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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:09 AM (#2120978)
Holy ####### ####. Just got back from the game - got a last second ticket offer from a friend.

I was thinking the same sort of thing when Loretta was up. Thinking, don't bunt, he could pop it up.

I mean, who does this? Is there any precedent for this kind of clutch play? The crowd was chanting M!V!P! well before he dropped the ball in the bleachers, basically calling the shot. And it doesn't matter, Papi gets it done again.

And these ain't no pussified solo homers in a tie game or whatever. Three-run job, down two in the bottom half. That's a MAN-sized walkoff.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2120983)
Is there anyone who was watching that game tonight who didn't know he was going to end it? For a Yankee fan it was like watching the firing squad slowly aim its rifles. Everybody called that shot.

Seriously, I've never seen a more fearsome presence at the plate in 54 years of watching baseball, or at least a more fearsome natural presence. I just keep thinking, "So this is what it was like to see Babe Ruth." Unbleepingbelievable.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2120986)
The only thing that comes to mind to me (with apologies to Reggie J) is the things George Brett did.
But even that probably pales in comparison to this s###.
   4. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2120987)
OK, after today I'm officially a believer.
   5. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2120988)
I've been polluting the rest of the site with this: Fenway is the Matrix and Papi is the one. Remember, there is no bat, baby! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP!
   6. His Clutchness, The Just Pasha Diving Jeter Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2120990)
Zzzz, there's only one clutch royalty around these parts. Wake me when he has trouble counting his ringzzzz
   7. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#2120995)
Everybody called that shot.

Yes, I hope it didn't sound like I was saying that calling the shot was some great accomplishment. Quite the opposite. I was saying that it was funny that everyone expected it and it still happened, even though it should be very unlikely.

OK, after today I'm officially a believer.

What the hell took you so long!

The only thing that comes to mind to me (with apologies to Reggie J) is the things George Brett did.
But even that probably pales in comparison to this s###.


I call it Yaz's last two weeks in 67 spread out over a three-year period.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#2121001)
The only thing that comes to mind to me (with apologies to Reggie J) is the things George Brett did.
But even that probably pales in comparison to this s###.


George Brett and Pujols were (are) close. But Ortiz is just plain God. I should wish for his speedy death but I really just wish he were a Yankee.

I call it Yaz's last two weeks in 67 spread out over a three-year period.

You mean repeated in an endless loop over a three-year period, don't you?
   9. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:25 AM (#2121007)
Yes, that's what I meant.

Also meant to tell MC that he's one lucky bastard!
   10. Banta Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2121010)
Just yesterday, I was explaining to someone who doesn't follow baseball that intently about how there's no such thing as a clutch hitter, or at least someone who can consistently replicate results that one would consider clutch. However, I did add "although, David Ortiz comes about as close as one can."

Absolutely amazing.
   11. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2121013)
Yeah, I give up. I'm a believer.
   12. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:31 AM (#2121016)
The only thing that comes to mind to me (with apologies to Reggie J) is the things George Brett did.
But even that probably pales in comparison to this s###.


Reggie Jefferson was a nice little hitter but he was not all that clutch.
   13. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2121023)
Why on Earth did the Indians not just walk him? I'm totally serious. I don't give a damn about the book. Walk the damn book, too. They put the winning run on the scoreboard by pitching to him. Why not put it on base by pitching to him?
   14. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:37 AM (#2121025)
Er, in that last sentence I meant, why not put it on base by NOT pitching to him? You know what I meant . . . .
   15. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2121031)
Well, Manny and his 1.000 OPS were on deck. You go from needing a long double to tie it to needing a single.

That's what a pencil-pushing lame-o would say, anyways. Not me.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2121041)
Why on Earth did the Indians not just walk him? I'm totally serious. I don't give a damn about the book. Walk the damn book, too.
This is sorta interesting, though.

"The Book", of course, is the collected wisdom of Baseball Men through the ages. In the easy caricature, it embodies all that the saberists hate. But, as we see here, The Book is implicitly based on the assumption that htere is no such thing as a clutch hitter. No one would think to walk David Ortiz with runners on 1st and 2nd.

I've also been thinking, as is my wont, about the religious angle in all this. Now, I recognize that notions of a "unity" to world religions develop out of a specifically Protestant context, adn were typically used to assert the superiority of a certain form of Christianity. As such, any quasi-liberal claims to unity leave me quite skeptical. On the other hand, I think it is utterly certain that when the Muslims talk about Allah, and when the Hindus talk about Vishnu, and when the Christians talk about Baby Jesus, they are actually referring to Big Papi.
   17. Srul Itza Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2121043)
I should wish for his speedy death but I really just wish he were a Yankee.

As I was saying elsewhere, following the 2002 season, he was FREE TALENT. Minnesota just had no use for him, and why bother even trying to get anything for him in a trade. Just kick him to the curb and move on.

Every time he beats your team, just remember, he could have been had for the asking. Theo got there first.
   18. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#2121044)
Ortiz has been remarkable in clutch situations but batting in front of Manny has certainly helped in that regard. For example, if Trot Nixon was batting behind Ortiz, he wouldn't get the oppurtunity to prove how clutch he is.
   19. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:56 AM (#2121045)
And Steinbrenner wanted him but the original boy genius didn't sign him.
   20. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:58 AM (#2121048)
Even the Red Sox didn't think that highly of him right away. He sat the bench a lot his first few months there will guys like Giami, Hillenbrand, and Millar got ABs.
   21. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2121049)
will = while.
   22. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:01 AM (#2121051)
Ortiz has been remarkable in clutch situations but batting in front of Manny has certainly helped in that regard. For example, if Trot Nixon was batting behind Ortiz, he wouldn't get the oppurtunity to prove how clutch he is.

Many people have made this point about Ortiz, but I have never once heard it said about Jeter. Jeter is the 'guy you can count on in the clutch' who will always come through with the big hit. Yet no one ever mentions that he has always batted first or second in front of hitters like ARod, Giambi, and Sheffield. Jeter received only 3 IBBs last year, while Papi got 9.

For all the credit Jeter gets in the press, he is almost never intentionally walked. Opposing players talk about his clutchness, but when the games are on the line, they'd rather try to get him that deal with the guys behind him.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:01 AM (#2121052)
I should wish for his speedy death but I really just wish he were a Yankee.

As I was saying elsewhere, following the 2002 season, he was FREE TALENT. Minnesota just had no use for him, and why bother even trying to get anything for him in a trade. Just kick him to the curb and move on.

Every time he beats your team, just remember, he could have been had for the asking. Theo got there first.


Tell me something I haven't lost sleep over for the last three years.
   24. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2121053)
Even the Red Sox didn't think that highly of him right away. He sat the bench a lot his first few months there will guys like Giami, Hillenbrand, and Millar got ABs.

Actually, he was part of the 1B/3B rotation at the time, playing similar amounts to Gimli and Millar. Hillenbrand was only playing to drive up his trade value.
   25. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:06 AM (#2121056)
Didn't Bill James say once that it was basically a coin flip between Ortiz and Brad Fullmer?

It's all silly, of course, the man has been stone cold awesome in the clutch, but anyone who predicted that was a fool and anyone who claims they did is a liar. Whatever Magic Ortiz has or doesn't have, it's sprung forth in Boston
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:06 AM (#2121057)
For all the credit Jeter gets in the press, he is almost never intentionally walked. Opposing players talk about his clutchness, but when the games are on the line, they'd rather try to get him that deal with the guys behind him.

Jeter inspires tons of respect among opposing pitchers, whereas Ortiz just makes them soil their shorts. If only the Yanks could trade for a modern day Hub Pruett, who could be the ultimate LOOGY.

But of course it's really apples and oranges since Jeter is only a minor power threat.
   27. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:09 AM (#2121060)
No one would think to walk David Ortiz with runners on 1st and 2nd.

I sure would have. I would have walked David Ortiz with the bases loaded and a two run lead. What do you think of that?
   28. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:09 AM (#2121061)
Ah, always nice to know I'm not crazy, from an Esquire article:

[Bill James] refuses to reveal the contents of his latest batch of recommendations [for the Red Sox], but one of his earliest studies for them, following the 2002 season, suggested that Boston consider either David Ortiz or Brad Fullmer, who, by his calculations, were virtually identical: aggressive pull hitters who picked up a lot of doubles and a few home runs and were liabilities in the field. For reasons James has never been privy to, the front office decided to nab Ortiz, perhaps because Fullmer once fractured a coach's cheekbone with his bat. Backslaps all 'round, even though James admits that he "couldn't see much of anything between them. Sometimes, all it comes down to is luck."

I stand by my larger point, however
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2121065)
It's all silly, of course, the man has been stone cold awesome in the clutch, but anyone who predicted that was a fool and anyone who claims they did is a liar. Whatever Magic Ortiz has or doesn't have, it's sprung forth in Boston

I completely agree. In fact, this is why I came to wholeheartedly believe in Teh Clutch. The number of factors which play into clutch performance are going to be irreducible to a binary function of clutch/not-clutch, and they will never be reproducible over a player's entire career. People are not inherently clutch, but they find themselves in situations (and they create situations) in which they can be clutch.

By the way, NESN's replaying the game right now.
   30. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#2121066)
I sure would have. I would have walked David Ortiz with the bases loaded and a two run lead. What do you think of that?

I think you're too used to having tenure to put yourself in the shoes of a MLB manager. That's what I think.
   31. Darren Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2121070)
We should also remember to give Francona some credit too. Without his terrible handling of the pitching staff, there wouldn't be nearly as many clutch chances for Papi.
   32. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#2121073)
I think you're too used to having tenure to put yourself in the shoes of a MLB manager. That's what I think.

Cute. But how do you think a certain major league manager feels who went by the Book tonight? A bit Wedged in, perhaps? At this point, pitching to Ortiz in that situation HAS to be the choice that gets second-guessed. It just has to. It is simply a losing proposition.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:28 AM (#2121078)
We should also remember to give Francona some credit too. Without his terrible handling of the pitching staff, there wouldn't be nearly as many clutch chances for Papi.
Clutch post. You win the thread.
   34. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#2121085)
Amazing. It's crazy to expect this to keep happening...but it does.
   35. Raskolnikov Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#2121086)
I thought that seeing Pedro in '99 was the most remarkable achievement by a single individual in baseball.

I have a feeling that by the time this season wraps up, Ortiz '06 will be the most remarkable season ever.

I can see the scene unfolding already. The Twins have clinched the WC. The Yanks and Sox battle it out in late September for the last playoff spot. 9th inning - Rivera against Ortiz...
   36. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:44 AM (#2121096)
9th inning - Rivera against Ortiz...

"A little roller up along first. Behind the bag. It gets through Giambi! Here comes Youks and the Red Sox win it!"
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:46 AM (#2121098)
By the way, here's a table from Eric Van on SoSH:
Date  Need to Win Papi    Pitcher
6
/11       HR      HR     Otsuka
6
/24       2B      HR     Gordon
6
/26       HR      4-1    Cormier
6
/26       1B      IBB    Gordon
6
/26       1B      1B     Condrey
7
/29       1B      IBB    RodriguexFr.
7/29       1B      1B     Romero
7
/31       HR      HR     Carmona 

I hope that formatting works. And, well, wow.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:47 AM (#2121099)
Sorry, an explanation might help. Those are the 8 PA this year in which Big Papi has had an opportunity to hit a walk-off.
   39. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#2121100)
My 7-year-old daughter has taken to following the Sox with me on gamecast. She likes watching the dots move around (far more than watching the actual people when the Sox are on TV). After I turned the game off in disgust after Wells' piss-poor performance, we read a few books and then I turned the game back on. It had just ended, and I saw the final score and the line below (Ortiz 3-5, 2HR, 4RBI). As I raised my hands in celebration, she simply asked, "Was it Papi?" She's a quick study.
   40. Sam M. Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:56 AM (#2121102)
Those are the 8 PA this year in which Big Papi has had an opportunity to hit a walk-off.

And, well, wow.


And, with that, I rest my case for THIS proposition:

At this point, pitching to Ortiz in that situation HAS to be the choice that gets second-guessed. It just has to. It is simply a losing proposition.

The only winning move is not to play.
   41. JB H Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:58 AM (#2121105)
Has anyone seen any stats on what the record for walk-offs in a season is? I have to imagine Papi has a shot at it
   42. Raskolnikov Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2121106)
Sorry, an explanation might help. Those are the 8 PA this year in which Big Papi has had an opportunity to hit a walk-off

That can't be the case. I can remember in the Kubel HR off Tavarez game, Papi made outs in extra innings (went 0-5). In the 19 inning Chisox-Bosox game, Papi made outs numerous times (1-7, 2 BBs). He's greatness, but ...
   43. JB H Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#2121108)
Raskolnikov, you can't walk-off if you still have to pitch in the bottom half of the inning
   44. Norcan Posted: August 01, 2006 at 06:50 AM (#2121131)
Kyle Snyder was impressive again tonight, at least once through a lineup. That is the perfect profile of a reliever. With his great curveball and hopefully continued good health, I can see him being somewhat similar to Justin Duchscherer.
   45. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: August 01, 2006 at 07:26 AM (#2121139)
Steinbrenner was just making hay, he never told Cash to sign Ortiz.

If I could bet money he goes to the HoF I'd do it.

Why doesn't he have 3 MVPs already?
   46. Zac Schmitt Posted: August 01, 2006 at 08:30 AM (#2121149)
still not a believer. in fact, i'm curious about this sort of thing. was he clutch in minnesota but never got to prove it? because if winning games in july is clutch, it's not like he never got the opportunity there. will he continue to be clutch, or could he again become unclutch (or simply not clutch, as opposed to specifically unclutch)? is clutchness a perpetual state? if he was always clutch, did i just not hear about it because no one cared about the twins? or could he stop being clutch tomorrow as randomly as he got clutch?

i'm genuinely confused.

and mvp? you mean of the team, right?
   47. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: August 01, 2006 at 08:34 AM (#2121150)
I still think Joe Mauer should be MVP
   48. Bmore Boy (Thailand edition) Posted: August 01, 2006 at 11:44 AM (#2121177)
I believe Bill James came out with a paper a couple years ago - something with fog or mist in the title if you want to google, I'm too lazy at the moment - refuting his earlier theory that TNSTAACH. He didn't say there IS such a thing - just that all the factors involved muddy the picture so much, you can't definitively say there ISN'T. It was poo-pooed by statheads.

I wonder if he's working on this problem right now...
   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 11:51 AM (#2121180)
I don't think that David Ortiz has some inborn, binary "clutch" characteristic that is not shared by most MLB hitters. Hell, Papi wasn't even particularly clutch in 2003 with the Red Sox.

The point is that the world is way more complicated, and way more interesting, than that. Generally, the world isn't arranged in binary characteristics that are unaffected by context and statistically determinable over a small sample. Ortiz's clutchness is fully contextual and, yeah, it could go away. But that will never mean it didn't happen.

James' point in the fog paper was that many statheads have become oddly convinced that things we can't find statistically don't exist. That's just a terribly boring way to approach baseball - all the cool stuff is hidden in the fog, on the margins, and we have to accept that we can't have any particularly good statistical knowledge of it.
   50. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 12:33 PM (#2121209)
What are Ortiz's numbers close and late? It would be interesting to see if they match our perceptions.

I think Ortiz is a monster, and I'd have walked him too. But I think part of what makes him spectacularly interesting is that he can be pitched to, unlike Manny. In my opinion, Manny can hit anything at any time. But if you pitch Papi just right (and, of course, most pitchers cannot), you can get him out.


Given that, I think, pitchers and managers will be more likely to "go after" Papi, instead of walking him to get to Ramirez. And to his credit, he's been making them pay this year.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 12:37 PM (#2121215)
What are Ortiz's numbers close and late? It would be interesting to see if they match our perceptions.
Papi's WPA is through the roof, as it was in 2005. That's basically a far more granular measure of "close and late", so, yes, it matches our perceptions.

How would you pitch to Papi with the game on the line?
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2006 at 12:54 PM (#2121230)
He is bearing down on the Boston record for HR's...
and has an outside chance at 60
   53. Josh Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#2121240)
Speaking of WPA, earlier in the year there was a discussion 'round these parts on LI. Thought it would be interesting for an update:

Pap is at about 1.85, which is in the range of good usage for a closer (though, a little light - Fransisco Rod is at about 2, as is Jenks - but that may be a matter of opps and making sure paps get regular work given his young arm). Timlin is at around 1.6. (Earlier, these two were reversed.)

Seanez has dropped down to a 0.58, in the clear mop up category (this is obvious from watching the games). Foulke's ~1 has now been given to Delcarmen (at 0.96) and Hansen is the third most trusted reliever at 1.17 (though, as jewtang pointed out in the prior discussion [iirc], be wary of self-created leverage). Taverez is miles ahead of Seanez at about 0.9.
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:15 PM (#2121253)
How would you pitch to Papi with the game on the line?

If I had my ace on the mound (preferably left-handed), I'd go up and in every single pitch. But again, this isn't a secret - either Ortiz has adjusted or pitcher just can't do it.
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:16 PM (#2121254)
Pap is at about 1.85, which is in the range of good usage for a closer (though, a little light - Fransisco Rod is at about 2, as is Jenks - but that may be a matter of opps and making sure paps get regular work given his young arm).
I don't think there's much of any way to control closer LI within a range of 1.6-2.2 or so. Guys have to work, and they only get the opportunities that the team makes for them. If the closer is in that range, the hypothesis should always be that the manager's doing hte right thing. (It's possible he isn't, but just average LI over the season can't really tell us.)
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2121255)
If I had my ace on the mound (preferably left-handed), I'd go up and in every single pitch. But again, this isn't a secret - either Ortiz has adjusted or pitcher just can't do it.
That's the 2003 strategy. You can't beat Ortiz up-and-in without a serious plus fastball. He's adjusted, and his hands are just insanely quick.

I think the best way to beat him is to be a lefty and pound breaking balls in the zone and down-and-away.
   57. Josh Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2121256)
I think that is right, MCoA - I'm not sure if I'd go as low as 1.6, but 1.8 is certainly in the range. Also, these numbers change in quick order; a couple of consecutive one run games, for example, would alter the numbers. Lastly, LI is still a pretty blunt tool -- beyond the problem jewtang (?) wrote of (self-created leverage), LI assumes that all batters are equal by averaging base/out situations, when that clearly isn't the case.
   58. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:29 PM (#2121262)
So why doesn't Ortiz hit everything? I mean, you watch him every day (I'd assume). He's not even quite in the AL top ten in overall OBP%.

I'm not trying to minimize Ortiz here; he's a hell of a player. But my impression is that he has weaknesses as an offensive player, weaknesses that (for instance) Manny doesn't have.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2121274)
So why doesn't Ortiz hit everything? I mean, you watch him every day (I'd assume). He's not even quite in the AL top ten in overall OBP%.
Manny, whom you pick out as the hitter without a hole in his game, also doesn't hit everything. His OBP last year was four points lower than Ortiz's OBP this year. Ortiz doesn't "hit everything" for the same reason that no one hits everything. It's baseball. Does everyone outside the top ten in OBP have a distinguishable hole in his game that pitchers can exploit? Does A-Rod?

I don't think the differences between Manny and Papi on this front are qualitative. There was a time when Ortiz could be pitched to - fastball up-and-in, curveball down-and-away - but he's learned to keep his hands in and crush (a) into the bleachers, and to lay off (b). That, of course, doesn't mean he doesn't pop out and strike out on those pitches with some regularity. But his results when pitched to in that manner are not qualitatively different from his results when pitched to otherwise, from my observation.
   60. Dizzypaco Posted: August 01, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#2121275)
So why doesn't Ortiz hit everything? I mean, you watch him every day (I'd assume). He's not even quite in the AL top ten in overall OBP%.

I'm not trying to minimize Ortiz here; he's a hell of a player. But my impression is that he has weaknesses as an offensive player, weaknesses that (for instance) Manny doesn't have.


He does have weaknesses, perhaps more than Manny, its just that the weaknesses seam to disappear when the game is on the line. He's simply a different hitter than he is in the first inning of a game.

There was, by the way, a debate a little while ago on this site about whether Manny should bat before or after Papi. I said it at the time, and I still believe, you have to bat Manny after Ortiz. Otherwise, Ortiz will never see a pitch to hit with the game on the line. Ever.
   61. sasquatch83 Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:00 PM (#2121286)
Are there any stats for how Ortiz does against the shift? Does it work that well?
   62. chris p Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2121288)
So why doesn't Ortiz hit everything? I mean, you watch him every day (I'd assume). He's not even quite in the AL top ten in overall OBP%.

one reason is that with nobody on or a runner on first, he hits into the shift alot. line drives to short right become 4-3 outs, ground balls anywhere to the first base side of 2nd become outs, but with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd, you can't do the full shift, and balls get through.
   63. Guapo Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:12 PM (#2121299)
Ortiz is amazing. He's got to be one of the top three DH's in the league.
   64. Norcan Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2121301)
Manny can't be pitched to? 95 mph heat certainly seems to do the trick often. Manny's stats speak for themselves but his bat really has slowed down some and against some closers late in games, he can be made to look old. Honestly, as good a hitter as Manny is, he rarely hits the ball hard in big moments. He seems to top the ball a lot and produce weak grounders.
   65. Kurt Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2121302)
Yawn. I'd much rather have seen a pitcher up at bat in that situation, so we could all revel in the exciting strategy. I honestly don't understand why you people would be excited over this.
   66. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2121314)
Manny can't be pitched to? 95 mph heat certainly seems to do the trick often.

Clearly, I was engaged in hyperbole. If Manny had no weaknesses, his stats would be extra-otherworldly, instead of just otherworldly.

But as a Yankee fan, I'd rather have Ortiz vs. my best with the game on the line than Manny vs. my best, assuming equal game situations. I think we can get Papi out, while I can't remember a stretch over the last five or six years in which Manny became an easy out.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#2121318)
Yawn. I'd much rather have seen a pitcher up at bat in that situation, so we could all revel in the exciting strategy. I honestly don't understand why you people would be excited over this.

If Steve Treder were alive in this thread, he'd be rolling over in his grave.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:31 PM (#2121319)
But as a Yankee fan, I'd rather have Ortiz vs. my best with the game on the line than Manny vs. my best

As one of my favorite five year olds once put it, "Would you rather have earwax in your nose or boogers in your ear?"
   69. PJ Martinez Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#2121328)
"I think Ortiz causes such fear in opposing pitchers now that he causes them to choke."

There could be something to that. But that pitch Papi nailed yesterday looked very good to me-- a hard fastball right on the lower outside corner. The count was 2-0, with two men on, one out, Manny up next, so you pretty much have to throw a strike (unless you play for Sam M.). And Carmona, it seemed to me, threw almost a perfect strike (upper outside rather than lower outside might have been better, I suppose). Anyway, Papi showed what seemed to me amazing plate coverage to get that thing out of the park.
   70. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2121340)
Why on Earth did the Indians not just walk him? I'm totally serious. I don't give a damn about the book. Walk the damn book, too. They put the winning run on the scoreboard by pitching to him. Why not put it on base by pitching to him?

Well, Manny and his 1.000 OPS were on deck. You go from needing a long double to tie it to needing a single.

and Sam again, later:

I would have walked David Ortiz with the bases loaded and a two run lead. What do you think of that?


Actually, I'd have walked them both and taken my chances on bases loaded with one out and a one-run lead. I could still get out of it with a DP.

Seriously, Carmona's real mistake was walking Youkilis. The only way to keep Ortiz from beating you is to keep him from coming to the plate as the winning run.
   71. PJ Martinez Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2121345)
"Seriously, Carmona's real mistake was walking Youkilis."

As you may have heard, Youkilis is pretty good at that.

As to how one can pitch Ortiz: earlier in the game, he hit a double down the left-field line, that looked to me, at least initially, like a check swing (and the ESPN guys referred to it that way). My dad was convinced that Papi poked it over there, as he apparently did in a big spot recently (the details escape me), maybe for a single.

What do you think? Is he making an effort to beat the shift lately? Or has he just gotten lucky a couple times?
   72. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:49 PM (#2121347)
My scoreboard watching commences today(August 1). And, as was true last year, I figure any team with a lead over the Red Sox is only likely to win if they can keep those two from being the tying run. So a one-or-two run lead in the late innnings is exactly the same as a Sox win for my purposes. If I'm wrong, the Yankees can gain ground and I'll just be surprised.
   73. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2121352)
As you may have heard, Youkilis is pretty good at that.

This was my argument earlier in the year when Crisp came back. All that matters in that lineup with those two guys is on-base percentage. If you could find a hitter with zero power but superior on-base skills, he would fit in really well in the Sox #2 hole.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2121353)
What do you think? Is he making an effort to beat the shift lately?
I was sure that the check swing was purposeful. Papi dropped the bat immediately and started running - usually players react much more slowly on check-swing contact.
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2121356)
My scoreboard watching commences today(August 1).
For real? I scoreboard watch in frickin' spring training.
   76. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2121357)
What are Ortiz's numbers close and late? It would be interesting to see if they match our perceptions.

Overall -- 289/392/623
C & L -- 293/359/741

Presented with no editorial comment except this: I supose that whether these match your perceptions depends on what your perceptions are.
   77. SoSH U at work Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2121368)
What do you think? Is he making an effort to beat the shift lately? Or has he just gotten lucky a couple times?


The single Saturday to beat the Angels was undeniably an effort to beat the shift, and at the most appropriate time (winning run on second). He hit a grounder to where the shortstop would ordinarily be. Considering he never hits groundballs to the left side of the field (which is one reason why the shift is put on), it was clearly intentional on Papi's part.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 01, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2121373)
As you may have heard, Youkilis is pretty good at that.

Well, sure, and that's exactly why it's a huge mistake to try to get him to chase curveballs in the dirt instead of challenging him when Ortiz represents the winnning run on deck.
   79. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2121376)
For real? I scoreboard watch in frickin' spring training.

I'll admit to occasionally wondering about other scores and occasionally delighting in the standings, but I begin to regard losses by those closest to my team in the standings nearly as highly as I regard wins by my team at this point in the year. I'll watch a whole game not involving my team with some intensity on my part at this time of year.
   80. Dave Cyprian Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:11 PM (#2121392)
Ortiz is apparently on a mission to embarrass and disgrace major league bullpens, especially the vaunted 'closer' who all of us stat-heads understand to be a simple product of circumstance and luck. Ortiz shares our belief that there is no such thing as a 'closer' and is out to viscerally prove it for all to see.
   81. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#2121408)
I think it's no longer controversial that Youk/Loretta/Ortiz/Ramirez is the optimal top four in that lineup.
   82. Josh Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2121409)
And he is better than David Wright!



(sorry)
   83. OlePerfesser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:53 PM (#2121453)
...So Mrs. Perfesser gives up and goes to bed in the 8th inning.

When she joins me at the breakfast table this morning, she's smiling: "I had a dream the Sox came back to win last night. Did they?"

Boy howdy, did they ever.

The problem now is that Mrs. P thinks her mystical powers are responsible for the comeback, rather than Big Papi's superhuman abilities.
   84. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2121455)
Well, what's her WARP3?
   85. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#2121483)
"Many people have made this point about Ortiz, but I have never once heard it said about Jeter. Jeter is the 'guy you can count on in the clutch' who will always come through with the big hit. Yet no one ever mentions that he has always batted first or second in front of hitters like ARod, Giambi, and Sheffield. Jeter received only 3 IBBs last year, while Papi got 9.

For all the credit Jeter gets in the press, he is almost never intentionally walked. Opposing players talk about his clutchness, but when the games are on the line, they'd rather try to get him that deal with the guys behind him."

Jeter's numbers in '06 close and late: .327/.478/.423

RISP: .384/.488/.525

RISP, 2 outs: .425/.558/.600

He's got 4 IBB this year and ISOP of .136. He's getting a ton of respect for someone who's main ability is to get on base and for good reason.

His WPA is one of the best in the league, Hardballtimes had an article saying he'd been on of the most clutch hitters in baseball this year here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/what-wpa-can-tell-us-about-players1/.

Ortiz has been great this year, and he's a power hitter, so his greatness has been pretty loud an explosive. But Jeter is putting on a Tony Gwynn redux in the Bronx right now with a performance that is matching his reputation at the plate this year. It's a shame you're missing that.
   86. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#2121502)
Ortiz has been great this year, and he's a power hitter, so his greatness has been pretty loud an explosive. But Jeter is putting on a Tony Gwynn redux in the Bronx right now with a performance that is matching his reputation at the plate this year. It's a shame you're missing that.
I think the three best MVP candidates in the AL are Jeter, Mauer and Ortiz. Mauer's the best in the VORPalicious numbers, Ortiz takes WPA, and Jeter has the best combination.

However, I think you're slightly understating Papi's clutch performance, at least insofar as WPA points to that. Jeter and Papi have equivalent RC numbers - 85 and 87, respectively. However, Ortiz' WPA is 524, while Jeter's is 402. And Jeter is in second place.
   87. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#2121507)
As one of my favorite five year olds once put it, "Would you rather have earwax in your nose or boogers in your ear?"

I love kids.

And I love that you have multiple favorite five-year-olds.
   88. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#2121512)
"However, Ortiz' WPA is 524, while Jeter's is 402. And Jeter is in second place."

Damn. I didn't know Jeter was second, or that Papi had such a commanding lead. Where do you get the WPA numbers? I had just read somewhere that Jeter's WPA was really good this year. I think it's going to come down to Jeter and Ortiz and it will be an interesting dilemna to watch the media try and choose between their two golden children.
   89. b Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2121514)
But that pitch Papi nailed yesterday looked very good to me-- a hard fastball right on the lower outside corner. The count was 2-0, with two men on, one out, Manny up next, so you pretty much have to throw a strike (unless you play for Sam M.). And Carmona, it seemed to me, threw almost a perfect strike (upper outside rather than lower outside might have been better, I suppose). Anyway, Papi showed what seemed to me amazing plate coverage to get that thing out of the park.

Wow, I thought that was a horrible pitch by Carmona. It was low, but it wasn't that outside, and it appeared to be a 2-seamer, so it moved from the middle/middle-in back onto the fat part of Ortiz's bat. Maybe he has adjusted to the fastball in and under the hands, but I'd still pitch him there every time versus where the Carmona pitch was.
   90. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#2121520)
CP -

Fangraphs.com is doing daily WPA updates, as well as producing a number of other toys. Between them and minorleaguesplits, this is the best season of hte baseball internet in a long time.

Also, my bad, Jermaine Dye has passed Jeter for second place in the AL, now at 421.
   91. b Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2121528)
I think the three best MVP candidates in the AL are Jeter, Mauer and Ortiz. Mauer's the best in the VORPalicious numbers, Ortiz takes WPA, and Jeter has the best combination.

Which brings everyone right back to last year's issues with Ortiz...he's a DH who isn't the best hitter in the league.

I'd also add Jermaine Dye to the Jeter, Mauer, Ortiz list.
   92. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2121530)
Also, my bad, Jermaine Dye has passed Jeter for second place in the AL, now at 421.

Jeter's the third hitter. Li'l Papi is 2nd in the AL with a WPA of 467.

Pujols is at 660 for the overall lead, in case you were wondering.
   93. Zac Schmitt Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2121539)
in the good old "denoting value rather than skill" sense, and in that we're talking about most valuable player, clutchness is fine to bring into the discussion. however, i feel horrible giving a guy a bunch of credit for something i'm not sure isn't just random as hell. (note: i don't believe it's totally random, and i don't actually have any problem accepting that some people's dispositions, makeup, or whatever allow them to perform better in high leverage situations. it's just that i don't know what that makeup is or could possibly be composed of, how it could be measured or even definitively noticed, what situations it comes out in, and a hundred other concerns.) ortiz is a monster hitter on a very good team. he deserves to be in the discussion as long as he's near the top of most offensive measures. but, as bill james and others argue, the situation is almost so foggy as to be impenetrable, and i'd rather undervalue something i'm not even sure exists than overvalue it.

also, i just can't in good faith give that much credit to a dh. not that he shouldn't be in the discussion, but i just can't ignore it.

most importantly, could we stop calling him big papi? please? it makes us all sound like we're latina hookers and he's our pimp. not a comfortable feeling.
   94. PJ Martinez Posted: August 01, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2121547)
"it wasn't that outside"

Well, no, it wasn't that outside; I assumed he was trying to throw a strike, and, according to K-Zone, he just hit the corner. That said, the point that it started in and moved out (but not far enough out to miss the bat) is certainly a good one. Maybe it was a bad pitch.

On the other hand, Ortiz crushes inside fastballs. In fact, I think that's a primary skill he added after coming to the Red Sox that transformed him from Twins cast-off to Clutch God. The CW that you should pitch him there seems questionable to me.
   95. Dizzypaco Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2121549)
however, i feel horrible giving a guy a bunch of credit for something i'm not sure isn't just random as hell.

Other people have voiced this, but I don't see the problem here. A lot in baseball is random. Whether Jeter hits .320 or .345 this year is largely random. Whether Mauer hits .350 or .370 is largely random. When Derrick Lee had a career year last year, you didn't have people saying, "that performance may have been a random fluctuation. I'll wait to see if he can repeat it before awarding him any honors."

Post season awards reward actual performance. It doesn't make any difference whether that performance is based on some skill that the player can repeat, or whether luck played a large role.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2121562)
ugh, another perfectly good baseball discussion (/ortiz amazement-fest) derailed and made boring by discussion about the mvp award.

someday i'll get around to writing and posting my rant against the awards and the hall of fame, and how they infect and ruin perfectly reasonable baseball discourse.

cmon people, we have mostly let go caring about who gets named to the allstar team, lets do the same for the writers' awards and the hall of fame !!!!!!!!!
   97. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2121577)
test post.

I haven't had the ability to post in a few days except in the forums.
   98. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2121585)
Damn.

*emails Jim*
   99. Zac Schmitt Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#2121600)
It doesn't make any difference whether that performance is based on some skill that the player can repeat, or whether luck played a large role.

it may be stupid, but it does to me. i wouldn't try to eliminate luck entirely or pretend it doesn't play a huge part in whether ortiz is lauded and a-rod booed, but i would want to try and lower the importance of luck as much as i could. the "that's the way the cookie crumbles" argument is fine when discussing outcomes, but when evaluating those outcomes i feel like we should concentrate more on tangibles.

and nasty nate, i'm more interested by just about any discussion than ortiz love fests. however, i don't want to be the guy who stumbles into the newlyweds' honeymoon suite and is surprised when there are people doing it in there, yelling "get a room!" when, of course, they already have.
   100. bunyon Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#2121604)
The only winning move is not to play.

Would you like to play a nice game of chess?


note: i don't believe it's totally random, and i don't actually have any problem accepting that some people's dispositions, makeup, or whatever allow them to perform better in high leverage situations. it's just that i don't know what that makeup is or could possibly be composed of, how it could be measured or even definitively noticed, what situations it comes out in, and a hundred other concerns. ortiz is a monster hitter on a very good team. he deserves to be in the discussion as long as he's near the top of most offensive measures. but, as bill james and others argue, the situation is almost so foggy as to be impenetrable, and i'd rather undervalue something i'm not even sure exists than overvalue it.

You notice it the same way you notice brick walls in the fog. You keep running into it and getting hurt.
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