There’s been much discussion in the last few days about David Ortiz, who rather cattily explained to ESPN why he thinks he should win the MVP award, arguing that a team’s position in the standings shouldn’t be a factor. Not to take anything away from Ortiz -- he’s undoubtedly a great hitter, and indeed is the only baseball player I’ve ever had appear in a recurring nightmare -- but as I was just saying on Sunday, if the standings don’t matter, then the MVP should probably go to Travis Hafner or Ortiz’s own teammate, Manny Ramirez. If not Johan Santana. Regarding Jeter, Ortiz says:
"Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup… Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be.”
Well. I bet that went over well in the Red Sox clubhouse. He has a valid point, of course, but this is nevertheless the kind of observation that, if you’re Ortiz, you should probably keep to yourself. Jeter’s response to all this was classically boring, except for the last line, which I do believe is a bit of a zinger:
"I don't have to do it in his lineup... I'm not thinking about winning the MVP. I'm just thinking about winning the division. No one's focus here is on individual awards. We've got something to play for."
Then, of course, they ran and asked Johnny Damon what he thought. Can somebody please explain to me how the tone of this conversation differs from one you might overhear in a randomly selected middle school cafeteria? It might be unfair to criticize Ortiz, though: I bet he was going to say, “I don’t care about individual awards, I just want to help my team,” but found that Jeter had finally had that phrase officially trademarked.
MUSTACHE WATCH ’06 – SON OF MUSTACHE WATCH: Back by popular demand! Randy Johnson, having realized the error of his ways, is re-growing his signature lip fur. At least I think he is. There’s something on his face, anyway, so for his sake, let’s all hope it’s facial hair.