So the Sox have won, I think, 7 straight, but that could be 8, but either way they haven't lost in a week. A question I keep hearing from the casual fan is "Why do they keep pitching to Ortiz?" The answer is simple, Manny. You get pitches to hit because the guy behind you is a good hitter. Someone asked me this morning, "Why did the Twins let him go?". Here again the answer is Manny. The Twins didn't have any one hitting behind the gu, so he got no pitches to hit. This is one of the reasons Manny is so valuable to the Sox and one of the reasons I can't believe that Sox fans would rmotely consider trading him away. We must remember that the reason we have Big Papi instead of David Ortiz is that Manny makes him better, no Manny means no Big Papi. They tried that experiment the year before, and it failed. They swapped Ortiz and Manny in the line up, lo and behold Ortiz's average and RBI production dropped, until they swapped them back. Papi knows this to be true, hence his passionsate appeal during the off season last year to hit third with Manny hitting clean up. I think all will agree that Manny is the best pure hitter in the American League, others may perform to his level for streaks, but not over a whole season, and definately not when the games on the line. The perfect example of Manny's influence was Saturday's game. If Manny isn't hitting behind Ortiz, he gets walked with out hesitation. But with Manny there, they little choice but to pitch to him.
Big Papi is a great clutch hitter, I don't mean to take anything away from him. Especially when you look at the pitch he hit 500 and some odd feet yesterday. The damn thing was down and away, nearly out of the strike zone but too close to take. Only great hitters hit a pitch like that as far as he did. My point is that with out Manny he doesn't get the chance to hit that pitch, he'd already be standing on first with the intentional walk.