Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
Imagine punching into work at 3:30 p.m., punching out at 3:31, and in between earning an Employee of the Month award.
Now you know what it felt like to be David Ortiz last night.
Summoned away from his day off to bat in the eighth inning, Ortiz needed all of one swing to make his mark on a 6-2 victory over the Angels. He blasted the second pitch he saw, a Dune De La Rosa changeup about half a mile to right field, admiring his handiwork from home plate before taking a seat back in the dugout.
“It was just a pitch over the plate,” Ortiz said. “Swing and hit it. I got lucky.”
Luck, as is usually the case with Ortiz, had nothing to do with it.
“He steps in, and it's probably the first time he's faced De La Rosa in his career and he gets a changeup in the middle of the plate after seeing the first-pitch fastball,” said manager John Farrell. “It's a luxury to have that guy available to you to come off the bench and do what he does.”
Herald - David Ortiz punches in and punches out Angels
It's hard not to be in complete awe of David Ortiz.
A few years ago, when most Sox fans were calling for his head as he went through another terrible slump, I made a plea for everyone to get off his back. I can't find the post now, but my point was that every Big Papi at bat was special, but his playing days were numbered. Instead of overreacting to each strike out or pop-up, we should just appreciate the few at-bats left we had to watch him.
What I would have never guessed was that 5 years later, at age 37, he'd not only still be taking swings in a Sox uniform, but putting up some of the best numbers of his career. .321 average, .409 OBP, .615 SLG, 1.024 OPS. 17 HR, 19 doubles and 61 RBIs through 252 at-bats. 2 stolen bases, for crying out loud!
We're not seeing an aging superstar on a slow decline. We're watching one of baseball's all-time greats at the top of his game. At 37 years old (and maybe closer to 40). Let that sink in for a minute. The counter-argument for all of this is PED use. But I'm not hearing any of that right now. I'm not buying it, there's no evidence suggesting it, and frankly I don't care. I'm more than happy to enjoy my favorite player to ever don a Sox cap dominating baseball games for the 11th straight year.
“Just another homer,” Ortiz said. “I'm used to it. Are you? Enjoy it. This ain't forever.”
Rest of the links:
Herald - Felix Doubront, Sox coast to win | Notebook: Downgrade for Stephen Drew | Globe - Ortiz comes through in a pinch for the Red Sox | Red Sox beat Angels 6-2 for 5th win in a row | WEEI - Stephen Drew heads to disabled list; Jose De La Torre activated | David Ortiz on Yasiel Puig, Jose Iglesias and the All-Star Game: ‘You don’t hate, you appreciate’ | Doubront latest Sox starter to shine | Sox take advantage of Angels miscues, 6-2