The master of the walk-off home run has mysteriously disappeared. The one and only David Ortiz has been in a very upsetting slump since the end of the 2008 season.
The famous Red Sox DH is currently hitting .195 and has only one home run. In 2004, the first year the Red Sox won the World Series with Ortiz, he had a .301 average and hit 41 homeruns. In 2007, another year the Sox won the Series, he hit .332 with 35 home runs. Sox fans are trying to “keep the faith,” something they have had to do several times in the past.
With one of the Red Sox’s best players not producing the runs that the team needs, they have looked to Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Lowell to get the job done.
Major supporters of the All-Star, such as me, have to wonder if the slump has anything to do with one of his best friends, Manny Ramirez, being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last year (and is now serving a suspension for taking a banned substance). Whenever watching a Sox game, you could see the connection that the pair had. When manager Terry Francona put Ortiz in the lineup batting third, normally Ramirez was there batting behind him. Several times when Ortiz and Ramirez played together, they hit back-to-back home runs and the fans erupted.
When Ramirez was traded, I was afraid that Ortiz would not have the same amount of intensity for the game. In every Sox game I watched, I saw the connection that the two sluggers had, whether it was supporting each other after one made a successful play, or making up a cool handshake that nobody understood other than them.
I think that in order to re-gain his claim to fame in the baseball world, Ortiz must push aside other feelings and really commit to the game of baseball. We all know that “Big Papi” can pull off anything. He has hit many big home runs over the years and always knows how to put a smile or a laugh or a cheer into any fan’s face.
If David Ortiz reads this, I hope that he knows I am rooting for him. So are a lot of other fans who are waiting for Papi to get back and get even with that baseball he hasn’t smacked in a while.