Over at SI.com, Tom Verducci has officially kicked off the Papi for the Hall campaign:
Here’s something else unusual about Ortiz: He has slugged at least .592 for five consecutive seasons, a level of sustained power-hitting excellence that is historically rare. Ortiz is one of 11 players in history with that kind of streak, with only Barry Bonds (eight straight), Babe Ruth (seven and six), Hank Greenberg (seven), Mark McGwire (six) and Ted Williams (six) with more consecutive such seasons.
Look at Ortiz’s consistency delivering extra-base hits. He has pounded out 85 extra-base hits or more for four consecutive years. Only Lou Gehrig (five seasons) ever had a longer such streak and only Sammy Sosa has matched Ortiz’s run. Even if you forget about whether such seasons came consecutively or not, only four hitters ever had more 85-extra-base seasons than Ortiz already has: Gehrig (eight), Ruth (seven) and Greenberg and Stan Musial (five).
Finally, there’s the completely unscientific test: give me your five best hitters in baseball. You don’t have to crunch the numbers on this one. Just tell me the five guys who you think are the best in the business at squaring up a baseball. If you didn’t have Ortiz on that short list in any of the past four seasons, I’d have to question what you’ve been eating for breakfast.
Speaking of the first meal of the day, earlier in the article, Verducci describes for us a typical Ortiz power breakfast: “a plastic bowl filled with granola and a paper plate stressed by almost a dozen hard-boiled eggs, of which Ortiz ate only the whites.”
Myself, I’m depressed. Because I like to think of Ortiz breaking the fast with three hams, a vat of lager, and perhaps a bowl of Cookie Crisp for some fast-burning carbs. Right before he heads off to terrorize small villages, assorted wrongdoers, and Joba Chamberlain.