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What Career Downslide? David Ortiz Isn’t Slowing Down Yet

It wasn’t that long ago when fans wondered if David Ortiz would ever hit another home run. Today, he’s one of the league leaders in the category and is the 2010 Home Run Derby Champion.

Not bad for a guy who hit two dingers combined in the past two Aprils.

In 2009, Ortiz suffered through his worst spring since coming to Boston. People blamed his age and the lack of Manny Ramirez from the Boston lineup, his partner in crime who was traded mid-season in 2008. Then he started heating up. He hit 27 home-runs from June to September, ending with a respectable total of 28.

History repeated itself this April, and we wondered if he would get it going again this season. Another year older, and with even less protection in the lineup, not many people thought that lightning would strike twice. To our surprise, it has. Papi is an All-Star, and is playing like the postseason hero that led Boston to its first World Series victory in 86 years back in 2004.

Tonight was a culmination of David Ortiz’s epic comeback. He is the Home Run Derby champion; the king of the power hitters.

Even the Angels fans, who booed Ortiz during the introductions, had to respect David’s performance tonight.By the end of the final round, the Angels fans were standing and cheering for the man who dominated them in the postseason for most of the past decade.

Ortiz won tonight with strategy. Although the 20-home-run round gets people talking around the water cooler the next day, it rarely wins the derby. Papi put together three consistently high rounds, giving him just enough home runs to advance each time. His endurance was great enough to allow him to put 11 on the board in the final round, more than twice the amount of Hanley Ramirez, the runner up who was Ortiz’s protégé in Boston.

Ortiz will probably get at least one at bat tomorrow, so perhaps he’ll keep up his success in the stadium. If not, he can at least say that he participated in the 2010 All-Star festivities, something no one thought possible just a few short months ago. 

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10 Predictions for the Second Half of the 2010 Baseball Season

As we hit the 81 game mark over the Fourth of July weekend, I started thinking about the season so far. It has certainly been interesting. There are plenty of new developments in the 2010 Major Leagues: Parity is at an all-time high and pitching is more dominant than ever. Meanwhile, the Yankees have the best record in baseball and the Red Sox aren’t too far behind them. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I have a few random thoughts on the current baseball season:

The interleague is alive and well. Some don’t like it, but I love it. In an American League market, I got to watch my team go against Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum in a span of less than a week. That can only happen with interleague games.

Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga remain two of the classiest people in baseball. One of the biggest stories of the year has been Joyce’s blown call on the 27th out of Galarraga’s potential perfect game from June 2nd. More importantly, the reactions by both parties have resonated throughout the league. Although we could argue back and forth all day long what should have been done, no one can argue how great the two handled the situation.

Finally, it’s a pure game again. By far the most important development in baseball as the game enters a new decade is the fallout of the new performance enhancing drug policies. The power numbers may be down, but the pitching is more exciting than ever to watch. More teams are allowed to compete. There is a level playing field, giving way to new super stars. Baseball is fun to watch again, and I’m excited to be a fan again.

With that said, let’s look at a few predictions for the second half of the season.

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