As a Red Sox fan, of course I love David Ortiz. How could I not? This post is a player comparison between the offensive production of David Ortiz versus that of Alex Rodriguez since A-Rod joined the Yankees in 2004 (Ortiz joined the Sox in ’03). Simply put, Big Papi ain’t gettin’ no respect, especially from Yankees fans. Most knowledgeable Red Sox fans (fools excluded) hate A-Rod yet give him his due — he is an undeniable talent and is one of the best hitters I will ever see. Period. But all too often I see New Yorkers readily dismissing Ortiz and his talents. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Since 2004 here are each players numbers for batting average, home runs, and RBI’s.
HR RBI AVG
David Ortiz 228 729 .287
Alex Rodriguez 238 716 .299
Those numbers look very comparable to me. That’s 38 home runs and 121 RBI’s per year for Ortiz, versus 39 home runs and 119 RBI’s per year for A-Rod. Yet A-Rod is typically drafted 3rd in ESPN fantasy leagues whereas Ortiz is typically the 168th pick. Give me a break. Where’s the sense in that?
Yankees fans will be quick to point out the dismal season that Ortiz had last year compared with his prior seasons. He was slumping in the first half, it was the biggest slump of his career, get over it. If you want to see an even worse slump check out A-Rod’s postseason career pre-2009. As a matter of fact Ortiz had more dingers and RBI’s than Rodriguez did in the second half of 2009.
Don’t get me started on the postseason. Frankly, we don’t need to waste our time making this comparison. Since 2004 Ortiz has 2 World Series titles to A-Rod’s 1, and Ortiz has the most walk-off hits in postseason history. That tips the offensive scale in Ortiz’s direction anyway you cut it. I think Ortiz is primed for a big year at the plate this year — give the man the respect he deserves.