Or you might just see pictures of several other very talented baseball players, considering “clutch” is just a manifestation of small sample sizes and, Ortiz’s feats, while very impressive, have actually been matched by plenty of other stars.
Or maybe the dictionary will just say, “CLUTCH: a woman’s small handbag.”
That dictionary, man. Just full of all sorts of words to unpack.
The Red Sox ran into trouble on Thursday when they tried to brag — for the third consecutive day — about Ortiz’s first-ballot Hall of Fame accomplishments. We get it. Beat writers liked you. Find a new slant.
Instead, they accidentally invoked New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, then hoped nobody would notice.
Red Sox actually picked a David Ortiz feat that Yankees legend Mickey Mantle also accomplished.
YUP. There he is. In the foreground. The CLUTCHEST hitter who ever lived. Yes. That’s why he’s standing in the foreground. There’s clutch … then there’s a big old gap … and then there’s … yes, you guessed it … David Ortiz.
Except, uh, the funniest thing happened. “Most Career Walk-Off Home Runs (Including Postseason),” the stat the Red Sox tried to brag about here? Big Papi’s actually tied, with 13. He’s tied with Jim Thome, another modern-era star. And he’s tied with Yankees icon Mickey Mantle.
And back when Mickey Mantle was racking up walk-offs, there actually was only one round of the postseason. You see, Mantle didn’t get to pick through the riff raff before making the World Series. He didn’t have to go through the annual charade of terrorizing Jarrod Washburn at Fenway Park before he could get to the real October meat, like Big Papi did. It was just boom, zip, right to the Fall Classic, giving him far fewer opportunities for playoff walk-offs to pad his stats.
Yes, Mantle did hit 13, with his lone postseason rocket coming in Game 3 of the 1964 World Series. Ortiz? His 13 included two playoff homers — against the Angels and (sigh) Yankees in 2004.
Oh, but get this: one of his walk-off homers came as a Minnesota Twin in 2002! Very interesting.
So, again, that’s Mantle with 13 walk-off dingers for the Yankees and Ortiz with 12 for the Red Sox. Big, big bummer!
But, then again, there’s clutch, and then there’s Mickey Mantle.