Despite a down year in 2008, Boston’s “Big Papi” (a.k.a. David Ortiz) entered this season as one of the most feared power hitters in all of baseball.
Heck, from 2003-07 he clubbed a whopping 209 home runs, leading the Red Sox to two World Series championships in the process.
Nearly two months into the 2009 season, however, Ortiz is mired in the worst slump of his career – which has Red Sox manager Terry Francona (and fantasy owners who picked him early in their drafts) wondering aloud what’s happening.
Through forty games – or roughly a quarter of the Major League season – Ortiz has hit just one home run. He’s also hitting below the Mendoza line with a .195 average.
Not good for a guy whose entire job description as a DH is to hit the baseball.
“He’s been behind on the fastball and at times ahead on the breaking ball,” Francona explains. “He’s not seeing the ball as good as he needs to see it. Normal hitters’ woes.”
Normal? Ortiz is on a pace to hit four home runs – which would be one-tenth his average for a full season. That’s anything but normal.
Frankly, we hope whatever it is, Papi snaps out of it. He’s not on our founding editor’s fantasy team, but he’s one of the genuinely good guys in the game.
Plus, despite some Bostonians saying he’s “done,” Papi is only 33. Assuming he can get it together, he should have several productive seasons still ahead of him …