Strike two: the vicious circle that is David Ortiz at the plate

September 18th, 2006 → 2:16 pm @ // 5 Comments

This morning, someone asked me if I felt like a more informed observer as a result of my research while working on FTM. It was a tough question to answer: on the one hand, I now feel as if there are hundreds of previously unknown subplots unfolding when I watch a game; on the other hand, I’m also much more aware of how much I don’t know.

Take David Ortiz’s at bats. He has, as anyone who has seen an inning or two of a Sox game can tell you, been known to voice his displeasure at called strikes he feels are out of the zone. When you’re watching the game on TV, it’s pretty easy to tell if Ortiz’s complaints are justified (as they were in the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader); it’s impossible to tell whether Ortiz is the subject of more crappy calls than most. But last year, I sitting with some of the team’s baseball operations crew at Fenway when Ortiz started shaking his head and barking at an umpire. “Just shut up, David,” one of the guys said. I asked if Ortiz complained more than most. “He bitches more than anyone in the league. He also gets more crappy calls than anyone in the league.” (This wasn’t conjecture; it was actually something the Sox had looked into.) And so it goes, goes round again: Ortiz complains, umps get pissed (consciously or subconsciously), he gets squeezed, and he complains some more. The good news: it doesn’t seem to be adversely affecting his hitting much.

In other news, the Sox took three out of four from the Yankees, and there was plenty to be happy about over the weekend: the continuation of gutsy pitching performances from unlikely starters; the joy of watching Dustin Pedroia and David Murphy get their sea legs; a ray of hope that perhaps Coco Crisp will actually be a decent center fielder (as impressive as his well-timed leap to rob Posada of a home run was, I was just as happy with the good jump Crisp got on the ball); and Mike Timlin learning how to close. (Again.) Don’t tune out yet, folks: the Sox won’t be playing in October, but that doesn’t mean baseball isn’t the best game out there.


Post Categories: David Ortiz & Oblique references to Joe Jackson songs

5 Comments → “Strike two: the vicious circle that is David Ortiz at the plate”


  1. moottay

    11 years ago

    Irony, spelled I-R-O-N-Y. You devote an entire post to pointing out a spelling error, then follow it up with a spelling error in the title of your next post.

    Also, whether or not Ortiz complaining about calls affects his hitting, it sure takes away from the pleasure of watching his at-bats, which can otherwise be a pretty sublime experience.

    Reply

  2. modonnel

    11 years ago

    Pedroia did a couple things that impressed me. First he stepped out of the box when he felt Myers was taking too long (which in my opinion might have contributed to the wild pitch). Plus after he hit the dribbler back to Myers he took off like a madman to first, trying to make up for the weak contact.

    Good stuff.

    Reply

  3. gmschmidty

    11 years ago

    I must be missing something. Spelling looks fine to me. I might have used the word “cycle” instead of “circle.” It is maddening to watch Ortiz complain about called strikes, but the fact is with a fram his size, the zone is bound to get stretched. Baseball is certainly the best game out there, Seth. But its hard to argue that point when your baseball team’s season is over, and your football team’s has just begun.

    Reply

  4. anonymouseducator

    11 years ago

    I don’t know about the title, but in the body it should be “affecting,” not “effecting.”

    I was wrong, on this and vicious, which I had previously spelled as “viscious” in the hed. Let’s have that be the end of today’s grammar lesson.
    – Seth

    Reply

  5. anonymouseducator

    11 years ago

    Seth, do the Sox – or anyone, for that matter – also look into who gets the most favorable calls, both on the Sox and around the league?

    Reply

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