David Ortiz is tired of the anti-designated hitter bias.
The former Boston Red Sox slugger never won an American League MVP award despite putting up some monster numbers throughout his career. He's apparently still a little salty about that, and after watching J.D. Martinez finish a distant fourth in AL MVP voting this year, Ortiz couldn't bite his tongue any longer.
- MORE RED SOX: Martinez loses Most Outstanding DH Award to Khris Davis
"OK, Mookie Betts was the MVP, but you were the runner-up," Ortiz told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford at his annual David Ortiz Golf Classic in the Dominican Republic. "That’s the type of credit he needs to get. Not this other (expletive). Come on, man. I never understand it."
"... How about if I tell you J.D. made Mookie better. He made (Xander) Bogaerts better. Every lineup needs a guy like him so he takes pressure off the rest of the guys so the guys can be better. Look at the 2017 season, look at the 2016 season and then look at the 2018 season, then you tell me. Be my guest."
Ortiz's argument: Martinez is such a good hitter that he affects how pitchers approach the entire lineup. And that kind of impact can't be measured in sabermetric stats like Wins Above Replacement -- which Big Papi apparently isn't a fan of.
"Sabermetrics might be 85 percent of the game, but without the 15 percent that isn’t measured, if you don’t get that then that 85 percent doesn’t mean (expletive)," Ortiz said. "That 15 percent is the heart, the hunger, what matters to you and what is important to you. To me, J.D. Martinez is that difference. He was and he is going to continue being that difference."
Ortiz speaks from experience: While he didn't play the field in Boston, his presence in the batting order made the Red Sox's lineup an absolute force during their 2004, 2007 and 2013 championship runs.
The retired slugger believes Martinez was every bit that same presence on the 2018 Sox -- and was an indispensable part of their title run.
"I don’t care about what anybody says, with WAR and this and that. If you don’t have a guy like J.D. Martinez in your lineup you don’t win the World Series," Ortiz said. "If we don’t have him in that lineup there will be no World Series. You can go around and ask anybody. That’s what MVP means. I know how hard that is and I don’t think they do."
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