David Ortiz: Why Is He Losing His Swing?

Bare KnucksAnalyst IMay 19, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 14:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox strikes out swinging with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 14, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  The Angels won 5-4 in 12 innings.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

David "Big Papi" Ortiz has captured the hearts of most baseball fans with his jovial personality, clutch performances, and broken English. With yesterday’s 0-7 outing, a .208 batting average, and zero dingers, is Big Papi fading away fast, or just harboring injuries from past seasons?

At 33, a player becomes slower to heal from major injuries. Before the
last two years, Ortiz posted a career .290 batting average and incredible home run power. This year’s performance, last year’s .264, 23 home runs, and only 89 RBI provides ample evidence of a drastic performance drop.

Perhaps Papi’s biggest asset is his clutch hitting. He has delivered some of the greatest moments in September and October baseball this century.

Papi is an instrumental facet of perennial contender Boston’s roster. During ex-teammate Manny Ramirez’s antics in Boston, Papi remained popular with the fans because of his character on and off the field.

Despite all of this, Papi’s performance (or lack thereof) against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday appears to be the epitome of his struggles. Going 0-7 in an extra innings was uncharacteristic enough, but the double digit (12) runners left on base was exactly the kind of performance of which baseball fans thought he was incapable.

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