I hope I’m wrong… I desperately hope I’m wrong.
But David Ortiz, for all intents and purposes, is done. He won’t be the same. He won’t crush 50 dingers. He won’t be automatic. He won’t be Papi anymore.
We have the evidence. And no, I’m not talking about his terrible start to this season which everyone seems to be think is the smoking gun. People get out to bad starts all the time so that’s not the indicator. I’m talking about all the other facts. He’s 34 and over-sized (not to mention the fact that a stunning amount Dominican players are 1-2 years older than they are listed). When guys of his similar build get to that age they often shut down (like power forwards in the NBA). It’s just a matter of body type and age. He’s had symptomatic wrist injuries which even the best players simply do not come back from (witness: Ken Griffey Jr, Nomar). It so difficult to swing when your wrist isn’t the same. But the real kiss of death, is that he’s had 3 straight years of huge drops in statistics.
No one comes back from that. They might rebound slightly, but for all intents and purposes he won’t. Look at his stance. He’s not getting low anymore. He used to crouch and lock in. He’d scowl and be angry. Then he’d jump on a low inside fastball like it was a can of pudding. Now he can’t catch up to a 92 mph fastball right down the middle. It’s sad kind of. He’s choking up on the bat. He’s standing upright and far back. He’s playing catch-up.
How does something like this happen? Rather easily. It happens all the time, but we just hate to admit it. When is a superstar not a superstar anymore?
When does he get moved down in the lineup? Can he still be an effective hitter? Of course. He’s going to have to redefine his game a bit and he’s already been hitting in the other direction to avoid the shift. But with his size he should be richoceting those balls off the monster, not dropping them into bloopy left field. His timing is way off. He can’t get his bat speed up. It’s not looking good.
David Ortiz is probably done being David Ortiz.
I really, really hope I’m wrong.
-there’s a lot of steroids specualation in all this… which i refrained from because we have absolutely no evidence for. Does he kinda fit the profile? GULP. Yes. This was a guy who was cut by the twins after all. But the way things have shaken out we have no idea. There are no other physical indicators whatsoever. It’s all conjecture. So it gets an endnote and that’s it.