For the length of this baseball season, fans of all kinds have seen the struggles of the once great Red Sox slugger known best as Big Papi. Yankee's fans have been enjoying the site of the big man crumble at the plate with a sub .200 average for most of the season. Red Sox fans, on the other hand, have been sitting back and watching quietly like parents as the man who was part of two world series after an '86 year drought misses on pitches that he normally hit out of the park.
At first glance, Red Sox hopefuls thought they were seeing a slow start to an aging star that would be fixed with time and plate appearances. After even two months, the drought seemed to continue.
Talks of steroid use emerged soon after Manny Ramirez was found guilty, and Ortiz was still struggling behind the plate. The Sports Guy, Billy Simmons of ESPN, was convinced that the true reason of Ortiz's demise at the plate was due to old age. Simmons believes that Ortiz is a few years older than reported since he was born in the Dominican Republic.
This would not be to much of a surprise, since not long ago Miguel Tejada admitted to being two years older than he really was.
Could that really be it? Could old age make that much sense?
I started to have to believe it myself.
On Jul. 8, Ortiz visited an optometrist and received eye drops for a dry eye condition.
And it's working.
In the past seven games while using the eye drops, Papi has been hitting .500 with two home runs and four RBIs. He is looking confident behind the plate, and the bat speed seems to be back. But is he here to stay?
It might be too early to say, but this Sox fan is hopeful. The great thing about Sox fans is that no matter what their players are putting on the field, they never resort to booing their own players.
It might be good to have Ortiz sit in the five hole to take some of the pressure of clean up out of his mind. According to Red Sox mastermind Bill James, batting order dosn't matter anyway.
To make another serious run at a world series, Ortiz needs to be back to his confident, 2007 self.
The only thing keeping the Red Sox from more wins is another strong bat. With the way it has been looking, the Sox could go on a serious run.
Since Jun. 8, the Red Sox are 7-1, including a sweep of the Yankees.