Friday, April 9, 2010


The story wrote itself before the season began: "Ortiz starts slow again". Columnists are needling him at his locker. Red Sox blogs are frothing at the mouth and asking for Mike Lowell. All this comes with 3 games in the books, during the last of which Ortiz plated the Sox' only run with a line drive single. Not a great start, obviously, but it's THREE GAMES. What's more, it's not as if Ortiz is coming off a cold stretch. As Jayson Stark notes
Before we write this man off too fast, remember this: After June 5 last season, Ortiz led the American League in homers (27), tied for the league lead in RBIs (78) and was third in the league in slugging (.557). That's over a period of four months.
This also gainsays the naysaying of those who want to believe that Ortiz's struggles last year were due to a lack of steroids. Let's be clear: he may have used steroids back in 2002, 2003, before serious testing. But with heavy testing over the past several seasons, he's done just fine, including OPS over .980 in the first four years with rigorous steroid testing.

What do I expect from Ortiz? A slow start - that's been typical over his career. And then a powerful, but not dominating contribution. He'll get more days off, especially against tough lefties, to keep Mike Lowell in shape, but there's no reason to believe he can't be a .280 - 30 - 100 guy this year once again.

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