By Josh Kramer
Beantown is not exactly the place to be these days. At least when it comes to sports. First, the Boston’s beloved Red Sox had arguably the worst breakdown in baseball history, blowing a seemingly insurmountable nine-game lead during the course of the last month to miss the postseason. Next, the Patriots blew a golden opportunity and had their hearts ripped out by the Giants again. Then the Celtics came within one game of shocking the Heat. It didn’t happen. Now, the Red Sox are at it again. They currently find themselves wrestling the Toronto Blue Jays for the cellar spot in the mighty AL East. Amazingly though, the Red Sox are not down and out yet. But their star slugger is not a happy man.
Yesterday, Big Papi spoke out to Red Sox nation. After spending over a decade in sports-crazed Boston, Papi is finally speaking out. Ortiz said, “Look around, bro. Playing here used to be so much fun, and now every day it’s something new not even related to baseball. People need to leave us alone and let us play ball, man, and let us do what we know how to do.”
Big Papi has been the loan bright spot in Boston this season. He currently is on pace for his best season from a statistical standpoint since the last time the Sox won the World Series (2007). Boston is learning the hard way just how important reliable pitching is. The Sox have scored the second most runs in the American League, but they are near the bottom in almost all pitching categories.
Nobody likes losing. In the big cities, the pain of losing is only amplified. The amazing thing is that the Red Sox are not done yet. As we learned last September, nobody is finished until they are officially eliminated mathematically. Boston currently has an above .500 record and are within striking distance of first place.
Other than the horrific pitching, the injury bug has struck Boston as it seems to every summer in recent memory. Must be something in the water. 142 million dollar man Carl Crawford still has not embarked on a plate appearance. The man who almost took home the MVP last season, Jacoby Ellsbury, only has 30 plate appearances. Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia are having arguably the worst seasons of their career. And mainstay starting pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz have a shockingly bad combined 4.75 ERA.
The debate today though is not about whether the Red Sox are done yet. Today’s question revolves around #34. Ortiz has been in Beantown for a decade. It is obviously not a happy time. One would think Big Papi has learned how to ignore what the media says and go about his business. Guy is making 14.5 million dollars this season. Just handle things in the locker room and keep quiet. The media in the big cities can be unforgivable. Not many players should understand this more than a guy like David Ortiz. In essence, Papi has provided the Boston media “bulletin board” material.
The real question though centers on David Ortiz. Is Big Papi being a big baby?
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.