Oct 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) sits in the dugout prior to game five of the American League Championship Series baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
As tough as it is being reminded constantly about bad decisions made by the Seattle Mariners front office personnel in the past, you can’t help but appreciate what David Ortiz has done as a designated hitter. Seattle fans have a tough time calling him what he is; the greatest DH of all time. Our hero Edgar Martinez could never be replaced but how different would things be if we had hung on to this guy and watched him continue to develop in our farm system, eventually moving up to the bigs?
I think it is safe to say that the transition of Edgar’s retirement would have been a lot smoother if we had a David Ortiz replacing him rather than the likes of Raul Ibanez (no disrespect), Greg Dobbs, Mike Morse, Quinton McCracken and Matt Tuiasosopo to name a few. It seems that ever since Martinez retired the Mariners have had no luck in finding a new DH. Just for laughs, here is a statistical comparison in 2005 (the first season after Martinez retired) of the M’s DH’s combined to Big Papi’s numbers:
Mariner’s 2005 DH stats: (Ibanez, Dobbs, Morse combined)
.268 Batting Average
24 Home Runs
David Ortiz 2005 stats:
.300 Batting Average
47 Home Runs
The Mariners could have used his services the last decade. Watching David Ortiz smash a game tying grand slam on Sunday night versus Detroit reminded me just how lucky we are to have lived through this era of baseball. Seattle fans saw Big Papi make history at Safeco Field earlier this year as he as he smacked a double in the second inning to become the all time leader in hits as a designated hitter.
The things he has done for the Red Sox this year have made him such a valuable asset; even at the ripe age of 37 he still has so much left in the tank. His numbers this year have been solid. He has again posted a 30 plus home run season to go along with 100+ RBI’s and a batting average of over .300 (.309). Even if you hate the Red Sox, you have to appreciate what this former Mariner still continues to do at the plate.
Lucky for us, we were not the only team to make a stupid decision in regards to David Ortiz. The Minnesota Twins one upped us in the stupid column. Back in 2002, Ortiz was set for a pay raise which the Twins didn’t think he deserved because of how much time Ortiz spent on the DL and the lack of the 30-100 stats they expected from their power hitter. After many attempts to shop him, the Twins decided to cut him. He was later picked up by the Red Sox because of Pedro Martinez, his good friend and mentor, and signed for 1 years at 1.25$ million. That season he finished 5th in MVP voting.
You don’t have to be a pro scout to get out there and pay attention to the young men in the minors. Get out there and check out the guys in Tacoma or Everett when you get a chance. After all, you might be watching a future hall of famer.