Posted September 05, 2013

David Ortiz reaches 2,000 hits as Red Sox rout Tigers

Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz
David Ortiz reached the 2,000-hit plateau with a double in Wednesday's game against Detroit. (Michael Ivins/Getty Images)

David Ortiz reached the 2,000-hit plateau with a double in Wednesday’s game against Detroit. (Michael Ivins/Getty Images)

Two innings after David Ortiz parked a home run against the Tigers several rows over the right-field bullpens for his 1,999th career hit — over the Fenway Park speakers, Prince implored everyone to “party like it’s 1999” — Ortiz completed his journey to the 2K Hit Club by short-hopping a double off the centerfield wall.

As Ortiz stood on second base, Red Sox fans showered a standing ovation upon their beloved paternal slugger, Big Papi, as he’s universally known. (This time the theme from “The Natural” served as musical accompaniment as the NESN broadcast went silent.) The crowd appeared to be in an especially celebratory mood, as the Sox were on their way to a 20-4 drubbing of the Tigers, capping a series win in the matchup between the AL’s top two teams.

There’s an unmistakable bond between Bostonians and Ortiz, the 37-year-old Dominican native now in his 11th season with the Sox. Not only did he deliver so many clutch hits during the franchise’s improbable 2004 World Series run, but he also has become one of the most recognizable and beloved public figures in the city, a sentiment sealed by his role as impromptu spokesperson in the first home game after the Boston Marathon bombing, when he declared, “This is our f—–’ city.”

It was fitting, therefore, that he would reach such a milestone at home, but what may have been even more appropriate was that Ortiz didn’t stop at the big, round number. An inning after becoming the 17th active player with 2,000 hits, he smacked No. 2,001, another long home run — for which Fenway cued the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” — as Ortiz showed that he’s far from being done, a borderline Hall of Famer still effectively bolstering his credentials.

Unlike the other designated hitter on the precipice of 2,000 — the Indians’ Jason Giambi has 1,999 — Ortiz remains one of the game’s preeminent power hitters. He now has 26 home runs and a .963 OPS, the third straight season the latter number has been above .950. He’s sufficiently feared that he leads the majors with 18 intentional walks.

Ortiz is producing and he’s staying put, too, an anchor in Boston’s lineup for another season. After a couple of acrimonious offseasons in which the Sox went year-to-year with him, the club signed him to a two-year deal this winter, meaning Ortiz is guaranteed to be back, a sense of security he hadn’t enjoyed since 2009.

There will be more tributes for Ortiz in Boston with a ceremonial sendoff to commemorate the close of his career at a future date, but for now expect more such counting number compilations. At the rate he’s going, keep this in mind for two or three years hence: He is only 73 home runs away from 500.

13 comments
anticubicle6782
anticubicle6782

And wait, why on earth are players celebrating 2000, 2500, 1000 hits? The benchmark is 3000...until they obtain that, they're just celebrating as if they are the runner-up.

anticubicle6782
anticubicle6782

How many of those hits were while he was on PED's? If he was in pinstripes, he'd have been crucified. 

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

.............and  in celebration he bashed another phone. Sad he pouts and goes off when it doesn't go his way, just like miggy in detroit, and puig in LA.  Sad the latinos are becoming the new black for "pity us"

JeffreyRayStone
JeffreyRayStone

Still amazed at the free pass this roider gets from the fans and the MLB press corps.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@anticubicle6782   Something in the neighborhood of 17,000 men or so have played major league baseball.

Only 245 men have 2,000 or more hits...

This means only roughly 1.4% of players have achieved 2,000 hits...

3,000 hits is amazing and only 28 players have done this or .0016% of players...


Another way to put this into perspective is that right now, only 454 major league players have ever reached 6,000 at bats for their career...

2,000 hits out of 6,000 at bats would obviously be a .333 average and well only 28 men have averaged .333 for their careers.

So if only 454 of roughly 17,000 players have achieved even 6,000 at bats... well it's pretty damn difficult to get to even 2,000 hits...

appleJuicer
appleJuicer

@WHO*IS*ESPN had to bring in the racial thing didn't you. everything has to pass through that lens...

FeliciaFitzgerald
FeliciaFitzgerald

@JeffreyRayStone Ortiz denies it and there has never been any proof.

No failed tests.

No people claiming to have sold and/or administered the drugs.

An undisclosed source claims that Ortiz' name was on the supposedly confidential test report from 2003. The list remains unpublished.

No evidence => free pass.

Besides, Ortiz is a very likable guy - as opposed to A-rod. So people will naturally give him a break.

Sounds to me like you're the type of person who likes to rain on other people's parades...

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

@FeliciaFitzgerald @JeffreyRayStone I believe Ortiz has acknowledged the fact that his name is on the list for failed tests.  His claim is that he is looking for the reason and to this day still has not uncovered it.  I'll also throw in the guilt by association fact in that he played with some serious 'roiders.  I have trouble believing his change in body and hitting approach, combined with the team's apparent philosophy with steroids, did not result from use of PED's.

DanielKazenel
DanielKazenel

@sunalsorises @jofish @FeliciaFitzgerald @JeffreyRayStone His arms look the same size in both shots… The only difference is that he's gained ALOT of weight. Fried chicken isn't an illegal substance in baseball.

I'm not saying he didn't take PED's or anything, but, unlike Bonds or McGwire, you can't point to a change in physique as a red flag.