-Rod is not, and never will be a leader. He’s an amazing baseball player, who puts up amazing numbers, but he’s not the one virtually willing his team to victory.
This past week was a great microcosm on what David Ortiz does for Boston, and that’s win games, and this week credit Papi with three. A-Rod supporters may cry foul with the Vladimir Guerrero type run at the MVP he’s having this September, but that’s incorrect too. He is hitting well in the right positions to make his team win games, but that’s nothing new for Big Papi, and most definitely not only a September trait of his, it’s simply a trait of his, which makes him valuable. David’s big smile and laugh are valuable. David’s hand clapping and spitting at the plate are valuable. David’s hugs and points to the sky are valuable. You can not watch a Boston Red Sox game and not see how valuable a teammate and player he is. David Ortiz didn’t just have more All Star votes than any ballplayer just because he’s an amazing player, it’s also because he’s likeable, and an asset for the good of the game.
If it were Yankee players taking jabs at Papi in April, I guarantee you that the Sox players wouldn’t let them talk like that about their MVP. That’s part of being an MVP, having the numbers, winning games, and being a leader for your team and franchise, and Papi has all points covered.