David Ortiz is having a fantastic season, though one frequently interrupted by complaints about some thing or another. The latest: he thought the Red Sox wanting to go year to year with him this past offseason rather than give him a two-year deal was humiliating, and he didn’t hesitate to tell USA Today about it:
“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that,” Ortiz said. “All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary [$12.5 million].
“They ended up giving me [$2.025 million] more than that , and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off. And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”
Well, yes, in hindsight a two-year, $25 million deal will probably have been better than Ortiz’s $14.575 million he got this year plus whatever he’ll get for 2013. But it’s not like it was some snub by Boston. It’s pretty reasonable — always pretty reasonable — to assume a player of Ortiz’s age and skill set doesn’t have a full tank left. Eventually he’s gonna fall off a cliff.
He didn’t this year. Because of that, he’s going to get much more for 2012 and 2013 than he would have had he gotten the deal he wanted. A deal which, for some reason, I get the feeling Ortiz would be grumbling about being too big a bargain for the Sox had he signed it.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: