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Thread: The Curse of the Big Papi?

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    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    The Curse of the Big Papi?

    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?

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    Um, you really think this board needs some new reason to rip on the Twins? Personally, I think if the Twins had taken as much PEDs as the Yankees and Red Sox they'd have done better in the post season.

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    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    I am one of the most optimistic and homer fans here, however it still drives me insane (did at the time) that we got rid of Big Papi, that is a franchise altering and possibly killing decision.

    You can throw the PED/HGH thing around all you want, fact is Papi when given regular playing time turned into one of the most fearsome bats of the decade.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Um, you really think this board needs some new reason to rip on the Twins? Personally, I think if the Twins had taken as much PEDs as the Yankees and Red Sox they'd have done better in the post season.
    Juan Rincon begs to differ.

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    What's even more sad is that Ortiz had a .997 OPS before he broke his hamate bone in 2001 and then a a.935 OPS after the all-star break in 2002 so we KNEW he was our best and most feared hitter.

    But of course he likely would not have become what he is today with our b.s. hitting approach. I love the article where he explains that we wanted him "to hit like a little b-tch".

    Just an irritating scenario all the way around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Juan Rincon begs to differ.
    Ruben Sierra PED > Juan Rincon PED

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    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Juan Rincon begs to differ.
    Yeah, let's not pretend there weren't ANY Twins players that weren't taking PED's.

    Regardless, Ortiz was coming off a pretty nice year in 2002 with a .839 OPS (.500 SLG), in his 700 at bats as a 25/26 year old Ortiz put up 38 HR. It would be almost a different story if he was going to be a free agent, but he was arb eligible and would have made around 1.5 million (2.5 mil absolute tops) for a guy that had that kind of promise and power as a 26 year old, it was at the time, and remains at the time absolutely mind boggling that they got rid of him.

    It clearly wasn't a case of him having an attitude, as he has been nothing but a positive for Boston, additionally, I know this doesn't count for much, but when I was in high school and went to Arlington for a Twins/Rangers game, Ortiz was one of the most accessible players on the team as he came over and talked to me and my buddies for a good long time.

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    Let's look at this a bit. First, the 02 Twins were a small payroll team and the great concern was that Hunter wouldn't stick around. That team made the playoffs and upset the A's. Ortiz was the 9th most valuable position player by WAR on that team, 17th if you include pitchers. He had some injury problems and he was streaky. He had a a sub .700 OPS through July 8th. He had a terrific two week run where he hit 8 of his 20 home runs and slugged the crap out of the ball and then posted a sub .800 OPS in Aug/Sept. And he wasn't that great in the post season either. So the Twins thought LeCroy could pretty much do what Ortiz did the next year at a lower cost (and they were right, LeCroy put up a 116 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR and didn't stay healthy). They had a lot of players earning raises - their payroll jumped from 40m to 55.5m from 02-03. They couldn't keep everyone.

    The move made sense and Ortiz was later implicated in PED use at the same time in somehow started playing a lot better and remained healthy.

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    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Let's look at this a bit. First, the 02 Twins were a small payroll team and the great concern was that Hunter wouldn't stick around. That team made the playoffs and upset the A's. Ortiz was the 9th most valuable position player by WAR on that team, 17th if you include pitchers. He had some injury problems and he was streaky. He had a a sub .700 OPS through July 8th. He had a terrific two week run where he hit 8 of his 20 home runs and slugged the crap out of the ball and then posted a sub .800 OPS in Aug/Sept. And he wasn't that great in the post season either. So the Twins thought LeCroy could pretty much do what Ortiz did the next year at a lower cost (and they were right, LeCroy put up a 116 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR and didn't stay healthy). They had a lot of players earning raises - their payroll jumped from 40m to 55.5m from 02-03. They couldn't keep everyone.

    The move made sense and Ortiz was later implicated in PED use at the same time in somehow started playing a lot better and remained healthy.
    The move really made no sense. They choose to keep Fatbeer over a guy with legitimate talent and projection.

    Using WAR to describe a DH's production is pointless, considering the entire point of having a DH is that you don't have to worry about their defensive (lack of) value.

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    He did have a track record - clearly he had some pop in his bat (.195 ISO for the Twins, 58 HR in about 1500 at bats) but he had trouble staying healthy. He avg 115 games from 2000-2002 and it wasn't b/c the Twins were putting him in AAA. (He also missed a lot of time, again on the DL, in 98).

    LeCroy (fatbeer, nice) was a decent prospect - a top 50 guy once who had several .900 OPS years at AAA. Twins decided to give him a chance at a quarter the cost.

    As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    He did have a track record - clearly he had some pop in his bat (.195 ISO for the Twins, 58 HR in about 1500 at bats) but he had trouble staying healthy. He avg 115 games from 2000-2002 and it wasn't b/c the Twins were putting him in AAA. (He also missed a lot of time, again on the DL, in 98).

    LeCroy (fatbeer, nice) was a decent prospect - a top 50 guy once who had several .900 OPS years at AAA. Twins decided to give him a chance at a quarter the cost.

    As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.
    oWAR still factors in positional adjustment and factors in base running to much IMO. For a DH I prefer to look at the other stats, like how he was third on the team in OPS, 3rd in HR and 3rd in Slugging (Behind two very good OF that year in Jones and Hunter)

    He hit over .950 in the second half when he was healthy, sure he had some health issues, but a guy with that kind of raw power is certainly worth the 1.5 million it would have cost to keep him around.

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    And here I thought this would be a humorous thread.....every team passed on Ortiz when he was cut, until Boston had injury issues. I just don't think it was clear cut Ortiz was a good player. I would have kept him, but it isn't the worst decision they ever made.*

    *assuming you judge decisions on information known at the time, not a decade later
    Lighten up Francis....

  13. #13
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    The Minnesota Twins released designated hitter David Ortiz to make room on the roster for shortstop Jose Morban, selected from the Texas organization in Monday's Rule 5 draft.

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    I'd call it the curse of Tom Kelly. He's the one who wanted David to go to left field, and Ortiz didn't appreciate it.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Well, I do kind of think that the Twins need an exorcism.

    I don't know if there's a "curse of the big Papi". I'm pretty sure there is a curse of the trees. And a "revenge of the metrodome". For all I know, there's also a "curse of the Kestrel" (whatever happened to him?).

    Of course, some power hitting and power pitching might break all those curses. Still, it's worth considering a little voodoo.

  16. #16
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I would rename this to "The Curse of the HGH".

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
    I'd call it the curse of Tom Kelly. He's the one who wanted David to go to left field, and Ortiz didn't appreciate it.
    The thing with kelly was weird. He didnt start out that way. It was as if he woke up one day and decided he was gonna completely change the organizations approach to hitting. As much as I love TK for the World Championships, he's pretty much the one who started this mess. It affected the way they drafted. It affected everything. Between opposite field hitting and pitch to contact, I'm not sure which is more embarrassing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Triple-A Danchat's Avatar
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    I think it should be called "The Curse of All Former Twins"!

    Oh, wait a sec, that isn't a curse... it's called players not living up to their potential here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    I am one of the most optimistic and homer fans here, however it still drives me insane (did at the time) that we got rid of Big Papi, that is a franchise altering and possibly killing decision.

    You can throw the PED/HGH thing around all you want, fact is Papi when given regular playing time turned into one of the most fearsome bats of the decade.
    I think it's fine to be frustrated that he was let go for nothing, but it seemed a lot of teams felt the same way. Yes, the Twins could have kept him and gotten a couple more years, but to think the Twins would have had him beyond that and signed him to a big contract is over the top. There's no way he would have been a Twin long term, so I don't think it's worth still being frustrated over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.
    oWAR includes the positional adjustment too. For pure hitting performance, you need to look at batting runs (Rbat). Ortiz ranked 5th on the 2002 Twins, and 4th on a per PA basis.

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