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If anything, Ortiz believes that occupying the middle of the Red Sox’ batting order with Gonzalez made him a better hitter. For a year and a half, they shared batting tips, with Ortiz giving Gonzalez pointers for pulling the ball to right field and Gonzalez reciprocating with ideas on how best to hit left-handed pitching.
“I’ll tell you what,” Ortiz said before the Sox’ 2-0 loss to Gonzalez and the Dodgers here last night, “he might be the best left-handed hitter against lefties that I’ve seen. I’m telling you right now, he’s the best I’ve ever seen, to be honest with you. He hits lefties easy. He makes it look easy.”
In two seasons alongside Gonzalez, Ortiz followed suit.
Consider this: In the three seasons before the Red Sox traded for Gonzalez and signed him to an eight-year, $154 million contract extension, Ortiz batted .218 (99-for-454) with a .685 OPS against left-handed pitchers. But in 2011 and ’12, with Gonzalez as his guide, he batted .326 (97-for-298) with a .987 OPS against them.
And since Gonzalez was traded to the Dodgers, Ortiz’ numbers against lefties have slipped to .265 (41-for-155) with a .722 OPS.
Herald - David Ortiz: Admiration left for Adrian Gonzalez
We were huge Gonzalez fans here at Ted's Army. His production never quite matched our expectations during his short time in Boston, but our expectations were probably a little high to begin with. But of all the players shipped out in the MEGATRADE, there doesn't seem to be any ill-will towards Adrian. That Crawford fella? Sheesh.
But Gonzalez's biggest impact on the Red Sox had nothing to do with the win column (obviously). He helped morph David Ortiz into a legitimate threat against left-handed pitching. Something that, for a decade, didn't seem possible. But in just a short time batting alongside him, Ortiz figured it all out.
If you read the article (as you always should), Gonzaelz tries to take no credit for Papi's transformation. He says he never worked on Papi's swing, just 'showed him how to look at video.' Adrian may have never helped him work on his swing, but I'm sure Ortiz picked up 7 or 8 hundred tips from watching Gonzalez's approach at the plate.
But who cares about the why. Let's just be glad it is.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Carl Crawford, Dodgers beat Red Sox | Stuff a sock in it, Carl | Papi OK with Dempster | Globe - More hard luck for John Lackey | Lackey hard-luck loser in Boston's 2-0 loss to LA | WEEI - Ricky Nolasco, Dodgers spoil solid John Lackey outing, shutout Red Sox | CSNNE - McAdam: Crawford's griping a bit misplaced | Ortiz: I stand by comments about hitting A-Rod