Friday, June 12, 2009

And Now You Know!: Sky King

Could David Ortiz be out of his slump or is he just thriving versus Yankee pitching? He has three homeruns in the past five games and his batting average has climbed nearly 20 points in the past week. Granted he is still batting just .203 with 4 curtain calls (aka homeruns) but if history tells us anything, he has plenty of time to make this a great year.

I rewind back to 1982 when a man by the name of Dave Kingman led the league in homeruns with 37. This just five years removed from when the Sky King hit 48 homeruns but what made 1982 so special is that Kingman led the league in homeruns while hitting a mere .204. Barely getting over the Mendoza line but lasting the entire season succeeding just 20% of the time at the plate.

33% of Kingman's hits that year were homeruns and he surprisingly had 99 rbis, almost 1 per hit. Things weren't so promising though as he led the league in strikeouts with 50 more strikeouts than hits that year. That year Steve Carlton, the Cy Young award winner, hit .218. The Sky King never once batted over .300 the entire season.

So as we jump on David Ortiz, we realize that there is still hope for him. Looking back to last year alone Carlos Delgado was batting .228 by June 1 with just 8 HR. Mets fans and fantasy owners were writing him off. Over the next 4 months Delgado increased his batting average nearly 50 points and finished the season with 38 HR, 115 RBI, and finished 9th in the MVP voting.

Here's where we stand with Ortiz just 60 games into the season. He has 5 HR, 24 RBI, and has struck out just 55 times. Are things turning around? There is plenty of time. If the Sky King can hit .204 and lead the league in homeruns then there is still hope for Ortiz.

On a side note, wasn't there a curse that some construction worker tried placing on Yankee Stadium by burying David Ortiz's uniform?

And Now You Know! (And Knowing is Half the Battle)

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