Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, April 21, 2007

AP: San Francisco 4, Arizona 2 [The Revenge of Russ Ortiz]

[Russ] Ortiz stayed calm and collected and even singled to beat the club that cut him last summer and still pays the bulk of his salary, leading the San Francisco Giants past the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Friday night… Ortiz (2-1) allowed eight hits and two runs in seven innings to win his second straight and match his longest winning streak since seven straight victories in the summer of 2004.
...
“We weren’t patient enough at times against him,” Arizona skipper Bob Melvin said. “He’s lost weight and it looks like his arm speed is better. He pitched well.”

The D’Backs are paying him more than $7 million this season with San Francisco handling the major league minimum of $380,000. Arizona will owe him through 2008 to cover the remainder of his $33 million contract.

Ouch.
Arizona Republic: Ortiz makes D-Backs pay

NTNgod Posted: April 21, 2007 at 05:10 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 21, 2007 at 05:25 AM (#2341282)
I dream of getting revenge on a company that pays me a lot of money not to work for them any more.
   2. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 21, 2007 at 05:41 AM (#2341284)
I don't know why Russ Ortiz spent the last two seasons getting up like the Met version of Jose Lima because he still had some pretty good stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if he pitched relatively well this year and did an adequate job as a back of the rotation starter.
   3. EddieA Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2341288)
They say he throws a heckuva lot harder. He certainly is spry off the mound. Must have lost 20 pounds.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:21 AM (#2341290)
Channeling Iksvel. Iksvel, your thoughts are needed.
   5. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:30 AM (#2341293)
The big thing i have noticed this year is he that he is keeping his pitch count way down from what it used to be...that tells me he has made some kinda change, either he is just letting them hit his live fastball (which has picked up a few feet from the last couple of years, tonight he was consistently in the low 90s), or he has fixed his mechanics so he has better consistency in location and control.

so if he is above average through the all-star break do you keep him or trade him? That league minimum salary for the next couple of years would make him awfully attractive to a "budget" contender....
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:33 AM (#2341296)
That league minimum salary for the next couple of years


Isn't he a free agent after the season?
   7. NTNgod Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:40 AM (#2341298)
Isn't he a free agent after the season?


Yes. However, Arizona still pays him in 2008, so it'll likely be another min. salary contract.
   8. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:46 AM (#2341300)
i think technically he is a waiver claim....so is under contract through '08.
   9. NTNgod Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:50 AM (#2341301)
No, after ARI released him, he signed a 1-yr deal with BAL, finished the season, filed for FA, and then signed a 1-yr deal with SF.
   10. Danny Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:56 AM (#2341303)
Ortiz signed a one year contract with the Giants as a free agent. If he pitches well this year, I don't see why he'd settle for the minimum next year regardless of how much the D-Backs are paying him (or does any extra money he signs for get deducted from the D-Backs' payments?).
   11. NTNgod Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:09 AM (#2341306)
(or does any extra money he signs for get deducted from the D-Backs' payments?).

Correct... and he's owed $8.5mil in 2008.

Up to that $8.5m point, offering Ortiz more than the min. doesn't put any extra money in Ortiz' pockets, it just reduces Arizona's financial commitment.
   12. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:18 AM (#2341310)
gotcha...now it makes sense..

that makes him somewhat less tradeable...and it is pretty easy to guess that he will stay with SF through next year...he seems obviously at home...
   13. Jack Sommers Posted: April 21, 2007 at 08:12 AM (#2341316)
Humiliating, frustrating, one of the worst sports experiences I have ever had.

By the way, that crap he was talking about losing 13 pounds in spring....baloney. It's more like 25, and it DOES make a difference.
   14. 1k5v3L Posted: April 21, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2341366)
For two years, the Dbacks asked Ortiz to lose some weight, get in shape and fix his mechanics. He blew them off. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that he would've listened to them this year. The only reason he shaped up was because the Dbacks kicked his lice-infected a55 out of Arizona, the proverbial wake up call that told him was he was a piece of junk and had no future in baseball unless he stopped shoving donuts in his lard a55 and started working out. So the Dbacks did him a favor... and yes, they are paying him $8m/year, which is just fine with me. It's Moorad's money, and it's a scarlet letter on his chest. That'll teach him of the danger of free agency. Anyhow, all I can say is #### Russ Ortiz. I am absolutely relieved I will never ever have to feel any positive thoughts about that scumbag.
   15. MSI Posted: April 21, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2341384)
You'd think they could use him in the back of the pen if they're paying him so much anyway.
   16. MSI Posted: April 21, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2341386)
Er, back of the rotation. But its early anyway, I can see him ending up with a huge ERA eventually. Just sucks it had to be against the D-backs.
   17. Jack Sommers Posted: April 21, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2341397)
The way Ortiz pitched in Arizona, he could not be used anywhere. Not even Tucson. There wasn't anything they could do with him. He wouldn't lose weight, or make the changes the pitching coach wanted him to, and there was nothing left to do but release him.

The ultimate example of an athlete getting fat and lazy after signing a big contract.

The absolute worst thing about this is if Ortiz continues to pitch decently, and if he out pitches Doug Davis over the course of the season, it is a credibility blow to Josh Byrnes, despite the fact that this fiasco was caused by Moorad.
   18. base ball chick Posted: April 21, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2341412)
i don't see how it is a credibility blow to byrnes.

the guy wouldn't even try to fix what went wrong after he signed with the dbax. even brad lidge is TRYING even if he is not succeeding. it is not like he was doing good but the organization for some personal (not pitching) reason hated him

most organizations will happily keep a player who is doing good no matter wassup with "personal" stuff. look at brett myers with the phillies.

ortiz looked like he was just finished with the dbax and he didn't exactly look good with the orioles neither. he decided to change over this winter. and it is not no slam against the dbax far as i can tell.
   19. Jack Sommers Posted: April 21, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2341425)
Hey baseball chick...of course you are right. What I was alluding to is the fact that Byrnes had to go into Moorads office and sit down and say..."Hey...you messed up signing this guy, and we have to fix it now by dropping him". I'm sure that was not an easy thing to do. I hope it doesn't, but it COULD possibly cause problems for JB with his bosses, who might pin the blame on JB and the coaching staff for not "getting the best out of Ortiz" Hopefully it doesn't go down that way, but people often try to deflect blame, it's human nature.
   20. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2341486)
I like Eric Byrnes's comment: He's throwing his fastball in the 90s and looks like the pitcher the Diamondbacks signed."

Unlike the guy who showed up the past couple years.
   21. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 21, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2341498)
y'know....

i can see the resentment towards ortiz for not getting in shape while with the d-backs...however...I can't help but think that the failure to get Ortiz to respond is symptomatic of an organization problem. It is't like they have a stellar record with gettingor keeping other players in shape. and ######## about it in the press is probably the worst thing to do.

As part of cleaing out my families old house after my dads passing i have rediscovered my old baseball abstracts of the early 80's. There is a good essay in one of them about Dave Parker who was in the middle of eating his way out of the HOF. In the article Bill makes a really good case that what defines a good manager is the ability to deal with that kind of problem. I liked his example of Parker trying to blow off workouts if Billy Martin was his manager...

If I'm the d-backs in that situation i put him on the 60 day DL and send him down to A ball for a long rehab....said rehab consisting of running 5 miles every morning, pitching an hour of BP every fifth day with a gun on him to check velocity, having somebody working with him on his mechanics checking film etc. and being checked by the team trainer once a week or so.

And if he declines just leave him on the long term disabled list as "obese"....insurance will probably pay a chnk of his contract and you put it on him for the failure to perform...
   22. Jack Sommers Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2341534)
Tom, I don't know how closely you followed the Ortiz situation in Arizona, but they tried just about everything, including a DL and long Rehab stint in the minors. It wasn't 60 day DL, but he was there for a while, 6 weeks in all, so 40 + days. (He was out from April 24th thru June 5th)

This was not a failure of Melvin or the coaching staff. Ortiz REFUSED to accept that he had to change anything, and refused to lose any weight while here. However the idea that DL'ing him 60 days due to "obesity" would not cut it with the Union. No way you get that one through.

He just never should have been signed in the first place. What has taken place SINCE the signing was really out of the D Backs controls, and the blame is squarely on Ortiz, who showed ZERO character throughout the entire ordeal. Day after day, week after week..."I feel fine...I don't need to change" was all we heard from him.

His attitude was detestable. This resentment is well founded....trust me.
   23. EddieA Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2341535)
There are terms in the standard player contract that allows the team to terminate the contract if a player doesn't make an effort to make himself physically able to perform. Don't know if any team has tried to use it, but it's
7(b)(1), a team may terminate a contract if the player shall "fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the club's training rules.
   24. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2341566)
Shoe....all i have to say is that SF and Atl seemed to be able to get him to stay in shape...and as Eddie pointed out, the team would have a really good case for just DL'ing him for being out of shape...but it takes an organizational commitment to the issue that wasn't there.

Yes the D-backs tried a lot of things, but mostly what they tried was to cover their ass in the press. If yous spend tht much money on something you have to find a way to make it work. It isn't the players job to do it on their own, it is the clubs job to make sure it gets done and have programs to accomplish that. I do know that the Giants have a full time off season program for their pitchers....developed right before Ortiz came up in 98... that makes a big deal of pushing them to get into shape, particularly their legs and back...tons of weight training and hundreds of wind sprints every day.
   25. base ball chick Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2341572)
shoewizard Posted: April 21, 2007 at 12:37 PM (#2341425)

Hey baseball chick...of course you are right. What I was alluding to is the fact that Byrnes had to go into Moorads office and sit down and say..."Hey...you messed up signing this guy, and we have to fix it now by dropping him". I'm sure that was not an easy thing to do. I hope it doesn't, but it COULD possibly cause problems for JB with his bosses, who might pin the blame on JB and the coaching staff for not "getting the best out of Ortiz" Hopefully it doesn't go down that way, but people often try to deflect blame, it's human nature.


- well, i would bet that byrnes he didn't zackly put it quiiiiite like that.

more like

sigh
boss, it's like this
sigh
ida know what else to do with ortiz.

we've tried letting him alone.

we've tried having the manager, the strength coach, the pitching coach, the clubhouse "leader" the batboys, his wife, his mother, his gf, strangers on the street talk to him about conditioning.
- we have heard hunh, wha, uh-hunh, mmmmmmm, ohhhhhh, hunh, whaaaa, gimme cookie.

we tried putting him on the DL with "rehab." we have tried 3 different pitching coaches and bullpen coaches try to talk to him bout mechanics.
- we hear ida wannaaaaaa. ida like ittttttt. ida see why i gottaaaaaaa. nooooooooooo. ida wannaaaaaaaaaaa. i not goin in no corner ida wanna spankinnnnnnnnnnn nooooooooooooooo. znodd fairrrrrrrrrr you let brandon webb eat cookies i wanna cookieeeeeeeeeeeeeee

i can't think of a single thing we ain't tried. we tried sweet talk. we tried tough luuuv. we tried persuasion. we tried shame.

might as well talk to a brick wall.

you would THINK a guy would be humiliated by going out there and looking like a 50 year old fat drunk softball beer league GIRL but nooooooo.

he just will NOT try to do ANYthing. he just shrugs his shoulders, blames the ump, his teammates, the AC in the dome, whatever. i'd even try one of them eating disorder psychiatrists but he won't agree.

we're stuck paying him $$$ and he is sooooooooo bad that any AA guy is better and putting him out there is a guaranteed loss and the manager and the other guys want him off the roster he is screwing up the Team Chemistry.

so, boss

whaddaya wanna do?

--------
truth is ortiz acted worse then my little kidz who are sick/ hungry/ need a nap. because at least they got an excuse
   26. 1k5v3L Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2341577)
russ ortiz sucked in az. he not only refused to do anything about his weight, his workouts and his mechanics, he was actively hurting the team every time he took the ball, and his presence on the 25 man roster was preventing the dbacks from using his spot on someone who can either help or who could be evaluated for this year. the dbacks tried. he refused to admit that he sucked and that he needed to change. so they fired him. it's that simple. he sucked, he got kicked out. period.
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: April 21, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2341579)
the other thing about russ ortiz is that he still sucks. his 20+ ip stint this year is a lot of smoke and mirrors and a few lucky breaks. he's been getting a higher number of ground balls than usual, and his home run rate is low, but the guy is a bad pitcher, believe me
   28. base ball chick Posted: April 21, 2007 at 09:15 PM (#2341678)
tom,

ortiz wasn't in shape in atlanta neither.

you say you hafta find a way to make your investment work. well, because it didn't work don't mean the team didn't try.
   29. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 21, 2007 at 11:49 PM (#2341831)
Shoe....all i have to say is that SF and Atl seemed to be able to get him to stay in shape...


Russ Ortiz ERA+
2005 64
2006 57
2007 88
Career 94

The evidence suggests that Russ is still a mediocre to bad pitcher and that SF hasn't been able to magically make him good. Small sample size this year, if Orlando Hudson doesn't run the Dbacks out of an early inning, and collided with Drew on an easy popup, Russ might have been knocked out early and would have certainly taken a loss. He's had two lousy starts and one lucky one. His WHIP this year is 1.5, even worse than his lousy career average.
   30. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 22, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2341837)
The evidence suggests that Russ is still a mediocre to bad pitcher and that SF hasn't been able to magically make him good.

To be fair, Ortiz also has a higher ERA than his peripherals would indicate. His FIPs is 3.50, which would be a 110 ERA+. Either way, 3 starts doesn't mean anything.
   31. EddieA Posted: April 22, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2341841)
#29
Actually in the Pittsburgh game, he was dominant. After allowing 2 in the first he mowed them down innings 2-8. Most of the damage to his ERA was the 3-run home run allowed with 2 outs in the 9th to a guy he had struck out 3 times. The only reason he was in was to attempt a complete game victory.
   32. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 22, 2007 at 12:27 AM (#2341851)
Levski....you haven't watched Ortiz this year....hence know nothing about his performance....

prior to going to Arizona Russ had an ERA+ of 102...was basically a pitcher who threw hard walked a lot of people struck out his share and didn't give up a ton of HR's, if he got lucky with BABIP he could be a cy young contender....

he goes to Arizona..his babip shoots up..his homers go way way up ....and he strikeouts go way down...all signs that he lost his velocity

this year his velocity has been good...if he keeps up this walk rate it will be his career low by a huge margin...the only HR he gave up was when he was left in to pitch the ninth against pittsburgh with a 6 run lead (he had only thrown 97 pitches through 8)...the HR came on the 24th pitch of that inning and the 121st of the game...

if Bochy had pulled him after 8 in that game...which he admits he should have...Russ would be sittin on a 3.15 ERA with good numbers across the board except for BABIP....it looks like real improvement to me....

but the best part of this....if anything happpens to him the Giants get better...won't take much to bring Lincecum and his impossible AAA numbers(18.2 ip 9h 5bb 28k 0r) up to the Giants
   33. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: April 22, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2341872)
but the best part of this....if anything happpens to him the Giants get better...won't take much to bring Lincecum and his impossible AAA numbers(18.2 ip 9h 5bb 28k 0r) up to the Giants

That is the tough part for Giants fans. It feels mighty nice to have an effective starter for the league minimum, and it feels even better to watch the Diamondbacks pay the opposing pitcher exorbitant amounts of money to have him pitch against them and win. That said, even rejuvenated Ortiz isn't that good - make way for Tim the Enchanter!

A lot of Giants fans like Ortiz because he won a lot of games for us and was a part of the 2002 WS team. I, on the other hand, don't like him at all. He is Captain Jesus in the clubhouse (how is he not with the Rockies?) and he was already getting to be the fat slob all of you know and love when he was previously with the Giants. Worst of all, he is terrible to watch, even when he is effective. It was nibble, nibble, walk, walk... finally, he would get out of jams by avoiding HR and getting a timely DP or K. His stubbornness seemed to work for him - he wouldn't challenge anybody, and finally he could induce weak contact or get someone to swing through pitches. But it was not fun to watch (and we had Estes and Ortiz on the same staff... my fingernails suffered).

Finally, it all caught up to him, as seemingly everyone outside the D-Backs front office realized it would. 1.5 WHIP aside, he has looked pretty good. I think he realized he had hit rock bottom and finally committed to some conditioning and started listening to his coaches. As was mentioned, his ERA suffered from the one three-run HR from when he was left in too long to try to get a CG, and that is his only HR allowed. His BB rate is down a ton in a small sample.

He was signed as a FA - he can't be traded until mid-June, right? I would like to see him traded before he becomes Russ Ortiz again - the return might be pretty decent, if only because he makes the minimum (Phillies? Desperate?). If he does stay, though, Lincecum can start in the pen, and we really need help there.

Either way, it is good for the Giants and bad for the Diamondbacks. Awesome.
   34. Internet Commenter Posted: April 22, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2341880)
The best thing Ortiz has going for him in SF is that Telecom Field will go above and beyond to depress his home runs allowed.
   35. EddieA Posted: April 22, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2341890)
NSGE, Don't forget Russ can hit a little and this is very advantageous. Considering the Giants appear to have four regulars who can't hit at all, it's nice to have the pitcher helping to move the lineup to the next Bonds at bat.
   36. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 22, 2007 at 02:07 AM (#2341894)
Worst of all, he is terrible to watch, even when he is effective. It was nibble, nibble, walk, walk... finally, he would get out of jams by avoiding HR and getting a timely DP or K.

totally agree...which is a big part of my appreciation for him this year....he HASN'T been nibbling...

you know part of his problem back then is that his fastball just had too much movement...and that over the last couple of years he has been losing that and tried to be too careful....now he may have found a happy medium...
   37. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 22, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2341900)
Hey all, I have written a quick piece on a key difference (and improvement) in Russ Ortiz's mechanics that instantly, to me, speeds his arm up.

I wish I knew how to post links at the new BBTF (help)

Here's the URL to the article here at BBTF, or you can go to the front page you lazy bums....

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/mechanics/discussion/quick_mechanics_take_russ_ortiz/

I hope you enjoy...
   38. Tom was totally clowned by CW Posted: April 22, 2007 at 02:56 AM (#2341910)
heya carlos..thanks as always for the incredible insight...

i have found that the easy way to post links is using the firefox extension bbcode extra
   39. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: April 22, 2007 at 03:27 AM (#2341919)
NSGE, Don't forget Russ can hit a little and this is very advantageous. Considering the Giants appear to have four regulars who can't hit at all, it's nice to have the pitcher helping to move the lineup to the next Bonds at bat.

You have a point there. He probably hits better than Winn at this point.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogGreinke gets 200th win, pitches Astros past A’s 4-1
(10 - 5:50am, Aug 20)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogNightengale: MLB lifers decry the state of the modern baseball: 'Unwatchable'
(5 - 5:30am, Aug 20)
Last: Lest we forget

Gonfalon CubsTaking the current temperature
(229 - 4:29am, Aug 20)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogFreking great?
(3 - 3:45am, Aug 20)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogAl Jackson, an original Met, dead at 83
(2 - 1:58am, Aug 20)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOMNICHATTER is love, OMNICHATTER is life, for August 19, 2019
(34 - 12:29am, Aug 20)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogBrian Snitker Pulls Ronald Acuna Jr. for Lack of Hustle: 'You've Got to Run'
(71 - 11:38pm, Aug 19)
Last: Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens

NewsblogAaron Boone, two Yankees players thrown out in win against Cleveland
(46 - 11:31pm, Aug 19)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (August 2019)
(245 - 9:57pm, Aug 19)
Last: My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto

NewsblogRoyals DFA Billy Hamilton
(25 - 9:41pm, Aug 19)
Last: CFBF's Overflowing Pathos

NewsblogThis year's crop of major free-agent relievers has been a $250 million disaster
(33 - 9:28pm, Aug 19)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT - NBA thread (Playoffs through off-season)
(6536 - 7:12pm, Aug 19)
Last: it's hittin' 53450n.

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2019
(13 - 6:47pm, Aug 19)
Last: michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - A New Season is Upon Baldrick
(526 - 6:39pm, Aug 19)
Last: It was something about the man-spider and sodomy,

NewsblogBoswell - Dave Martinez Did Sean Doolittle No Favors
(5 - 6:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: Bote Man

Page rendered in 0.4174 seconds
46 querie(s) executed