Mike’d Up: Big Papi’s heroics and the Miami Dolphins’ woes

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Michael Kelley

The Boston Red Sox’s World Series run has been bolstered by none other than Senor Octubre, David Ortiz. The Mike’d UP guys break down his postseason legacy.

Kowaleski: Big Papi is to the BoSox as Derek Jeter is to the Yankees. That is to say they’re immensely likeable players on mostly hateable teams.

The best part about Ortiz’s legacy won’t just be in his quality as a hitter, but will remain in his personality. The appearances on barstoolsports.com’s whiffle ball home run derby, the ESPN commercials, the goofy interviews…that’s what makes Papi probably the only Red Sock player I’ve actually rooted for.

Dominican Shrek’s legacy took an adrenaline shot to the arm this postseason, with Ortiz posting a .733/.750/1.267 batting line over the first five games of the World Series. Absurd. His on-the-field contributions are important, but his off-the-field role has been crucial. As this iteration of the Red Sox took the field for this storied franchise, Papi developed into a Ray Lewis-type motivator. I’ve never seen a huddle in a baseball dugout, but Ortiz called the team in for a mid-game hype speech. He’s been nothing short of invaluable.

And that’s going into Game Six, which we’re watching as I’m typing this. I’m going to leave your space for after the game, let you put your Game Six reactions in your segment.

 

Kelley: Ortiz was essentially unstoppable this postseason. So many moments… almost too many.

How about the two-homer game against the Rays in the Division Series? Or the ALCS-turning grand slam against Detroit? Perhaps the absolute destruction of the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series?

There is no dispute – hate him or not, Ortiz had one of the best postseason performances of all-time. And this is by no means his first rodeo either. Flashback to 2004 and he hit .387 and drove in 11 runs against the Yankees to lead the Red Sox to possibly the greatest comeback in sports history.

A Washington Post column that ran on Tuesday was titled, “Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz playing his way to Cooperstown in the World Series.”

Indeed he is. Ortiz may not quite have the home run totals (431) to push his way into Cooperstown but coupled with his legendary postseason performances, there is no doubt about it.

 

After a torrid 3-0 start, Kowaleski’s Miami Dolphins have lost four straight. What’s the deal in South Beach?

Kowaleski: Mike, being a Steelers fan, you really don’t know what it’s like to be a Dolphins fan in the new millennium. The first Dolphins game I can remember watching was Dan Marino’s final game under center for the Fins. It was a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoff, and it was only downhill from there.

Since then we’ve gone through countless quarterbacks, Ted Ginn Jr. as a first-round pick, Nick Saban swearing that he wasn’t going to take the job at Alabama, and much more heartbreak.

So believe me when I say that I was skeptical when my beloved Dolphins started out hot. It’s not natural, and it’s predictably fallen apart since then.

Our O-line was a mess before the season, and apparently our already maligned left tackle Jonathan Martin was the victim of a prank that caused him to suffer “an emotional breakdown.” We don’t need that, we need Mike Sherman to call more running plays when we’re up 17-3 against the Patriots and we have 100+ yards on the ground in the first half.

Cheer me up, Mike.

 

Kelley: Well, my first and quite possibly only suggestion would be to take a quick peek up the sunny old state of Florida to the state of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My gosh, is that team in dismal shape.

Josh Freeman and Greg Schiano mixed about as well as Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian. Players are teeing off about the shambles of what used to be a locker room. One player who spent the 2012 season with the Buccaneers said the atmosphere was like “being in Cuba.”

“How bad is it there? It’s worse than you can imagine,” he said.

A veteran NFL coach said “It’s his way or (expletive) you. He needs to back up a little bit, or he’s going to have a very hard time in this league over the long haul.”

Sounds a bit worse than your Dolphins to me, huh?

Need more, Mick? Look to Jacksonville. 0-7 with a depleted roster, desperate for talent. Man did that organization misfire on Blaine Gabbert. It seems to be a matter of not if but when Jacksonville makes its move to relocate to London.

So, perhaps the Dolphins can turn it around. Or not. Whatever. At least you can look to the Bucs and the Jags and congratulate yourself for picking the right team in Florida.

 

Kowaleski: Somehow, I feel a lot sadder after that.