Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It's been another tough start for the Red Sox, with a pitching staff that began the year right where it left off the previous September (as the line from Dragnet goes: "Only the names have been changed...").

Yankee fans: "Seven in the seventh should be followed by eight in
the eighth." Red Sox fans: "@!#$%*&~@!!"
We cannot remember the last time anyone rolled out two consecutive seven-run innings the way the Yankees did last Saturday. Regardless of one's rooting interest, that's simply an astonishing event--just one of several that have already branded 2012 as a most unusual year.

The Sox are virtually certain to snap out of this--we're still anticipating a very lively fight for the second AL wild card slot centered around teams in the East--and their trip to Minnesota, where the Twins are not showing signs of bouncing back from a sub-par 2011, may just be the turning point.

In the midst of another sluggish start, one member of the Red Sox has his pedal near the metal--and that would be David Ortiz. Thus far this month, it's been a surreal return to his pre-Sox days, before he added the "uplift" that pushed his HR totals into rarefied territory.

Yes, Big Papi has been carrying the Red Sox' heavily-freighted
load thus far in 2012. (Note: no chicken...)
While Big Papi has not been hitting the long ball with the usual frequency thus far in '12 [UPDATE: he has just hit HR #3 this evening, as the Sox are taking things out on the Twins, leading 10-1 halfway through tonight's game], he is matching the NL's current "astronaut" Matt Kemp with a stratospheric batting average (flirting with .450).

[UPDATE 2: He's now hitting .538 over the past nine and a half games.]

Now we wish that some player would actually hit .400 again, if only to make those who've (with good reason) concluded that such an occurrence would be analogous to the Second Coming have to think twice (despite Bob Dylan's assertion to the contrary).

And we know that if anyone ever does, it won't be Ortiz. Of all the hitters with a number of seasons with OPS+ readings above 150 (he has four, including last year's 154, which might surprise a few of you...), he has the unlikeliest skill set.

Which, again, is why the idea is so appealing...

Let's just conclude by noting that with several of their personnel decisions from 2011-12 currently leaving a bad taste, the Sox and their fans can and should be glad to conclude that bringing back Big Papi was a very good idea indeed.