By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Is the end at hand for David Ortiz?

I know I should be all fired up about the Celtics and the Bruins tonight, so my apologies. (I will never be fired up about the Bruins.) Instead, I’m wondering if today will prove to be a turning point for David Ortiz, who went 0 for 7, left 12 runners on base (including the bases loaded — twice), and struck out three times. If he’d had even a mediocre day, the Red Sox would have won.

Radio announcers Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien are virtual extensions of the team. So I thought it was interesting that O’Brien, especially, was pointing out that Angels pitchers weren’t even bothering to nibble at the corners when Ortiz was up, and was suggesting that there may be changes coming soon.

Ortiz was a great player and is a class act. It’s sad that it’s come to this, but he’s hardly the first player whose skills have eroded rapidly. As it is, it’s hard to picture him adjusting and settling in as, say, a .260-25-80 guy. It looks like the show’s over for Big Papi.

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  1. io saturnalia!

    Wow! We’re only half-way through May and you’re already throwing dirt on the man’s corpse? Cold, baby, cold.Papi’s not going out like that.

  2. Ryan

    It’s clear that under the current conditions Papi’s done. What’s not clear is that, should he have more time to recover from his injuries, if he could contribute. Either way, I hope these DL rumors are true. Either he can get the time he needs to work out his problems, be they physical (likely) or mental, or he can come to the realization that, yes, he is done and retire. I hope he’s not done. I’m not ready to stop believing. But, for the time being, they have *got* to get him out of the lineup. Furthermore, we can’t go through the next few months expecting him to get better. If he doesn’t show quick results — and that’s unlikely — it’s time to start looking for another bat. We’re so thin this year and, with JD Drew, likely to be for a long time that even if Papi comes to a full recovery at some point during the season, it wouldn’t be a waste getting another bat anyway. BTW: I’m no hockey fan either, but playoff hockey is fun… and playoff hockey in overtime is freaking nerve wracking (in an amazing way, until – of course – you lose. Then it’s just cathartic).

  3. O'Rion

    There’s no mystery here. Bosox have Ortiz’s optimum stance and swing on video. If he’s healthy he should have the reactions and bat speed to connect. If he doesn’t, it’s over. Papi doesn’t play in the field so his only value to the team is to have an OPS north of .850. Nice person, but I never had the feeling he was particularly serious about training. Compare this to Todd Helton who is two years older and coming off back surgery. The Colorado 1B is hitting .333. A few names to keep in mind are FA’s Nick Johnson, Matt Holliday,Aubrey Huff as possible replacements. I also like the possibility of trading for Lance Berkman or Jorge Cantu who present money problems to Houston and Florida.

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