It just keeps getting worse and worse for David Ortiz. Big Papi, as he is affectionately known, is not the fun-loving, bomb-hitting, gap-toothed gentle giant of a man we all once knew him as when he was playing well.
Ortiz is performing very poorly at the plate this season. He is hitting .146 without a HR and with only 2 RBI. He may just be slumping, but this slump has been going on for a while. To make matters worse, Ortiz was pinch-hit for by Mike Lowell in Boston's 7-6 come from behind victory on Tuesday.
I noticed that there was a rousing ovation for Lowell. The Fenway Faithful want to see more of Lowell, and maybe less of Ortiz.
Ortiz's slump started in the beginning of 2009. He was a slugger who wasn't slugging. He is a slugger who isn't slugging. Ortiz eventually hit 28 HR and 99 RBI, but there were some trials and tribulations along the way.
On July 30, 2009, The New York Times reported that Ortiz, along with fellow former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez, took performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. Other players named in that article were Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Grimsley, and David Segui.
Ortiz did not admit that he did steroids, but he suggested that his positive test may be from his careless use of supplements.
Manny Ramirez was traded from Boston to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2008. Ramirez had begun to turn from the funny boy-man who hit bombs and high-fived fans while robbing opponents of homers to a man who no longer was happy playing for the Red Sox and faked injuries. Much of his unhappiness was due to his displeasure about his contract situation in Boston.
Will we see David Ortiz, the man we all know as Big Papi, the fun-loving boy-man who hits homers, spits on his batting gloves, and shakes his bat become unhappy as Manny Ramirez did? Will Ortiz call for a trade? Will he retire soon?
These are just a few questions that are making Red Sock fans think hard.
It is very unlikely that we will see Ortiz act as Ramirez did. Ortiz likes Boston too much. During Ramirez's time in Boston, he wished for peace and quiet. He wished for the peace and quiet that would let him go to the mall and buy clothes without signing autographs. Ortiz, on the other hand, has always embraced Red Sox nation. Ortiz has never gotten sour with the many media reporters covering the Red Sox. Ortiz really was put onto the baseball map with Boston. You don't remember him hitting home runs and slapping fives with the Twins do you? Manny was already a star player by the time he left Cleveland for Boston.
I doubt we will see David Ortiz leave anytime soon. But Ortiz himself, and most Red Sox fans are getting fed up with his slow start to the 2010 season.