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Thread: The Curse of the Big Papi?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Except everything you say isn't really true. His amazing second half is fully dependent on July. His Aug/Sept OPS was below .800, just like his pre-July OPS was below .700. He was streaky. He never had much success as a Twin, they were replacing him with a guy who was a better ranked prospect and had been destroying AAA. Ortiz had pop.

    And, as I just posted, the Twins gave raises to 10 guys and signed Rogers. They increased payroll by 15m. So it isn't clear that they could "easily have found 1.5 mil" for Ortiz.

    They didn't sign Rogers until March so apparently they did have the capability of adding onto their payroll if they saw fit.

  2. #42
    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Refresh my memory...was the MLB salary cap in place by Dec 02, or were the Twins still free to spend whatever amount they chose to?

    It seems to me, unless there was a salary cap, defending the Ortiz release based on salary misses the point. Infact, if he was released for salary reasons other than baseball reasons, a reasonable person could see that as evidence Twins ownership is more interested in profit margins than WS wins...a POV that often gets vigorously disputed.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

  3. #43
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Part of the problem with looking at the numbers in hindsight is that it was clear, even then, that Ortiz was being asked to alter his game to play the "Twins Way". Some of what paints the Twins decision as reasonable was brought on by their own rigid way of doing things at the time.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Except everything you say isn't really true. His amazing second half is fully dependent on July. His Aug/Sept OPS was below .800, just like his pre-July OPS was below .700. He was streaky. He never had much success as a Twin, they were replacing him with a guy who was a better ranked prospect and had been destroying AAA. Ortiz had pop.

    And, as I just posted, the Twins gave raises to 10 guys and signed Rogers. They increased payroll by 15m. So it isn't clear that they could "easily have found 1.5 mil" for Ortiz.
    So a .795 OPS in "down" months is the mark of a bad player? That alone would have ranked 5th on the team in OPS.

    LeCroy was almost exactly the same age as Ortiz. He was only a better-ranked prospect when he was still a minor league catcher which was already 3 years prior. Ortiz had almost as many MLB PA through age 22 as LeCroy through age 26, and they were much better PA. And LeCroy was the short side of a platoon.

    In a business where even the small-market Twins were doling out $55 million per year in player salaries, yes, finding an extra $1.5 million is not that big of a deal. If Terry Ryan thought that David Ortiz wouldn't be worth $1.5 million in 2003, he was wrong, and if the Twins budget was so inflexible that Ryan couldn't add $1.5 million for a player he thought was worth it, well that's such a terrible business model in this sport I don't know where to begin.

  5. #45
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    The funny part about ripping the Twins for trying to get him to use the whole field is that his resurgence in 2011 after three less impressive seasons is tied to Adrian Gonzalez convincing Big Papi to... use the whole field.

    Here and elsewhere: Clubhouse Insider Boston Red Sox News | Boston Herald

    That said, I do think the Twins made a mistake in letting him go -- both then and now.
    Last edited by jay; 11-01-2013 at 11:52 AM.

  6. #46
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I didn't read anyone ripping the coaches but the Rays, ironically, not the Twins, were the first to shift on Ortiz and didn't do it till around 2008 IIRC.

    edit: He also hurt his wrist in 2008

  7. #47
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    So many interesting points posted. I remember that Ortiz was publicly thrashed by the Twins claiming he had "an attitude problem". I also remember that in '02 he wasn't "hopeless defensively" as a 1B, though he was clearly inferior to Mientkewitz. Earlier today I read an article ("important dates...") that included a statement that sometimes teams threaten to release a player in an arbitration year as a tactic to negotiate a lower salary. Maybe that was part of the reasoning in '02? {Note: I hate those poker player who when caught bluffing berate their opponent for calling them, and winning!, on a trashy hand}. I also remember that Matt LeCroy was "the replacement" for Ortiz and was cited as "providing the same power-hitting bat--but right-handed batting--and that he "played" catcher. Was this the first instance of accomodating Gardenhire's need for three catchers?
    On a side note, LeCroy's defense (and speed) were no better than Ortiz's so berating Ortiz on these points is a non-issue.

    On a different note, I do find it entertaining that two of the "defenders" are taking passionate, but opposed sides of this issue. It is clear that the Twins "whiffed" on this Ortiz-decision--his hitting stats are clear. Ryan and his crew can not continually take kudos for trading AJ yet ignore this fiasco of a decision. It was 11 years ago, so we as Twins fans should be able to "move on". It is simply a reason to not put people on a pedestal--mistakes have been (and will still be) made, nobody is perfect.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    It wasn't all due to injuries, the Twins never gave him the regular playing time he deserved. And yes, he wasn't a "slam dunk" but he was at the time certainly worth the 1.2-1.8 million dollar gamble. The Twins certainly had the money to do it. To paint this as anything other than a monumental screw up that may have well cost the Twins a title is just passing blame/not holding the front office responsible.

    Again, I am as big of a homer as they come and a HUGE Ryan fan, however, this move set the franchise back significantly.
    I get (and agree) that it was a clear mistake.

    However, I'm really not buying the idea it set the franchise "back" in Hershel Walker type fashion. Maybe he helps the team to be more competitive with the Yankees in 2003 and 2004 (but two wins worth?) and I don't see how he's around after that.

  9. #49
    Saying "He would have left anyway" or "Nobody else wanted him" is a bad argument. First of all, the Twins having developed him, should have been the ones to properly evaluate his potential. Secondly, they could have afforded him another 4-5 years. Seems to me the Twins gave long term deals to Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Mauer, and Morneau in the mid 2000's. Ortiz could have gotten a similar deal.

  10. #50
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    The funny part about ripping the Twins for trying to get him to use the whole field is that his resurgence in 2011 after three less impressive seasons is tied to Adrian Gonzalez convincing Big Papi to... use the whole field.

    Here and elsewhere: Clubhouse Insider Boston Red Sox News | Boston Herald

    That said, I do think the Twins made a mistake in letting him go -- both then and now.
    You mean that idle speculation vs Ortiz openly blaming the Twins for stunting him are on equal levels? C'mon now.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    You mean that idle speculation vs Ortiz openly blaming the Twins for stunting him are on equal levels? C'mon now.
    Sure, he ripped the Twins, but idle speculation? Published by multiple sources with connections to both players? I've seen you get pretty worked up over folks trying to dispute interpretations of less concrete sources.

    Whether it's due to Gonzalez or not, he has clearly developed the ability to hit the other way over his career and his stats reflect success in doing so. Granted, it's generally not groundballs the other way, hence the shift that is commonly used on him. He may have ripped the Twins for trying to get him to do it, but it sure has worked.

  12. #52
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    Sure, he ripped the Twins, but idle speculation? Published by multiple sources with connections to both players? I've seen you get pretty worked up over folks trying to dispute interpretations of less concrete sources.

    Whether it's due to Gonzalez or not, he has clearly developed the ability to hit the other way over his career and his stats reflect success in doing so. Granted, it's generally not groundballs the other way, hence the shift that is commonly used on him. He may have ripped the Twins for trying to get him to do it, but it sure has worked.
    The article you posted is filled with generalities about the possibility an overlap helped. There isn't even a token quote from Ortiz acknowledging it.

    And, what he does now to adjust as an established pull hitting star is very different than trying to establish your game in a suffocating context. It never makes sense to force a player to refine their game when you refuse to let them establish their bread and butter.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    The article you posted is filled with generalities about the possibility an overlap helped. There isn't even a token quote from Ortiz acknowledging it.

    And, what he does now to adjust as an established pull hitting star is very different than trying to establish your game in a suffocating context. It never makes sense to force a player to refine their game when you refuse to let them establish their bread and butter.
    He may not have been performing at MVP/HOF-type rates with the Twins, but it'd be hard to say he wasn't established as a pull hitter even back then. His minor league track record and MLB experiences showed as much. Pitchers don't need much time to adjust their approach to hitters and surely did so even during his Twins days.

    The timing can be questioned as you've pointed out, but the fact remains he's been extremely successful doing exactly what the Twins wanted him to do and that for which they are faulted.

  14. #54
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jay;175777]He may not have been performing at MVP/HOF-type rates with the Twins, but it'd be hard to say he wasn't established as a pull hitter even back then. [quote]

    Um, no, it is hard to compare 2011/2012 David Ortiz with the version that left the Twins. They were on completely different levels. Teams weren't shifting that Ortiz. Teams weren't pitching around him. Teams weren't game-planning him.

    What's hard to do is make the comparison of an MVP adjusting to the league's response to his success with a guy who never got off the ground in any significant way.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Um, no, it is hard to compare 2011/2012 David Ortiz with the version that left the Twins. They were on completely different levels. Teams weren't shifting that Ortiz. Teams weren't pitching around him. Teams weren't game-planning him.

    What's hard to do is make the comparison of an MVP adjusting to the league's response to his success with a guy who never got off the ground in any significant way.
    There's no comparison in the results he's gotten, but he was certainly a pull hitter prior to being an MVP. Teams plan their approaches on guys not far in to their rookie seasons, so I don't quite see where the Twins were dead wrong in trying to get him to develop an ability to handle the outside pitches even back then. That exact ability is what has allowed him to remain so successful.

  16. #56
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    There's no comparison in the results he's gotten, but he was certainly a pull hitter prior to being an MVP. Teams plan their approaches on guys not far in to their rookie seasons, so I don't quite see where the Twins were dead wrong in trying to get him to develop an ability to handle the outside pitches even back then. That exact ability is what has allowed him to remain so successful.
    I think the Twins at the time focused to much on taking away power and telling players to drive the ball to the opposite field, if this wasn't true I doubt Papi would have had such negative things to say about the club.

  17. #57
    Dave, pretend we didn't release him. How many more years would've we had him? 1? 2? We were operating under a tight budget like someone else said, the only thing you should be wishing is that we would've got something in return, because he was never going to be signed long-term. He didn't have the big numbers at the time, he could only DH, he wasn't the fan favorite and he had upset management.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by twinscowboysbulls View Post
    Dave, pretend we didn't release him. How many more years would've we had him? 1? 2? We were operating under a tight budget like someone else said, the only thing you should be wishing is that we would've got something in return, because he was never going to be signed long-term. He didn't have the big numbers at the time, he could only DH, he wasn't the fan favorite and he had upset management.
    They gave long term contracts to hunter, santana, cuddyer, mauer, and morneau.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Ever since the Twins let Big Papi go they have gone 0-5 in playoff series, meanwhile he has done nothing but rack up awards and lead the Red Sox to 3 titles.

    Curse?
    You may be onto something there. Just think if the Twins could have kept Ortiz he could be spraying the ball all around Target Field for a bunch of doubles and some long singles.

  20. #60
    Worse yet, in those five playoff series, they've won TWO games. Its our curse of the Bambino.

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