David Ortiz: Deservant of MVP

By on October 2, 2003

At the end of every season, Major League Baseball rewards its best player in both the American and National League with the MVP award. The award is given to the player who carries his team, and without him, his team would not be a contender.

There is a player this year though who is not the highest paid, or one of the most recognizable players in the league. He goes out and plays every game with passion and conviction. Many times this year, the Red Sox would not have won if it was not for the timely hitting of newly acquired David Ortiz.

Ortiz, a free agent off season pick up from the Minnesota Twins, was thought to just be a role player for the Sox when he was acquired. He turned out to be much more than that. Ortiz established career highs in every offensive category there is. Among these new career highs, he hit 31 home runs, drove in 101 RBI’s, and scored 79 runs.

Having a career year does not make you an MVP, but when compared to the statistics of other American League hitters, it is clear why he should him the award. Among his peers, Ortiz ranks sixteenth in RBI’s, tenth in doubles, eleventh in home runs, second in slugging percentage, eighteenth in on-base percentage, and fifth in OPS, which is slugging percentage and on-base percentage calculated together. He is in the top three in all of these categories in the American League when compared to all other designated hitters, which was his main position during the season, although he did play first base at times.

All these statistics and his rankings among the league leaders could be neglected if you just look at what he has single handedly done for the Red Sox. He has been the one player who could bring the team together. It has been said that a baseball team has 25 players who take 25 cabs home after the game. Ortiz has changed all this. The players look like they have fun on the field.

The MVP award cannot be given to a player just because of his clubhouse contribution alone, the award has to be merited by on the field play. Along with the statistics Ortiz has compiled, he has been a timely hitter, driving in runs in late game situations to win games for the Sox.

Against AL East rival, the New York Yankees, Ortiz hit .400 with 16 hits, nine runs scored, 13 RBI’s, and six home runs in 12 games.

Ortiz had six consecutive games where he hit a home run and tallied six multi-homer games this year.

He has hit countless gaming winning and game tying home runs. He was the best move the new general manager Theo Epstein made during the off-season.

Without Ortiz, the Red Sox would not have made the playoffs, and because of that, he is the most valuable player to his team and deserving of the award.


About Matt Lefebvre