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Would Booing David Ortiz Help Him Out of His Slump?

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 14:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox walks in the dugout after grounding out for the final out with the bases loaded in the 12th 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)
Philip RichContributor IJune 2, 2009

Everyone has heard that line from their parents at some point, and everyone knows that it’s a worse sentiment than anger.

Right now, that is exactly how Red Sox fans feel toward David Ortiz.

I know articles regarding Big Papi’s prolonged slump have been written ad nauseam, but I want to pose a new question to Red Sox Nation:

Would booing Big Papi help him break out of his monumental slump?

Right now, Ortiz seems to face every at-bat as another opportunity for failure rather than an opportunity for success. The lovable giant with the enormous smile is focused  on not disappointing his fans instead of hitting the ball.

I don’t pretend to understand the thought process of Papi, but it is clear that he needs to put the fans out of his mind.

Every at bat, he steps to the plate to an ovation of cheers, which serves as a constant reminder that while Boston supports him, they are severely disappointed.

If he stepped in to the batters box to some boos, it may damage his psyche even more, and destroy what little confidence he has left. 

But just maybe, it could light that spark in him, and restore the mean streak that once made him the most feared hitter in baseball.

Just maybe it could drive the fans out of his mind, and get him back to a state of mind where it’s just him against the pitcher: a one-on-one battle which he rarely lost in his prime.

Personally, I don’t put much stock in booing. After all, he is a professional, and almost every single player has been booed at some point in their career. If they couldn’t handle it, they wouldn’t still be playing.

But one need only to look at the rival Yankees, and some of their post-boo production (namely A-Rod and Mark Teixeira). Maybe there is something to be said for positive effects of booing?

I could never fathom booing a man like David Ortiz. What he has done for the Sox in big-game situations grossly outweighs his present statistics.

In addition, he is a standup citizen, actively involved in the Boston community as well as his native Dominican Republic.

Of all people, Ortiz should be the one who is never booed by his home crowd. He won two World Championships for the Sox.

And in a city which went 86 years between World Series titles, it would be ridiculous to adopt a “what have you done for me lately” mentality.

It remains unclear whether we are witnessing an historic slump from one of the best and most clutch hitters in the past decade, or the waning career of a once-great slugger.

I truly hope that it never comes to this. I would rather see him relegated to Pawtucket before I hear Fenway filled with boos.

Nevertheless, I am curious if this would have any effect on him. He’s tried everything else, and nothing seems to be helping the slumping slugger.

But just maybe a little anger is exactly what Big Papi needs.

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