Big No More: Is The Swagger Gone?

Joe HuberCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 15:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox looks on against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on April 15, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Through 154 at-bats, David Ortiz has as many triples as he does home runs.  Uno, one, un, or uno again.

Ortiz hasn't been big thus far in the 2009 Boston Red Sox campaign, and since it's officially after Memorial Day, it's no longer "too early" to pose the question:  Is David "Big Papi" Ortiz done?

In short, no.  Big Papi will hit at least 20 home runs this season.

But even I would be mad if that was the entirety of the article.

Have you ever had a nagging injury that made it a little harder to do your job?  Maybe a sprained ankle or jammed finger?  Well, I think that last year's wrist injury is still bugging him.

Now, a lot of people will talk until they're blue in the face that it's something you can just tough out, but with a power hitter, the legs and wrists are instrumental to him blasting balls toward the lone red seat in right field.

Even if this is entirely speculative, and trust me, it is, it's still a valid point.  Anyone who has ever hit a baseball can tell you that when your wrist is not up to par, your hitting is not up to par.  The reverberation from the bat up to his elbow could be bugging him, causing him to try to hit the ball with only the sweet spot on the bat.

Which leads to the next reason why he will hit at least 20 home runs this season.  He's overthinking.

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Again, many people will disagree that Big Papi is probably not even thinking while he's up there (look at some of the pitches he's swinging at...), but it's entirely plausible that he's looking at every single pitch and determining how exactly the ball an be crushed at Pesky's pole.

However, by the time he's figured all that out, the 99 mph fastball is by him or the 12-6 curve has already had the bottom drop out.

It will take Papi some time to readjust to get back into his old ways, but there is no reason why he won't be able to swing for the fences, and connect 19 more times this year.

One more reason why he can still return to form, Terry Francona.  There is not a better player's manager in this business.  He understands what it takes to succeed, and the best way to succeed in baseball?  Have your players succeed.

Francona will find the proper way to get Papi his at bats, and to also find the right amount of days to rest him and have him return to Big Papi status.

Ortiz might be slumping now, but with the Red Sox back atop first in the division, it's entirely possible that the pressure comes off, and Papi starts back into form.

If nothing more, these are the ways I've shrouded myself into believing he is on his way back to top of his game.  Go Red Sox.

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