Nation STATion: The David Ortiz 300

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Nation STATion: The David Ortiz 300

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Red Sox Nation should be really happy to get out of this weekend taking two-of-three from the Cubs after Jon Lester had an off night and the next two Sox starters were Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield. It was a sloppy weekend of baseball and as far as Im concerned, once every 93 years playing the Cubs is quite sufficient for me.

So on a rainy Monday morning, I need sunshine and thats why Im thinking about David Ortiz. Baseball is filled with milestones, we love to celebrate round numbers, but I dont think we really gave enough respect and love to the fact the Big Papi now has 300 homers in a Red Sox uni.

Perhaps you dont realize that with all the greats in this teams history, only five players have gone deep 300 times for the Sox:

Player
HR
From
To
G
Ted Williams
521
1939
1960
2292
Carl Yastrzemski
45219611983
3308
Jim Rice
38219741989
2089
Dwight Evans
379197219902505David Ortiz
300200320111184
Ortiz has hit 358 homers in his career with the Twins and the Sox, but its hard to picture him not giving those post-homer props to those up above in anything other than in Boston garb. Right from the start, Papi had a flair for drama. His first homer for the Red Sox was against Mickey Callaway of the Angels on April 27, 2003 in the top of the 14th, the Sox won that, 6-4. And once he started going deep, he didnt stop.

Here are the Big Papi big homer seasons:

YearHR200654
20054720044120073520103220033120092820082320119

He, and we, know about his slow starts. Here are his monthly totals:

YearHR200654200547200441200735201032200331
Of the 300, he has made right-hand pitchers pay 237 times, while 63 have been hit against lefties. Hes hit 136 homers when he was ahead on the count, 128 when it was an even count (including 49 on the first pitch, his favorite pitch to homer), and 36 when he was behind on the count. Hes had five 3-0 count homers and just two 0-2 count homers. Hes hit 43 homers on a full count.

Ortiz has homered off of 209 pitchers. Here are his faves:

Roy Halladay
6
Seth McClung
4Matt Garza
4Gil Meche
4Josh Towers
4Kevin Milwood
4Scot Shields
3Pat Hentgen
3A.J. Burnett
3Ramon Ortiz
3Javier Vazquez
3Jeremy Guthrie
3James Shields
3Jon Lieber
3Dan haren
3Mike Mussina
3Joel Pineiro
3Ryan Franklin
3
He has pulled 156 homers to right field, hit 117 to the centerfield area, and 27 homers have gone to the opposite field.

He has homered off 25 different opponents:

TOR37
TBR33NYY31BAL28ANA22TEX21SEA18CHW16DET15OAK14CLE11MIN10KCR9ATL7PHI5FLA5MIL4CHC3ARI2SFG2LAD2WSN2COL1STL1NYM1
With 129 dingers coming against the AL East (43).

Papi has homered in 24 ballparks, 141 at home and 159 on the road:

Park
Fenway Park
141Sky Dome
24Tropicana Field
20Yankee Stadium
15Camden Yards
13Rangers Ballpark
12US Cellular Field
10Comerica Park
10Safeco Field
9Angel Stadium
7Turner Field
6Network Assoc
6Jacobs Field
5Yankee Stadium
4Kauffman Stadium
4Dolphon Stadium
3AT&T Park
2Citizens Park
2Wrigley Field
2Miller Park
1Metrodome1Nationals Park
1Busch Stadium
1Coors Field
1
Ortiz has hit 97 homers in innings 1-3, 116 homers in the 4th through 6th innings, and 87 from the 7th inning on:

Inning
150218329442540634730829921107
His homer count by inning is obviously affected by where Ortiz was hitting in the batting order. You can see why the 2nd inning has been his least productive home run inning by noting that only 40 of his homers have been when he has hit clean-up:

OrderHR3rd
1905th504th406th167th38th1
His 300 homers have produced 574 RBI. He has homered in 265 different Sox games:

Year Games
20032520043820053820064820073120082020092720102920119
With 35 two-homer games (116 RBI):

Year Games
2005920066200362007420083201032004320091
But Papi has never hit three homers in a game for the Sox, but 35 times Ortiz has hit homers in two consecutive games; the last time was September 27-28, 2007. And, 12 times, Ortiz has hit homers in three consecutive games; the last time was September 23-25, 2009.

He has endured homerless streaks and weve suffered with him:

Streak Start
End
Games
AB
2008-09-192009-05-19
381452011-04-03
2011-05-0124822008-08-162008-09-0619682007-05-102007-06-0319692009-09-292010-09-0516602010-08-202010-09-051560
But when he hits homers, he has a huge smile and we smile as well. Of his homers, 117 have put the Sox ahead in the game and 25 have tied the score.

These 300 homers, of course, dont include his 12 postseason homers, but they do include his walkoffs. Ortiz has 10 walkoff homers in his career. Ironically, his last homer for the Twins was a walkoff homer and there have been nine moments of unabashed joy as David Ortiz bashed a walkoff homer:

DateOppPitcher
Score
Inn
Out
RBI
2003-09-23BAL
Kurt Ainsworth
Tied 5-5
b10
0
1
2004-04-11TOR
Aquilino Lopez
Tied 4-4
b12
0
2
2005-06-02
BAL
B.J. Ryan
Down 4-3
b9
2
3
2005-09-06LAA
Scot Shields
Tied 2-2
b9
1
1
2006-06-11
TEXAkinori Otsuka
Down 4-2b9232006-06-24PHITom Gordon
Tied 3-3
b10122006-07-31CLEFausto Carmona
Down 8-6
b9132007-09-12TBDAlberto Reyes
Down 4-3
b9122009-08-26CHWTony Pena
Tied 2-2
b911
Well there you have it, a little sunshine on a rainy Monday morning. And if you want a little more, heres a great David Ortiz video that I posted on my daily national baseball column at Billy-Ball.com.

Thanks Big Papi, for 300 blasts (with many more to come).

Nation STATion uses www.Baseball-Reference.com for statistical support.

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

IRVING, Texas -- Baseball players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract Wednesday night, a deal that will extend the sport's industrial peace to 26 years since the ruinous fights in the first two decades of free agency.

After days of near round-the-clock talks, negotiators reached a verbal agreement about 3 1/2 hours before the expiration of the current pact. Then they worked to draft a memorandum of understanding, which must be ratified by both sides.

"It's great! Another five years of uninterrupted baseball," Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said in a text message.

In announcing the agreement, Major League Baseball and the players' association said they will make specific terms available when drafting is complete.

"Happy it's done, and baseball is back on," Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy said.

As part of the deal, the experiment of having the All-Star Game determine which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series will end after 14 years, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been signed.

Instead, the pennant winner with the better regular-season record will open the Series at home.

Another important change: The minimum time for a stint on the disabled list will be reduced from 15 days to 10.

The luxury tax threshold rises from $189 million to $195 million next year, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021.

Tax rates increase from 17.5 percent to 20 percent for first offenders, remain at 30 percent for second offenders and rise from 40 percent to 50 percent for third offenders. There is a new surtax of 12 percent for teams $20 million to $40 million above the threshold, 42.5 percent for first offenders more than $40 million above the threshold and 45 percent for subsequent offenders more than $40 million above.

Union head Tony Clark, presiding over a negotiation for the first time, said in a statement the deal "will benefit all involved in the game and leaves the game better for those who follow."

Key changes involve the qualifying offers clubs can make to their former players after they become free agents - the figure was $17.2 million this year. If a player turns down the offer and signs elsewhere, his new team forfeits an amateur draft pick, which usually had been in the first round under the old deal.

Under the new rules, a player can receive a qualifying offer only once in his career and will have 10 days to consider it instead of seven. A club signing a player who declined a qualifying offer would lose its third-highest amateur draft pick if it is a revenue-sharing receiver, its second- and fifth-highest picks (plus a loss of $1 million in its international draft pool) if it pays luxury tax for the just-ended season, and its second-highest pick (plus $500,000 in the international draft pool) if it is any other team.

A club losing a free agent who passed up a qualifying offer would receive an extra selection after the first round of the next draft if the player signed a contract for $50 million or more and after competitive balance round B if under $50 million. However, if that team pays luxury tax, the extra draft pick would drop to after the fourth round.

Among other details:

-For a team $40 million or more in excess of the luxury tax threshold, its highest selection in the next amateur draft will drop 10 places.

-While management failed to obtain an international draft of amateurs residing outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, it did get a hard cap on each team's annual bonus pool for those players starting at $4.75 million for the signing period that begins next July 2.

-There is no change to limits on active rosters, which remain at 25 for most of the season and 40 from Sept. 1 on.

-Smokeless tobacco will be banned for all new players, those who currently do not have at least one day of major league service.

-The regular season will expand from 183 days to 187 starting in 2018, creating four more scheduled off days. There are additional limitations on the start times of night games on getaway days.

-The minimum salary rises from $507,500 to $535,000 next year, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019, with cost-of-living increases the following two years; the minor league minimum for a player appearing on the 40-man roster for at least the second time goes up from $82,700 to $86,500 next year, $88,000 in 2018 and $89,500 in 2019, followed by cost-of-living raises.

-The drop-off in slot values in the first round of the amateur draft will be lessened.

-Oakland's revenue-sharing funds will be cut to 75 percent next year, 50 percent in 2018, 25 percent in 2019 and then phased out.

-As part of the drug agreement, there will be increased testing, players will not be credited with major league service time during suspensions, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin next year.

Negotiators met through most of Tuesday night in an effort to increase momentum in the talks, which began during spring training. This is the third straight time the sides reached a new agreement before the old contract expired, but a deal was struck eight weeks in advance in 2006 and three weeks ahead of expiration in 2011.

Talks took place at a hotel outside Dallas where the players' association held its annual executive board meeting.

Clark, the first former player to serve as executive director of the union, and others set up in a meeting room within earshot of a children's choir practicing Christmas carols. A man dressed as Santa Claus waited nearby.

Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the last a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that led to the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years. The 2002 agreement was reached after players authorized a strike and about 3 1/2 hours before the first game that would have been impacted by a walkout.

The peace in baseball is in contrast to the recent labor histories of other major sports. The NFL had a preseason lockout in 2011, the NBA lost 240 games to a lockout that same year and the NHL lost 510 games to a lockout in 2012-13.