Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz Should Keep Letting His Bat Do the Complaining
Statisticians, analysts and general baseball enthusiasts have a duty to count such numbers as David Ortiz’s career home run total, which reached an even 400 on Wednesday.
The Boston Red Sox front office has a duty to count its payroll and diligently determine how it is doled out amongst its players. For what it’s worth, they are forking $14,575,000 over to their designated hitter this year.
Where he is in his career, the 36-year-old Ortiz needs to stick to counting his blessings and acting accordingly on the field to maintain solid statistics along with a satisfying salary.
Ortiz has done plenty of that through the first half of the 2012 campaign. Appearing in 81 of the first 82 games, he has charged up a team-best .302 batting average, .607 slugging percentage, 89 hits, 46 extra-base hit, 22 dingers, 55 runs batted in, 45 walks and 60 runs-scored.
Why, then, did he feel the need to lambast his higher-ups in a recent interview with USA Today? Regardless of how disappointed he might be with a one-year contract, hasn’t his exemplary performance in the batter’s box accomplished enough in the “I’ll show you” department?
Apparently not in his own eyes, as was plainly evidenced in the quotes that were translated from Spanish in a story by USA Today writer Jorge L. Ortiz.
The athlete Ortiz did have a point in one regard, which was partially underlined in one paragraph of the author Ortiz’s USA Today piece. Not many members of the Red Sox are higher grossing than Ortiz, but nearly all of those who are have been injured and/or egregiously underperforming.
The article expressly mentions the long-ailing likes of John Lackey and Carl Crawford. Although there was no mention of him, it might as well have thrown in Josh Beckett, who has not done much over the last 10 months to justify his $17 million income.
Even so, it is not the DH’s place to verbally vent over player-to-player discrepancies in salary, aptitude and performance. It is on him to earn his own salary by playing his part on the team that employs him.
Ortiz’s results of late are arguably gravy on top of what preceded the most recent, single-season contract years.
Furthermore, if baseball purists―that is, those who believe pitchers don’t have enough in their job description already―had it their way, Ortiz would have been finished long ago. He may not have even had the chance to transfer from the Minnesota Twins to the Red Sox, which would have deprived him and, most likely, the Boston fanbase of countless moments of glory.
Lucky for both parties, that fervent flurry of clutch hits between the 2004 and 2007 World Series campaigns did happen. But Ortiz ought to know that has no bearing on his value in any year that follows.
He is now on pace to put up numbers on a par with those banner years in every offensive category, meaning he need not be deemed a liability if the Sox fall short of satisfaction in 2012.
The last thing Ortiz should want, and the very least he can take care to avoid, is to risk estranging his teammates, employers and rooters with his mouth.
He does not need to stop harboring hard feelings by any means. He just needs to channel those feelings in a manner that converts negative energy to positive rather than inflate the negativity.
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