Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 6/21/12

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Asked to play on yet another one-year deal, he is making his $14.575 million salary look like a bargain.

He is David Ortiz, the most valuable player on this 2012 Red Sox team, and without him, it is scary to imagine the dire straits they would be in right now.

With him, the team has bought time for everyone else to go through their collective identity crises.

Ortiz, who hit a grand slam and scored from first on a double in last night’s 15-5 laugher over the Marlins, is the one and only man on the Red Sox this season.

“He’s the guy,” Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “I mean if, obviously, we were in first place, he’d be the guy that everybody would be talking about because he’s been so consistently excellent the entire year. I mean it’s hard to be excellent, it’s hard to have a consistency about you and for 60-plus games, and day in and day out, he’s brought it.

Herald: Ortiz the sole star in Sox' sky

He may not be doing it with a broken leg like in the Greg Jennings video, but with the offense that's barely resembling the juggernaut lineup in 2011, Ortiz has been doing everything he can while the others get their act together.

Look at the lineup from one year ago yesterday, a 14-5 win against the Padres, and compare it to the lineup from last night. The Sox have gotten nothing from Ellsbury, while Pedroia & Youkilis have been battling through their own ailments, and Gonzalez is barely resembling the guy we watched last year (At this time a year ago, he was hitting .353 with 67 RBI.).

Despite all of the changes around him, Ortiz is almost on the same pace he was on last year (Ortiz one year ago: .323/17/51, this season: .313/18/49). It makes you wonder if Ortiz wasn't kidding when he said he could do this til he's 40.

We've seen a bunch of highs & lows from Ortiz throughout his tenure with the Sox and the fact he's still going strong while the younger All Stars are struggling, has been special to watch. Big Papi still got it and if the Sox want to go to the playoffs, it'll be his bat that gets them there.

Rest of the Links: Globe: Sox turn up heat on Marlins | Ortiz is a fast learner |Valentine on Pedroia, Marrerro | Herald:  Bats back Doubront | Ortiz the sole star in Sox' sky | Pedroia OK after scare|  Marrerro gets right to work |  Nava goes above & beyond  | CSNNE: Salty: Doubront is doing a great job | Sox bats bash Marlins, 15-5 | McAdam: Red Sox a house divided? | WEEI: A big deal | Wild Bard blows save |  Where would be the Red Sox be without Ortiz? | Pedroia: Thumb incident freaked me out

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