Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Blame Papi

Papi's gotten a lot of criticism for his sluggish start. I talk about how upset I am that some fans are so eager to ship him out...

Since their dramatic win on opening day (I mean night), the Red Sox have struggled mightily. First, they lost two straight to the Yankees. That's fair enough, they're a great team. But there was a red flag when they lost to the Kansas City Royals, one of the worst teams in baseball last year. This Twins series has been equally daunting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jumping to quick conclusions. There's only been 9 games, that's too small a sample size to judge what the team will look like in September and, hopefully October. In fact, that's what this article's about.

Long time fan favorite, David Ortiz, has been getting a lot of the flack in this slump. A lot of the Papi-critics have called for Mike Lowell to be put in as DH. Well, yesterday their wish came true. The result, an 8-0 loss to the Twins. Lowell was 1 for 4 in the game.  When asked about a slow start just 2 games into the season; Papi reasonably responded, "You guys wait 'til [expletive] happens, then you can talk [expletive]. Two [expletive] games, and already you [expletives] are going crazy". And still, it's hasn't even been 10 games and he's getting bombarded. I was listening to 98.5 the sports hub and was disgusted to hear Gresh and Zolak making fun of Papi while he was at bat. Have the struggles of the Red Sox Great really become this sensationalized? Are people waiting for him to fail just for some decent watercooler talk? After all the riches Papi's brought to this team on and off the field - the clutch home runs, the players only meetings - it's hard for me to degenerate to that kind of criticism that eagerly and that quickly. It's difficult for me to watch him struggle too but I haven't gotten carried away with it. Ultimately, it's up to Ortiz to silence the critics. That is something I believe he'll do sooner or later. I know, I've seen some of his swings recently too, but lost in all of the criticism is the fact that baseball is a game of ups and downs - slumps and streaks. I wouldn't jump the gun and say Papi's career is over just yet, and I wouldn't want to either.

The Sox will be allright in the long run. I think most Boston fans know this already anyway. The losses haven't been due to the offensive deficiency that many predicted. As yesterday's 8-0 loss shows, there's been some defensive troubles as well. The best rotation in baseball hasn't been up to par, there's been some errant throws by Scutaro and, the bullpen has been scary at times. At this point, however, it's hard not to believe this is just the early season jitters. The Yankees didn't look too great at the start of last year either. Yankees fans were being embarassed by their prized franchise last Spring: they lost the first game in their new stadium, the first home run there was by another team, Nick Swisher was throwing pitches, etc. Yet, that same team won the World Series. Let the '09 Yankees be a lesson to Sox fans. Don't jump to conclusions, Ortiz will be fine and so will the Red Sox.


  1. I love Ortiz but just watching his bat speed and lack of confidence at the plate, tells me he will not recover. Hermida should DH but they will probably have Lowell bat due to the 12 million he is being paid.

  2. Stephen ConquistadorApril 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    I also think peeps need to chillax on the DO hate