Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Papi Void

July 1, 2008—As we approach The Break, it is becoming painfully obvious how much the Red Sox miss David Ortiz. As brilliantly as J.D. Drew has played in June, there is a gaping hole in the Boston lineup in key, close, late-inning situations—witness the three one-run losses on the road in the last three days. It's hard to pin down exactly how Big Papi's absence is felt, it's just a gut feeling, a given, kind of like how you know whether a guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame just by hearing his name. The menacing visage of David Ortiz staring at opposing pitchers in the 9th inning can't be quantified. It's just important. And we don't have it. And we're in second place. That's all you need to know.

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