Unfortunately for me, the day I left for the gulf it seemed like Ortiz began to break out of his 6 week slump to start the season. While I don't put too much stock in winning the home run derby, watching him last night brought back memories of the 2003-2006 seasons when he was probably the most feared hitter in the game. Our only hope is last night doesn't mess up his swing for the second half, but too much those looked like vintage Ortiz swings, not too worried about that.
When I left Ortiz couldn't hit a Tim Murphy fastball and I get it up near 67 when I'm warmed up. I really questioned whether or not Tito should be putting Jeremy Hermida in the line up night in and night out, at least he was getting good swings, even if they were misses. As someone who thinks they understand the game of baseball a little bit I sided with nearly everyone else who thought Ortiz was done. As a fan I'm insanely happy that I was 1000% wrong.
Here is where I would typically make a "Ortiz found his eye drops" joke, but I'm not going to (even thought I just did). I'm just going to be happy that Ortiz is the driving force behind the Red Sox number 1 ranked offense this season, an offense we all doubted coming into Spring Training.
Moving on from the reincarnation of Big Papi, the Red Sox sit in 3rd place in the incredibly tough AL East on pace for 94 wins and an early tee time at Pebble Beach watching October Baseball, remember there's only one October. Injuries have decimated the 2010 Sox beyond a point that is considered the normal wear and tear for a regular season. I'm about a week too late in openly wondering if it's possible for the Pawtucket Red Sox to compete with the Yankees and Rays, but I'll reiterate that the Sox need to get healthy in a hurry if they want to be playing October baseball passed my birthday.
Pedroia would probably play tomorrow if the team would let him, Buchholz is scheduled to come off the DL this week, and Beckett is due to make another rehab start in Pawtucket before returning to the bump at Fenway, that's a good start. I'm really at least another 2 nights of drinking with Vicino to figure out where I stand on Ellsbury, seems like we are watching and listening to the beginning of the end of his days in Boston. Probably time for him to nut up and start running through some walls and getting dirty, even if it is in left field.
The Sox come out of the all star break with 4 games vs the Texas Rangers before a west coast trip. We'll see how well they can weather July, but I think come August and September we're going to see some important and riveting baseball.
Final thought, how studly is Hanley Ramirez? I pray to the god that I don't pray to that we somehow get him back one day, maybe to play center once Jacoby skips out of town and Mike Cameron has been put to sleep.