David Ortiz, 3 years after the fall

David Ortiz / Presswire

In the 2009 season, David Ortiz went homerless all the way up until 3 years ago today, of May 20th. Up until that game, for the season he was hitting .203/.317/.293. Yikes.

Lots of people, including me, said that he was D-U-N done. He certainly looked done.

Since May 20th 2009, though, Ortiz has been anything but done. In 446 games and 1847 plate appearances (3 full seasons over 3 full calendar years) he’s hit .285/.375/.543 with 98 HR and 311 RBI.

Over the 3 full seasons 2009, 2010, and 2011, two other players–Adrian Gonzalez and Paul Konerko–have exactly 98 homers themselves. Only 6 players (Albert, Prince, Tex, Ryan Howard, Miggy, and Gonzalez) have at least 98 homers and 311 over that same period.

Apparently, rumors of Ortiz’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

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29 Comments on "David Ortiz, 3 years after the fall"

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Hartvig
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I do have to admit that I was also one of those people. And I continued to think that into the following year when he started slowly again. It took until around the All-Star break or even long for me to admit that maybe I had been mistaken.

But for at least a season and a half or so, every time I looked at him all I could think of was Mo Vaughn.

Neil L.
Guest

“Apparently, rumors of Ortiz’s design were greatly exaggerated.”

Andy, you meant demise instead of design? 🙂

NotAlbert
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The prior sentence is incomplete, too. Two errors charged on this play.

Neil L.
Guest

🙂 Thanks for the correction. Let’s not make it three errors on one play!

Was this comment error-free?

richard chester
Guest

Neil: I think you should have written “Is this comment error-free”. 🙂

richard chester
Guest

With the question mark.

NotAlbert
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I meant the prior sentence in Andy’s post. He’s since fixed it. Sorry for the confusion.

Neil L.
Guest

Andy, why were there so many boos from Red Sox fans for David Ortiz over the time period your post covers?

You have large Bosox awareness, so was it just a case of Fenway patrons being, ….. well, Fenway patrons?

Neil L.
Guest

Why is Jose Bautista not on your list, Andy? He has 107 HR from May 20th, 2009 through the end of the 2011 season, doesn’t he?. Ahead of the names you list.

Please give the man his due.

Was part of your blog dropped?

bstar
Guest

Neil, Senor Bats doesn’t have enough RBI to qualify.

Neil L.
Guest

Ah, thank you, bstar. Missed the RBI cutoff in Andy’s blog.

I, too, miss the live chat, but I understand Andy’s concern for the greater good of the site.

I would have loved to talk John Autin down from the ledge, in live chat, during the bottom of the ninth today after FF put the first two runners on and then struck out Encarnacion, Arencibia and Thames with pure smoke.

John Autin
Editor

Neil, nothing would have kept me from bailing on that 9th.

BTW, great quote from double-F after the game, when asked why the Toronto crowd booed him so much: “Because they love me, and I left.”

Now there’s a positive-thinking practitioner!

Jameson
Guest

I seem to recall hearing something about Papi needing contact lenses or snapping out of his slump after getting them. A quick google search did not turn up anything credible on the subject. Does anyone else remember a cause given for his decline at the plate?

Jason Z
Guest

I don’t remember any cause given for his decline in early 09.

I do know that I thought there was no way he would be back in
Boston after 09. I thought he was done. Boy was I wrong.

Hartvig
Guest

I remember people talking about a loss of bat speed but I don’t remember who said it or even if it was anyone who was really in a position to know.

Lawrence Azrin
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Does anyone here believe that Ortiz is starting to approach serious HOF consideration? With his age 34-36 resurgence, he’s nearing some career milestones such as 400 HR. He’s got a good peak and some great game highlights, the sort of storylines that the writers love, in particular the whole “clutch” thing. OTOH, his HOF case isn’t quite as good as Edgar Martinez, who’s barely above 35% after three years on the HOF ballot. That “DH penalty” is rather severe. I think he’d need at least two more good years beyond this one to have a decent case, but baseball has… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Testing positive for steroids plus being a DH torpedoes any chance Ortiz might have had.

JR
Guest

If he didn’t use roids, he may have had a shot.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
#23,#26 – He probably won’t be eligible for HOF voting for about 10 years, so BBWAA thinking may evolve since then. Plus, MLB issued some disclaimer on his positive test, I don’t recall precisely what, so he may not be hurt as much by that. Even minus the PEDS,I don’t think he’d have much of a HOF shot, unless he plays forever (age 40+), which seems very unlikely. Fred McGriff had a similar batting record through age 35, played another 5 years and over 550 games, but is only at 23.9% BBWAA vote after 3 years on the HOF ballot.
Mike L
Guest
The Ortiz steroids saga is completely atypical of anything else we have seen. Both the MLB and the MLBPA initially rushed out to defend him, warning that any conclusions reached about the 104 names on the Mitchell Report list who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 may be subject to conjecture. Ortiz then put out a statement saying he would clarify things, and then all went silent. MLB just fired the Braun case arbitrator, Shyam Das, who had been on the job since 1999, so we know Bud can have a heavy hand when he wants to. Why… Read more »
ccv707
Guest
McGriff isn’t in YET, but I believe he’ll be in eventually. The same goes for Edgar Martinez, who should be in also. These two seem to be analogous to Ortiz in many ways, so I think following their positions on the ballots over the next ten years–about the time Ortiz will be eligible for the Hall–might give us a general idea how he will eventually fare. In terms of his numbers, if he plays another 5 years (a reasonable number, I feel) and continues on his trend from the last few seasons, with the obvious decline that’s sure to come… Read more »
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