Every year, it seems that David Ortiz is on the precipice of disaster.
Every season, armchair scouts and amateur bloggers (myself included) predict that this is the year that Ortiz's pixie dust will wear off, that he will once again return to the unheralded, ignominious roots from whence he came.
Every year is the year that he's supposed to regress to Minnesota-level Papi, and cease to be the smiling, home run-hitting, swagger-iffic force of nature we have seen in Boston.
And every year they are wrong. Ortiz continues to produce at a remarkably high level. But Ortiz will be a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, and the Red Sox have a decision to make:
Do they once again invest in the player who has brought them unmatched success?
Or do they cut the cord early on Ortiz, bet that his production will diminish in the next year or so, and build towards the future?
It isn't a decision to be taken lightly, however the answer is surprisingly simple:
The Red Sox must keep David Ortiz.
What follows are 12 reasons why Boston would be foolish not to retain Big Papi's services, and why his value to the team goes far beyond anything that is measurable by home run totals or slugging percentages...