David Ortiz will retire at end of 2016 season.

Rovin Romine

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Just a quick skim, but Ortiz's numbers are so good this year, he may have improved (minimally) his percentage stats, as well as adding to the counting-stats. That's got to be super rare for an end-of-spectrum retirement season. (Usually you see players suffer through poor OBP/SLG seasons to add a handful of homers.)
 

O Captain! My Captain!

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David may be in a class by himself, actually along with Ted Williams. Look at Ted's 1960. Jim Brown quit football to make more money in the movies, playing with Raquel Welch:p, et al. He probably had a lot left in the tank, quitting the NFL at 29! Sanders was just tired of playing for a loser? I don't know. He quit at 30. I think David wrung every last year out of his body, especially below the knees.
Speaking of Sanders, Megatron retired before this season. Maybe not quite at the tippy-top of his career, but way before he was even close to needing to for performance reasons. Playing for the Lions must suuuuck.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Thank you for making the implicit message clear to people like me!

I was listening to the Padres XM feed in my car during the SD series and their blowhard announcer made the point that the Red Sox fans sure loved their man even though he'd been suspended for steroids.

GRRRRRRRRRRRR
 

Koufax

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Woke up this morning remembering how for years CHB carried on about the fact that Papi's greed was leading to long-term contracts that inevitably would result in one or two years of a gross overpay as Papi declined. He was quite worked up about this. There's one prediction off the mark, eh?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Manfred basically gave a Commisioner's endorsement for Papi in the HOF by showing up at the ceremony and also by stating explicitly and with great detail that the 2003 test was unreliable and shouldn't be held against Ortiz.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2016/10/02/rob-manfred-david-ortiz-drug-test-hall-of-fame/91442256/
Wow, I'm legitimately surprised at the strength and nuance of Manfred's statements there. He's laid out all the reasoning we've known for years about those 2003 tests, but to have it come from the Commish is quite remarkable. Too bad Seligula couldn't have done the same years ago.
 

drbretto

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I've never seen this with any player, but it looks like in Papi's case, the players and apparently commissioner are basically declaring Ortiz a Hall of Famer. I feel like they're actively forcing the narrative on the writers and it will work.
 

Bergs

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I've never seen this with any player, but it looks like in Papi's case, the players and apparently commissioner are basically declaring Ortiz a Hall of Famer. I feel like they're actively forcing the narrative on the writers and it will work.
Between that, the farewell tour, the final season he had, and the Shank article about NY sportswriters, it sure seems like the path is clearing right up for him.
 

chrisfont9

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I've never seen this with any player, but it looks like in Papi's case, the players and apparently commissioner are basically declaring Ortiz a Hall of Famer. I feel like they're actively forcing the narrative on the writers and it will work.
I'm sure it will work. Baseball likes its mythology. Numbers are borderline, but it may also be a bit of a backlash against the "Never DH" crowd or line of thinking. If you hold Ortiz to that (and continue to ignore Edgar Martinez) then you've basically committed to excluding DHs for good. But then, Frank Thomas is already in so...

Anyway, the case for Ortiz wasn't so hard to swallow to begin with, so this media push just confirms what was already likely to happen.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I'm sure it will work. Baseball likes its mythology. Numbers are borderline, but it may also be a bit of a backlash against the "Never DH" crowd or line of thinking. If you hold Ortiz to that (and continue to ignore Edgar Martinez) then you've basically committed to excluding DHs for good. But then, Frank Thomas is already in so...

Anyway, the case for Ortiz wasn't so hard to swallow to begin with, so this media push just confirms what was already likely to happen.
Not necessarily picking on you here, but are his numbers really borderline? Is that a thing that people think?

Ortiz had 5 years of top-5 MVP finishes. Nine all-star appearances. Six Silver Sluggers. Three RBI titles. 1 HR title. 1 Doubles title. Lifetime OPS+ of 141. 1 WS MVP. 1 ALCS MVP.

Ortiz currently ranks:
8th all-time in XBH
10th all-time in Doubles
17th all-time in HR
22nd all-time in RBI
25th all-time in SLG
31st all-time in total bases
35th all-time in OPS
40th all-time in BB

There are 140 position players in the HoF.

Those are Hall of Fame numbers, no matter how you slice it. And the Hall does officially categorize Thomas as a DH. So the DH thing should not be a barrier.

Further, Thomas does have two MVPs and was top 5 six times, but he has fewer silver sluggers, fewer all star games, and never led the league in HR or RBI. But he but did have a batting title, and his OPS+ is significantly higher (156).

In fact, their numbers are remarkably similar, which is probably why they're each other's most similar players in BaseballRef.

Thomas murders Papi in OBP, but Papi has way more total bases, given that he has 100+ more doubles and more HR. Papi also has more RBI.

If Thomas is in, Papi has to be in. Case closed.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Not necessarily picking on you here, but are his numbers really borderline? Is that a thing that people think?

Ortiz had 5 years of top-5 MVP finishes. Nine all-star appearances. Six Silver Sluggers. Three RBI titles. 1 HR title. 1 Doubles title. Lifetime OPS+ of 141. 1 WS MVP. 1 ALCS MVP.

Ortiz currently ranks:
8th all-time in XBH
10th all-time in Doubles
17th all-time in HR
22nd all-time in RBI
25th all-time in SLG
31st all-time in total bases
35th all-time in OPS
40th all-time in BB

There are 140 position players in the HoF.

Those are Hall of Fame numbers, no matter how you slice it. And the Hall does officially categorize Thomas as a DH. So the DH thing should not be a barrier.

Further, Thomas does have two MVPs and was top 5 six times, but he has fewer silver sluggers, fewer all star games, and never led the league in HR or RBI. But he but did have a batting title, and his OPS+ is significantly higher (156).

In fact, their numbers are remarkably similar, which is probably why they're each other's most similar players in BaseballRef.

Thomas murders Papi in OBP, but Papi has way more total bases, given that he has 100+ more doubles and more HR. Papi also has more RBI.

If Thomas is in, Papi has to be in. Case closed.
That's a thing people actually think. Thanks for the ammunition.
 

baruch20

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My God, I miss Pedro . . . we really should have overpaid to watch him fade away in Red Socks.
Some players you bite the bullet and accept that the back end of the deal will be crap. He was one of them.
I'm glad we made that happen with Papi and even moreso that he rewarded that faith with a hell of a final season.
 

Leather

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My God, I miss Pedro . . . we really should have overpaid to watch him fade away in Red Socks.
Some players you bite the bullet and accept that the back end of the deal will be crap. He was one of them.
I'm glad we made that happen with Papi and even moreso that he rewarded that faith with a hell of a final season.
I love Pedro. I love 2007 more than 2007 Pedro.
 

Sampo Gida

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Wow, I'm legitimately surprised at the strength and nuance of Manfred's statements there. He's laid out all the reasoning we've known for years about those 2003 tests, but to have it come from the Commish is quite remarkable. Too bad Seligula couldn't have done the same years ago.
He is saying nothing that wasn't already said. There is chance Ortiz was one of the tests that was few inconclusives.. Nobody seems to know for sure

Manfred said something, or it was interpreted wrongly, that I want to correct.

"There were 104 positive tests. While there were at least 10 tests that were not scientifically cleared, Manfred said, since the number easily eclipsed 5%, there was no need to re-test the disputed results."

All positive tests were subjected to a 2nd test. Players were told to stop all supplements and OTC meds and samples collected and tested a 2nd time after 7 days. I believe the number used to determine the 5% threshold was lower than 104 . Originally they said 5-7% which would mean 70-98 but they never gave an actual number

https://www.baseballmusings.com/?p=38767

I suspect the so called "inconclusives" were actually players who failed the 1st test but passed the 2nd test, but I can't be sure this is it. This explains why the government list of 104 was higher than the number of actual positives. In any event, there is reasonable doubt as to if Ortiz did test positive both times in 2003.
 

williams_482

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Not necessarily picking on you here, but are his numbers really borderline? Is that a thing that people think?

Ortiz had 5 years of top-5 MVP finishes. Nine all-star appearances. Six Silver Sluggers. Three RBI titles. 1 HR title. 1 Doubles title. Lifetime OPS+ of 141. 1 WS MVP. 1 ALCS MVP.

Ortiz currently ranks:
8th all-time in XBH
10th all-time in Doubles
17th all-time in HR
22nd all-time in RBI
25th all-time in SLG
31st all-time in total bases
35th all-time in OPS
40th all-time in BB

There are 140 position players in the HoF.

Those are Hall of Fame numbers, no matter how you slice it. And the Hall does officially categorize Thomas as a DH. So the DH thing should not be a barrier.

Further, Thomas does have two MVPs and was top 5 six times, but he has fewer silver sluggers, fewer all star games, and never led the league in HR or RBI. But he but did have a batting title, and his OPS+ is significantly higher (156).

In fact, their numbers are remarkably similar, which is probably why they're each other's most similar players in BaseballRef.

Thomas murders Papi in OBP, but Papi has way more total bases, given that he has 100+ more doubles and more HR. Papi also has more RBI.

If Thomas is in, Papi has to be in. Case closed.
He did all of that as a DH (or a very bad defensive 1B, or an okay one who couldn't have played nearly as much if he were forced to play the field, it makes no difference) and a very poor baserunner. Your comparison with Frank Thomas is rather generous towards Ortiz, as Thomas was a substantially better hitter (wRC+ of 154 vs 140) and base runner (-38 vs -78 baserunning runs) in slightly fewer plate appearances. I would hope arguments built around raw HR and RBI totals wouldn't hold much water at this stage.

If you look only at his regular season numbers and appropriately weigh his (total lack of) defensive and baserunning value alongside his offensive abilities, David Ortiz is a borderline Hall of Famer, in about the same tier as a Todd Helton or Lance Berkman. Placing any value at all on his postseason success, personality, and reputation among his peers should put him safely onto most writers ballots, but there is nothing wildly irrational about viewing his candidacy as less than a slam dunk.
 

Devizier

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He did all of that as a DH (or a very bad defensive 1B, or an okay one who couldn't have played nearly as much if he were forced to play the field, it makes no difference) and a very poor baserunner. Your comparison with Frank Thomas is rather generous towards Ortiz, as Thomas was a substantially better hitter (wRC+ of 154 vs 140) and base runner (-38 vs -78 baserunning runs) in slightly fewer plate appearances. I would hope arguments built around raw HR and RBI totals wouldn't hold much water at this stage.
Ortiz has 365 postseason plate appearances with a 145 WRC+.

Thomas suffered from lack of opportunity (68 PA) which was largely out of his control. That performance counts, too.
 

Sampo Gida

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He did all of that as a DH (or a very bad defensive 1B, or an okay one who couldn't have played nearly as much if he were forced to play the field, it makes no difference) and a very poor baserunner. Your comparison with Frank Thomas is rather generous towards Ortiz, as Thomas was a substantially better hitter (wRC+ of 154 vs 140) and base runner (-38 vs -78 baserunning runs) in slightly fewer plate appearances. I would hope arguments built around raw HR and RBI totals wouldn't hold much water at this stage.

If you look only at his regular season numbers and appropriately weigh his (total lack of) defensive and baserunning value alongside his offensive abilities, David Ortiz is a borderline Hall of Famer, in about the same tier as a Todd Helton or Lance Berkman. Placing any value at all on his postseason success, personality, and reputation among his peers should put him safely onto most writers ballots, but there is nothing wildly irrational about viewing his candidacy as less than a slam dunk.
Ortiz basically was a late bloomer, not coming into his own until aged 27 in 2003. His years with the Twins were wasted, in part due to injuries. From age 27-40 he put up a 148 OPS+ in a park not known for being very friendly for LHB'ers. He averaged 34 HR in that period, more than half the years in a period of declining offensive numbers around the league . Frank Thomas played in an extreme hitters park for much of his career with his most productive years coming in the greatest offensive era in modern times. I am not sure the era and park adjustments do this justice. This is not to take anything away from Frank Thomas, I am just saying the gap between the 2 as hitters is not as great as you make it out to be. Ortiz had fewer years as an elite hitter due to his late bloom, so his counting numbers suffered, but there are plenty of hitters in the HOF who could not match his production over his 14 years with the Red Sox.

From 2003-2016 Ortiz was the 6th best hitter in MLB among those with over 700 games by wRC+. From 1991-2004, at a comparable production peak period for Frank Thomas, he ranked 2nd among all such hitters. Again, how valid the park adjustments are here is a question, but even taken as gospel, they were both among the greatest hitters of their respective eras.

I think Ortiz being a DH is overblown as a factor to keep him out of the HOF and call him borderline. If Ortiz was in the NL or even some teams in the AL, he would have played much more at 1B. he held his own there. No GG'er, and probably a bit below average. Youkillis and Millar were a better option at 1B, so it was more of an organizational decision at the start. Maybe his offense would have suffered a bit, its hard to say that for sure. Some studies have shown many hitters have a performance drop off at DH. In any event, DH is an official position of the AL and he is one of the 2 best hitters at DH in over 25 years, That's not borderline. The position adjustments used by WAR, including the DH penalty. may be a bit extreme as well as shown in this article.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/re-examining-wars-defensive-spectrum/

A change in the position adjustment from -17.5 runs to -9.2 runs/600 PA as recommended in the article would give Ortiz an additional 11 WAR and get him to 66.4 bWAR, which is slightly above the average HOF 1Bman WAR of b65.9 WAR . Not borderline. Thomas was at 73.7 WAR

As for baserunning, the data for Fan Graphs UBR is not complete, but over Thomas last 7 years he was only 6 runs better than Ortiz over his last 7 years. No idea how to quantify UBR before 2002 but Ortiz averaged less than 5 runs below average on the bases from age 26-40, and presumably this factors into the WAR calculations. BR has Ortiz as being -15 runs over his career worse than Thomas on the bases.

And like you said, post season numbers have to count. I would add to this the number of walkoff hits in Ortiz career, post season and regular. 20 walk off hits, 12 of which were HR have to be close to the top . I believe Frank Robinosn leads at 26 and Dusty Baker at 21. Jim Thome, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson, and Babe Ruth all had 12 walk off HR. All these guys in the HOF.
 

Moog

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Thomas and Ortiz have almost exactly the same number of plate appearances (10075 and 10091 respectively, over 19/20 seasons). The difference in rate stats/OPS+ is almost entirely due to Ortiz having slightly fewer walks (–348) and slightly more strikeouts (+353), the rest of the difference in AB being a marginal combination of HBP and sacrifice flies.

If you trade 350 of Ortiz's strikeouts for walks, for example, their numbers are virtually identical:
(adjusted numbers in bold)

................PA......AB.....H.......2B...3B.HR.RBI....BB....SO.....BA...OBP.SLG.OPS
Ortiz...... 10091 8290 2472 632 19 541 1768 1669 1400 .298 .414 .574 .988
Thomas 10075 8199 2468 495 12 521 1704 1667 1397 .301 .419 .555 .974

In other words, Ortiz is essentially Thomas with slightly worse plate discipline, and slightly more power (+164 XBH).

Add Ortiz's postseason resume and this doesn't seem particularly borderline, prejudice against the DH notwithstanding.
 

redsox11507

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"Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun."

Reading Green Fields of the Mind as is tradition in a time like this, and the last paragraph rings a little truer this year. Thanks, Papi.
 

Sampo Gida

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Thomas and Ortiz have almost exactly the same number of plate appearances (10075 and 10091 respectively, over 19/20 seasons). The difference in rate stats/OPS+ is almost entirely due to Ortiz having slightly fewer walks (–348) and slightly more strikeouts (+353), the rest of the difference in AB being a marginal combination of HBP and sacrifice flies.

If you trade 350 of Ortiz's strikeouts for walks, for example, their numbers are virtually identical:
(adjusted numbers in bold)

................PA......AB.....H.......2B...3B.HR.RBI....BB....SO.....BA...OBP.SLG.OPS
Ortiz...... 10091 8290 2472 632 19 541 1768 1669 1400 .298 .414 .574 .988
Thomas 10075 8199 2468 495 12 521 1704 1667 1397 .301 .419 .555 .974

In other words, Ortiz is essentially Thomas with slightly worse plate discipline, and slightly more power (+164 XBH).

Add Ortiz's postseason resume and this doesn't seem particularly borderline, prejudice against the DH notwithstanding.
Actually, Ortiz final years were played in a much greater strikeout environment (7.5 K/game) , and Thomases earlier years (6 K/game) were in a much lower strikeout environment than the K rate during their common years. If adjusted for that I bet the K gap is smaller, maybe half
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Papi absolutely deserved better. I've said this before, but it's true: he was never my favorite Red Sox player during any specific season, but he's my favorite Red Sox player of all time.
 

Tharkin

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Despite an entire season to come to terms with it, I can't believe that was Papi's last game. I want him to come back. I want him to retire and enjoy the hell out of the awesome life he's got coming post-baseball. I don't know what I want, but I know that I feel very fortunate to have watched that man play baseball for my favorite team for most of my adult life.
 

jateders

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Thank you Papi. My daughter is 12 years old, plays soccer and doesn't have interest in baseball, but every time I watched a game and you came up she stopped to watch. She doesn't like baseball, she doesn't like how long it takes, doesn't understand the rules and doesn't have a favorite team, but she had a favorite player, and she loved to watch you hit. "How does he hit it so far dad?... oh, wait because he's Big Papi".
 

rembrat

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That last Papi AB was perfect. They wouldn't pitch to him, whether out of design or fear, so he took his bag. He got to 1B and implored the Fenway crowd to make some damn noise and again from 2B after Hanley's rocket. Then coming back out to doff his cap, tears in his eyes...

They had better had a camera crew following him around all year. I want to relive this season for the rest of my life.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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I can't believe it's over. Thank you Papi. We were truly blessed to watch one of the true greats, heck 3 of them including Pedro and Manny. From 2004-2009 or so every Papi AB was a must see event. From 2013-2016 it was again once he was fully healthy and made some adjustments. He was so much fun to watch. Damn I'm going to miss him.

To coin the phrase DOB put back in my head watching the highlight of the slam against the Tigers a few days ago.

DAVID ORTIZ!!!!
DAVID ORTIZ!!!!
DAVID ORTIZ!!!!
 

Stitch01

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That last Papi AB was perfect. They wouldn't pitch to him, whether out of design or fear, so he took his bag. He got to 1B and implored the Fenway crowd to make some damn noise and again from 2B after Hanley's rocket. Then coming back out to doff his cap, tears in his eyes...

They had better had a camera crew following him around all year. I want to relive this season for the rest of my life.
Have to admit I was hoping that 3-0 was called a strike and we got one more heroic moment.

Helluva ride. Not the fairy tale ending, but glad he at least got one more playoff game ant Fenway after the best 40 year old season ever. They broke the mold with that guy, hope I'm lucky enough to be old and gray telling my grandkids how privileged I was to root for David Ortiz.
 

Stanley Steamer

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Thank you, Papi. You are my favorite baseball player, ever, and I wish you a long and happy retirement. Thanks for helping to make the Red Sox winners, even in the wake of defeat.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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There are no thanks big enough to properly convey the level of gratitude I have for David Ortiz. He was the best I ever got to see and I look forward to hearing his name called at Cooperstown in a few years.