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Friday, March 24, 2006

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Ha-ha-ha. Way too funny

Meanwhile, across town, Giambi holds a news conference to apologize for wearing Puma sneakers.

And Barry Bonds...nevermind

I've lived in a small town in northern Iowa for most of my life, other than about 5 years in northern California back in the seventies.

Anyway, if you want to see some live MLB around here the first choice is usually up to the Twin Cities to see the Twins play.

In fact, the Twins are kind of the local team around here, even though they're in a different state and about 3 hours north of here.

So even though I've been a Yankee fan forever, I've followed the Twins also, and there ARE a lot of Twins fans around here.

Well, back in 1997 the Twins trotted out a rookie by the name of David Arias. He was tall, well over 6 feet, and weighed around 200 pounds. I saw him play a couple of times that year, nothing really remarkable about him, other than this big face and grin that actually reminded me of Aunt Jemimah of pancake fame.

For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about here, it was not long after that, David Arias decided he wanted to be known as David Ortiz.

Yeah, BIG PAPI! Thing is though, BIG PAPI wasn't really that big back then. In fact, you might not realize he was the same guy if you compared Ortiz, the Twin, and Ortiz, the Red Sox, other than that face. No mistaking that.

On a little sidebar here, I had a dream about Big Papi a few years back that I will never forget. Actually, nightmare would be more accurate. Anyway, in this dream, and this is no bullshit, I find myself in a jungle clearing, and much to my dismay, I'm tied up and sitting naked in a huge pot of water that has an odd smell to it, sort of like onions. I soon realize there's a goddam fire burning under the pot and I see that the pot is surrounded by a bunch of jungle natives that I immediately know are MFing cannibals. And lo and behold, standing there in the midst of them, in a grass skirt, holding a spear, with a bone in his nose ( a human bone, I'm sure, most likely from a previous dining experience) is none other than, yup, BIG PAPI! And this is the killer. He looks at me and smiles that big smile of his, but instead of those big pearly white teeth of his, his teeth are sort of yellow in color, and there pointed, like they've been filed into points. Holy Jesus Christ on the cross, I'm thinking, how did I get into this situation? Well, needless to say, at this point, thinking this is real, I'm flopping around in our bed like a marlin on the deck of a Key West fishing boat, and thank goodness, I manage to wake up. I cannot express the relief I felt as I realized it was a dream. Ya know, those home runs that Ortiz has smoked against the Yanks are bad enough. But to think your gonna be the main course for Chief Big Papi and his tribe of friendly neighborhood man-eaters is one helluva lot worse. Believe me.

Well, I saw a lot of Ortiz during his time with the Twins, kind of a spray doubles hitter with a modest amount of power. His last 3 years with Minnesota were like about 10-15-20 homers, maybe around 60 or 70 ribbies if I remember right.

And then the Twins let him go, released him. I never really heard why. The Twins were really money conscious back then. Even more so than now.

So, Ortiz finds himself without a team. At this point, one could say he was kind of a fringe player, decent, but not really sought after too much. And he's already DHing most of the time so the NL is not really an option. At this time Ortiz must have felt a little disconcerted about his career.

But, the Sox snatch him up, and Wow! Ortiz turns into a wicked hitter overnight, to the tune of 31 dingers, 39 doubles, and over a 100 ribbies.

Then in 2004 the Big Papi transformation is complete, as he explodes with a .301 average, 41 big flys, and 139 knocked in.

2005? Well, what can you say? He could have won the MVP, which would have been unprecedented for a DH, he's the wicked, scariest hitter in baseball, absolutely the most clutch, and I wish he wasn't a Red Sox.

During Big Papi's 3 years with Boston, I've had to scratch my head, and observe him slightly dumfounded thinking this is the same guy that I watched play for the Minnesota Twins. Surreal to say the least.

Now. You probably know where I'm going with this. But before you Sox fans, and especially you SF, start readying yourselves to begin hurling Molotov cocktails my way, lets remember we're just having a little tongue in cheek fun here, as shown by SF's original thread content about Sheff's burger incident.

So, here's my question. Is it at all possible that Big Papi, after being let go by the Twins prior to 2003, MIGHT have felt the need for something to jumpstart his career? Something to put him over top, to give him an edge as he tried to establish himself as a MLB player who was going to stick, even as a DH. Something that other players around the majors were doing. Perhaps some special supplements, or vitamins. Maybe some full-strength injectable flaxseed oil.

Whadya say Sox fans? Is there the smallest, most minute possibility that David Ortiz may have used the juice?

W/E: It would be so easy to say that our post is not orth the dignity of a comment, but I've always thought that line of reasoning was a copout.

I can't say about the physical aspects of Papi's growth, but I know that if you look at Ortiz's stats, there is no Bonds-esque explosion of home runs (where he goes from 40 to 73 in two years). Ortiz has steadily increased his totals by 5-10 HR per year. He studies video even in the midst of games. Perhaps, just perhaps, Big Papi jump-started his career by, you know, working hard.

Being brought to a team with Manny Ramirez and Ron Jackson helping you fine-tune your craft doesn't hurt either.

i don't know what you're talking about -
I watched him play in Connecticut while he was in their minor system and I thought he was huge then....

But WE, you can say all you like, Ortiz has done his work in a tested environment this last year, and has never been part of any kind of investigation or scandal. That being said, I'd dig too if I were on that side of the fence.

Listen, I'm a Red Sox fan, but if Ortiz was part of a big steroids scandal based on meticulous research, that would be more of a smoking gun than a gradual increase in home runs.

That being said, we baseball fans don't know who and who didn't use steroids, and probably never will. Heck, the first guy who was busted was a guy named Alex Sanchez, who sucked so bad he was released by the Devil Rays. So, you're right, which makes the witch hunt against Bonds even more suspect. I mean, I hate the guy too, but to single him out as the only baseball player ever to use steroids is ridiculous.

Whatever,

Sure there's a possibility, but that doesn't make it probable. So speculate all you want because until there's actual evidence or, at the very least, an accusation from a credible source, that's all it is - speculation. And speculation usually ain't worth much.

So let's review. The Sox have speculation and the Yanks have the Balco Boys. Think I'll take speculation every time~

Paul,
Your first paragraph sounded like Foster Brooks. You should have said nothing and kept your dignity.

Sheff and Giambi didn't have Bond-esque HR explosions either, but they were juicers, so that argument won't work. Steroids have different levels of effect on different people. Some users derive NO benefit.

Perhaps it WAS hard work, and wiping out half the buffet table by himself after the games.

Somehow, I don't think of Manny as a teacher. Papa Jack? Sure, but Manny? Hee hee.

Brad,
Ortiz was always tall, and yeah, pretty big, but not the behemoth he is now. Ortiz is currently listed at 240, but at 6-5, and as wide as he is, he's more like 260.

Yeah, it's a tested environment. Has Sheff fallen off any? No. Giambi is producing again after health problems. And there's still HGH. No test for that is there? Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll address a point here that Brad and Hunter both make. No, Ortiz hasn't been part of a big, much publicized scandal and federal investigation. Bonds, Giambi and Sheff have. Very unlucky for Bonds, Giambi and Sheff. Very lucky for anybody else who was using steroids while getting them elsewhere.

Craig,
Of course it's speculation. Let me make something clear here. I'm not trying to argue vehemently that Ortiz was juicin'. I'm playing Devil's Advocate to all the steroid finger pointing by Sox fans, not knowing if any of their own may have been using.

And remember, my post was pretty much in response to SF's Burger-Sheff tale.

Anyway, I guess Yank fans will have to endure the steroid ridicule, at least until further investigation is done, and something else is revealed.

my post was pretty much in response to SF's Burger-Sheff tale

Not that we don't want reponses (we do), but what in my post, an ironic humor piece about Sheff and McDonald's, warrants a "response" in the form of a vaguely accusatory rant about whether or not we all think David Ortiz did steroids? Seriously, what is the logic there?

Actually, WE, Ortiz is listed at 6'4", 230 lbs.

At ESPN
At the official Red Sox page
And at Baseball Reference


...and he doesn't look anywhere near 260. His chunkiness is severley exaggerated, particularly by Yankees fans. Go watch him in person and you'll see what I mean.

Yeah, my mistake on that one. Listed at 230.

But looking at his stomach, and how wide he is, and considering he's 6 feet 5 inches tall, I'd be willing to bet he's closer to 260 than 230.

Whoops, 6 feet 4 inches.

"I'm playing Devil's Advocate to all the steroid finger pointing by Sox fans, not knowing if any of their own may have been using."

Ya know, the other day we talked about Sox fan complexes. This strikes me as a wonderful example of a Yankees fan complex.

Steroid use in baseball is not about Yankees fans; nor is it about the Yankees. Its a black mark on the sport. While we Sox fans may give you guys a little shit now and again, we only do it because we know we can get your goat. All that said, the truth is no Sox fan thinks less of the Yankees as an organization because Sheffield and Giambi felt compelled to cheat. Oh, we hate the Yankees alright, but it has nothing to do with steroid use and everything to do with the 26 world championships they've won.

So don't be so sensitive. It makes you an easy target. Sox fans should know.

And on a side note, this year at Spring Training I saw the best T-shirt at the Sox v. Pirates' game in Bradenton (ya know the one where Schill beaned Duffy). This guy had a black T-shirt with white lettering. On the front it said "755." On the back it said "Without the benefit of performance enhancing drugs." =)

To "Whatever":

Anything is possible, but here are some things to consider:

(1) The most obvious thing that "happened" to Ortiz is Fenway Park. Now, not every hitter blossoms in Fenway, but the park happens to suit his hitting style to a T.

(2) Ortiz hardly has the classic steroid look: he's big (and heavy), but not in the way that Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield are. He's not a pumped-up cartoon character; he's kind of roly-poly, for a top athlete, at least.

And I don't think they make a steroid for clutch hitting.

shef is a shady individual of questionable character. which makes it alot easier to accept the leap from speculation to possible truth. he has spent an 18 year career making a mockery of the game. here's some highlights;

-tanking balls with the brewers to force a trade.
-forcing the hands of the brewers, padres, dodgers, marlins, and braves to cut ties with him.
-getting shot (but still find time to get his hair cut before going to the hospital).
-entering the stands to fight with fans with both dodgers and yankees. no roid rage there.
-r. kelly sex tapes. shout out to god gospel style!
-cheating backed up by lying. in front of a grand jury none the less.

hell, when he was 11 he chased an adult coach around the field with a bat. not to mention his only friends in this world are Doc, Straw, Kevin Mitchell, and Barry (whats that saying about the company you keep?). at this point shef might want to play his favorite card, the race card.

but the thing i love most about shef is his post game comments from game 3 of the 2004 ALCS when called the sox "fake tough guys". he then preceded to disappear the next four games.

Yeah, well, whatever Sheff has done over the years, I'd still rather have him for a neighbor than that loudmouthed, self centered, hated by his teammates, Republican dipshit, Curt Schilling.

Sox fans might want to look up Ortiz's early stats and compare them to Wily Mo's present stats: their first few years are very similar.

That said, I don't think Theo's going to strike gold a second time with Wily.

And FWIW, Big George wanted Ortiz badly but Cashman thought they Yanks were overloaded at DH. George can't always be wrong. It's just too bad that that first of the big slow guys he DIDN'T bring in turned out to be the best of all of them.

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