Tipping pitches a possible but unlikely reason for Chasen Shreve’s struggles at the end of 2015

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Chasen Shreve was very good last season. And then he was very bad. For the first four and a half months of the season he was truly outstanding, giving Joe Girardi a very good fourth option in the bullpen. Then it all fell apart in the middle of the August. Shreve allowed ten runs on 21 hits (five homers!) and 14 walks in his final 12.2 innings of 2015. Yuck.

There is no shortage of theories why Shreve struggled so much late in the season. He was fatigued. The league caught up to him. It was all bad luck. Everyone has a theory and no one knows if they’re actually right. Lately the idea Shreve was tipping his pitches has gotten some press — Joel Sherman wrote about it (twice) and Ryan Hatch asked Larry Rothschild about it — and that’s as good a theory as any.

Shreve is a three-pitch pitcher but his fastball and splitter are his main weapons. He does throw a slider too, just not very often. It’s a surprise pitch, basically. Not a real weapon. Shreve uses his fastball to set up his splitter and vice versa. Pretty simple formula. Here are some numbers:

Chasen Shreve FB SPL

What really stands out is how often Shreve threw his splitter in the zone in August and September (and October). The splitter is designed to finish out of the zone. The pitcher releases it, the batter reads fastball in the zone, starts his swing, then the pitch falls off the table. When thrown properly, the split might be the most devastating pitch in the sport.

For whatever reason Shreve threw a lot of splitters in the zone at the end of the season, and that’s not where the pitch is supposed to be. That suggests a mechanical issue, or maybe fatigue, but tipping pitches? I’m not sure it jibes with that. When a pitcher tips his pitches, he tells the hitter what is coming, not where it’s coming. And even if he did tell them where it was coming, it requires a lot of skill to actually throw it there. Command is hard.

For the sake of thoroughness, here are two GIFs of Shreve from October, in the second to last game of the season. The pitch on the right is a fastball and the pitch on a left is a splitter. If you can spot some sort of difference in his set position or delivery that may be tipping the pitch to the hitter, you’re better at this than I am.

Chasen Shreve FB SPLT

Shreve missed his spot with both pitches though not necessarily in a bad way; he got the fastball a little too far inside and the splitter finished down in the dirt. He didn’t miss out over the plate. Of course, this is a sample of two pitches. Shreve did a lot of missing over the plate down the stretch.

Rothschild told Hatch he believes Shreve simply wore down last season, though that could be pitching coach speak for “I’m not telling you anything.” It’s certainly possible he was tipping his pitches. You can never rule it out, but it often feels like crying wolf. Every time a pitcher struggles unexpectedly, oh well he must be tipping his pitches. We hear it constantly.

Fatigue does seem like the most logical explanation. I don’t think Shreve got lucky for four and a half months then it all caught up to him. He didn’t get bad overnight. Shreve likely wore down, which threw his mechanics out of whack and resulted in poor location, hence all the extra splitters in the zone. He couldn’t get the same finish on the pitch. Fatigue would be the cleanest explanation. An offseason of rest and he’s as good as new.

The real Chasen Shreve is probably somewhere between the awesome pitcher he was from April through mid-August and the bad pitcher he was from mid-August through the end of the season. It’s up to Shreve and Rothschild to figure out what happened. For now, Shreve’s performance most of last season earned him some rope, and I think he’s got a leg up on one of those open bullpen spots.

Refsnyder at third base might not work, but shouldn’t the Yankees at least try it this spring?

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Spring Training is now fully underway. Position players reported yesterday and today is the first official full squad workout. The Yankees will play their first Grapefruit League game one week from yesterday. There is still a lot of preparation to do before then of course, but real live baseball is coming soon. Games are less than a week away.

Yesterday afternoon the Yankees held their staff meeting to discuss the position players and figure out their plan for Spring Training. Much of it is straight forward — Mark Teixeira is going to play first base, Jacoby Ellsbury is going to be the center fielder, blah blah blah — but some of it is up in the air. The Yankees have to figure out how exactly they’ll move forward with Starlin Castro at third base, for example.

Also on yesterday’s agenda: Rob Refsnyder. The Yankees deemed Refsnyder good enough to start the wildcard game last year but not good enough to be their everyday second baseman going forward, hence the Castro trade. Over the winter Brian Cashman said the team is not planning to try Refsnyder at third base, but Joe Girardi circled back yesterday and said at the very least, the Yankees would discuss the possibility.

“He’ll probably be talked about as much as anyone in that meeting,” said the manager to Chad Jennings. “It’s a young man who did a pretty decent job last year when we called him up and he played at the end of the year. So Castro is going to be, in a sense, projected your everyday second baseman. How do you present opportunities to players you feel could help us in some way? And those are the things we have to talk about.”

By now we all know the scouting report on Refnsyder. He can hit, and while his glove at second base has improved through hard work, it’s still below-average. Baseball America (subs. req’d) said Refsnyder is “unlikely to be an average defender, but has worked enough to make himself playable at (second)” back in December. MLB.com said he is “not a smooth defender and likely won’t ever be more than adequate” earlier this week. That’s tough.

Second base is a difficult position and it’s difficult in a way that’s different than third base. At second you need more range and to be able to pivot on the double play. The throw is much shorter though, giving the defender a little more time. Third base is a pure reaction position because the ball gets on the defender so quick, plus there’s the long throw. Being able to play second doesn’t mean you can play third, and vice versa.

Based on the scouting reports, there is little reason to think Refsnyder can play third base on a regular basis. He has a second baseman’s arm and his infield actions are pretty unnatural. That doesn’t figure to play well at a position with much less reaction time. Put it this way: if the Yankees believed Refsnyder could play third base, he probably would have tried it in the minors already. I mean, they had Pete O’Brien try third base in the minors. They’ll try almost anything down there.

The scouting reports and anecdotal evidence make it seem like Refsnyder and third base would be a bad mix, but, given the team’s roster construction and depth chart, doesn’t it make sense to at least try it? This is Spring Training. It’s the perfect time to do it. Refsnyder could take the position quickly because it’s so reaction based and he won’t have time to think. It would come down to his athleticism. Who knows. Weird stuff has happened before.

Refsnyder said he’s open to playing third base — “Shoot, I’m up for anything … I’m not going to rule anything out. I’m optimistic and kind of open for anything. Kind of go from there,” he said to Jennings — which is no surprise. He wants to make himself more valuable and find a way to stick in the big leagues. It’s unlikely to happen at second base with Castro around. There’s a bit more an opening at third base.

Since the Castro trade Refsnyder’s name has popped up in trade rumors — trade speculation more than rumors, I’d say — and that’s understandable. He’s a blocked prospect. The Yankees could trade him to fill another need and move on. I don’t think they should do so until they give him a chance to play third base though. As a right-hander hitter who can hit and fill-in at second base and right field, Refsnyder would be awfully useful if he could learn to play third as well. The Yankees traded Tyler Clippard without trying him in relief. They don’t want to trade Refsnyder without trying him at third. Know what I mean?

I’d be lying to you if I said I thought Refsnyder could play third base adequately. He doesn’t need to be great there though, just good enough to play the position once a week or once every ten days. It’s unclear if he can even do that. As it stands right now though, Refsnyder has no utility to the Yankees without an injury. There’s nowhere to play him. His bat can be an asset, we saw that down the stretch last year, but they have to find a way to get him on the field. Third base might not work — it might be a total disaster — but it is worth a try.

Open Thread: February 24th Camp Notes

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

It rained in Tampa for much of morning, but thanks to their late start times, the Yankees were able to get their workout in as scheduled today. Position players reported to camp and everyone showed up except Ronald Torreyes. He has a visa issue and is expected in camp tomorrow, according to Bryan Hoch. I hope that’s a cover story and he just reported to the wrong camp because he forgot what team he was on after his busy offseason. Here are today’s photos and here are today’s notes:

  • As usual, Chad Jennings has the day’s workout groups. Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, and Luis Severino threw side sessions. That’s it among the big league pitchers. Mason Williams (shoulder surgery) is throwing and hitting, but it’s still unclear if he’ll begin playing in Grapefruit League games right away.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury said he and Joe Girardi don’t have to mend any fences after he was benched for the wildcard game last year. “We’re all on the same page. We want to win. Both of us want to win. I talked to him that day and he knows I want to play each and every day, how bad I want to be out there. We just left it at that,” he said. Ellsbury also said he is 100% healthy. [Anthony McCarron]
  • Chase Headley said ironing out his throwing will be his priority this spring. “We’ve looked at some film and I think for me it all starts with a base, trying to have good footwork … It’s an area that I was extremely disappointed with last year,” he said. [McCarron]
  • The Yankees will discuss trying Rob Refsnyder at third base this spring. I’ll have more on that tomorrow. And finally, Chris Parmelee’s name was spelled “Parmelle” on his locker nameplate today. Welcome to the Yankees, Chris. [Jennings, Ryan Hatch]

This is the nightly open thread. The Knicks are the only local sports team in action tonight, though there is a ton of college basketball on the schedule. Tournament’s coming soon, huh? I guess it is. Talk about whatever here.

Mark Teixeira would like to play until he’s 40, remain with the Yankees

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Hands down, one of the most memorable moments of the RAB era was the Yankees swooping in to sign Mark Teixeira at the very last minute back in December 2008. It was a foregone conclusion he would end up with the Red Sox. The two sides had been connected for weeks and they were progressing towards a deal, then BAM, he was a Yankee. It was incredible.

That was more than seven years ago now. Teixeira is entering the final season of his eight-year, $180M contract, and by and large that contract has been a success. Yeah, there have been some injuries, but he’s hit .253/.349/.493 (125 wRC+) with 191 homers and 19.3 fWAR in seven seasons, plus he helped the Yankees win a World Series title. Teixeira’s time in pinstripes should be looked upon fondly.

Earlier today Teixeira reported to what might be his final Spring Training with the Yankees. He told reporters he not only hopes to play until he’s 40, but he’d also like to remain with the Yankees beyond this season. From George King:

“I would love to play until I am 40,’’ said Teixeira, who will turn 36 early next month. “If you asked me that when I was coming off wrist surgery, I was pretty honest with you guys, I felt like crap the entire year, 2014. I didn’t know what the future held for me. I have completely turned that around. My body feels good. Why not play until I am 40? Being the kind of hitter I am, I could be a DH the last few years of my career. I would love to play that long.’’

“Absolutely. That’s the easiest question you can ask me,’’ Teixeira said when asked about remaining a Yankee. “I would love to stay here, but we will see what happens. It’s a little weird: The seven years have gone by in an instant. It’s amazing how quickly it’s gone by. For me to be in a productive position and help our team win maybe in my last year is all you can ask for.’’

Up until about three weeks ago, it was safe to assume the Yankees would let Teixeira leave as a free agent after the season, even if he had a monster walk year. Greg Bird was ready to step in at first base and the team has been skewing young whenever possible. It was an obvious move. Teixeira will turn 36 in April. Replacing the guy in his late-30s with the guy in his early-20s is a no-brainer.

Bird’s shoulder surgery has thrown a big wrench into that plan. Even if the doctors say he’s fully healthy come next offseason, it could take Bird some time to shake off the rust and get back into baseball mashing shape. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Yankees to have Bird open the 2017 season in Triple-A so he can focus on getting back to normal in an environment where results don’t matter. (Also, 65 days in the minors would delay Bird’s free agency and “buy back” the year of team control they’re losing to injury.)

It’s way to early to say whether bringing Teixeira back in 2017 would be a smart move. There’s an entire season to play out first. When times comes to make a decision about Teixeira’s future — not only whether the Yankees should re-sign him, but whether he is worth a qualifying offer — the Yankees will have a ton more information, particularly about Bird’s rehab.

Teixeira was a monster before that fluke shin injury ended his season in 2015. He hit .255/.357/.548 (143 wRC+) with 31 homers in only 111 games. If Teixeira comes anywhere close to repeating that kind of performance in 2016, it’s hard to see how the Yankees don’t make him the qualifying offer.

Kuty: Yankees working on adjusting Aaron Hicks’ swing

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, new assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames has been working with OF Aaron Hicks on “correcting his bat path.”  Hicks has been in the minor league complex for around a month, lifting and working on hitting with Thames.

Hicks, whom the Yankees acquired in the offseason for John Ryan Murphy, was touted as one of the top ML prospects (topping at #19 in 2010 BA list) before being called up to the Minnesota Twins in 2013. Since then, he’s shown flashes of athletic brilliance but has not hit to his potential. The good news is he’s steadily improved hitting in ML: his 97 wRC+ in 390 PA in 2015 is career high (62, 83 wRC+ in previous two seasons) and many believe his tools will take him even further (for instance, check out this Carlos Gomez comparison from FanGraphs). I wouldn’t count on Hicks actually becoming as good as Gomez, but hitting improvements will do wonders for him as a player.

Kuty’s article mentioned that most of the work focused on Hicks’ left-side swing. That’s a plausible idea. His career LHP/RHP splits are quite stark in difference. He’s hit to a nice .808 OPS versus lefties with his righty swing, but only .596 OPS versus righties. Switch hitting is not easy – you have to work on two different swings at once. It is hard to maintain consistency and polish on one swing alone. There have been guys like Shane Victorino, a former switch-hitter who ditched one side and focused on another, but there are undeniable benefits if you can succeed with two swings.

What are they focusing on? Consistent bat path.”Being able to stay long through the zone and line drives, hitting line drives all over the place and constant hand positioning, being able to constantly get that slot long and through the zone,” Hicks said. Those are some phrasings that one may hear at local batting cage but they still ring true in the bigs.

Let’s also talk about Marcus Thames. There’s not a lot of history with his work as a hitting coach but from what I can tell, he seems to be very well-respected and liked. To have a rapid climb from being a High-A hitting coach (2013) to ML assistant coach means that he’s doing something right. In terms of hitting philosophy, it sounds like he’s far from being a cookie-cutter:

“I don’t have one philosophy,” he said. “I don’t want to sit here and make up something because it depends on the hitter. And it depends on the guy on the mound. I really don’t have one and it just depends on the guys. One major thing that I do, I want my guys to be aggressive in the strike zone. Other than that, philosophy-wise, it just depends on the hitter.

There’s definitely not one foolproof way to make every hitters succeed. If there were, imagine the terror pitchers would endure on plate appearance-basis. There were guys like Walt Hriniak, who was a hitting coach for Red Sox and White Sox in the 80’s and 90’s, who saw success (HOF’er Frank Thomas being the main disciple) teaching hitters pretty much the one way, but I personally think every hitter is different. I assume we will hear more about Thames’ reign as a ML assistant hitting coach throughout the season.

Back to Aaron Hicks – he certainly has some pop in his bat. In 2015, Hicks hit for a .142 ISO, which is right around league average. You can expect that figure to go up slightly in the Yankee Stadium. A more exciting number would be 20 HR’s and 20 steals. He hit 11 home runs in 390 PA’s. If he were to get full season’s worth of plate appearances, hypothetically he could get it near 20. I’m not necessarily calling it but it’s plausible and fun to think about. If what he works on with Thames pays off on the field, I think Yankees may have themselves a player that the Twins envisioned years ago. Don’t get too excited yet – if it happens, it’ll be a process.

Mateo tops MLB.com’s top 30 Yankees prospects list

(Main St. Rock)
Mateo. (Main St. Rock)

Yesterday afternoon the crew at MLB.com published their list of the top 30 Yankees prospects, which is topped by SS Jorge Mateo. That’s not surprising based on their annual top 100 list. OF Aaron Judge, C Gary Sanchez, and RHP James Kaprielian round out the top four, because duh. Who else would it be?

Jim Callis wrote a real quick system overview that’s worth checking out. As always, MLB.com’s prospect information is completely free. You can see the list, read the scouting reports, and watch all the videos for zero American dollars. It’s pretty awesome. Click the link for the complete top 30. Here’s the top ten real quick:

  1. Mateo
  2. Judge
  3. Sanchez
  4. Kaprielian
  5. SS Wilkerman Garcia
  6. OF Dustin Fowler
  7. RHP Domingo Acevedo
  8. SS Tyler Wade
  9. 2B Rob Refsnyder
  10. LHP Ian Clarkin

Looks good to me. I’m not the biggest Acevedo fan in the world — I ranked him 19th in my top 30 list — but I am in the minority. Sticking him in the top ten is not unreasonable. A few things stuck out to me while reading through the list and scouting reports, so here are my thoughts.

1. There are seven 2015 draftees in the top 30: Kaprielian, RHP Drew Finely (No. 16), RHP Chance Adams (No. 21), SS Kyle Holder (No. 23), LHP Jeff Degano (No. 24), 3B Donny Sands (No. 29), and OF Trey Amburgey (No. 30). Seven! That’s an awful lot for a team that had a pretty good farm system to begin with. Usually when so many recent draftees populate your top 30 it’s because your system stunk and you had few prospects to being with. Either that or you had a killer draft. I’m always wary of small sample performances when ranking recent draftees — Sands and Amburgey in particularly were great after signing — but the reports indicate the rankings are more scouting based than performance based, which is the way it should be. The Yankees tend to do a very good job in the middle rounds of the draft and MLB.com’s top 30 indicates they found some nice talent last year.

2. Speaking of Amburgey, the scouting report notes he “generates some of the best exit velocities among New York farmhands,” which is fun to read. I remember reading something similar about Judge a year or two ago. Following last year’s draft we heard Finley ranked among the best in the draft class in fastball spin rate, fastball extension, and curveball spin rate as measured by Trackman (i.e. PitchFX) at the 2014 Area Code Games. As fans and analysts we’re just now starting to use information like this and we don’t even fully understand it yet. Teams are already tracking this stuff for their minor leaguers and potential draft targets. You’ll never be able to scout prospects with just numbers, but all of this information can help you confirm reports, raise some questions, identify a sleeper, stuff like that. The more information the better, and that definitely extends into the minors too.

3. OF Leonardo Molina fascinates me more than maybe any other prospect in the system. He hasn’t hit much in his two years in pro ball (75 wRC+ in 410 plate appearances) but MLB.com’s scouting report says “scouts remain dazzled by his potential.” Here’s a little more of the scouting report:

Molina’s quick right-handed bat and his projectable strength give him the potential for plus power. While he has yet to enjoy much success at the plate, he shows signs of pitch recognition and doesn’t swing and miss excessively. Add in his plus speed, and he could be a 20-20 player once he matures physically and as a hitter … Molina’s speed and well-above-average arm allow him to play any of the outfield positions. He’s still learning how to make proper reads and routes but should be able to stay in center field.

That’s the scouting report of a future star, but because he hasn’t hit yet and is still so far from MLB — Molina is still only 18 and he’s yet to play outside rookie ball — he’s not a top prospect. A year or two ago I read something that described Molina as the kind of prospect who could take small steps forward each year and develop incrementally, though in my non-expert opinion I feel the opposite may be true. He strikes me as the kind of prospect where it might just click all of a sudden and bam, he’s a top 100 caliber guy overnight. Either way, folks who glance at stat lines are missing what Molina (and 3B Miguel Andujar, for that matter) has the potential to be.

If you’re interested, Callis held a Twitter chat yesterday and took a bunch of Yankees prospects questions, so scroll through his feed for some more info. He mentioned OF Jhalan Jackson and 1B Chris Gittens as sleepers. Jackson seems a little too well known to be considered a sleeper at this point.

Thoughts as position players report to Spring Training

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Position players are scheduled to report to Tampa today for Spring Training, and tomorrow the Yankees will hold their first full squad workout. Many of the position players reported to camp early, but today it’s all official. And one week from today, the Yankees will play their first Grapefruit League game. Hooray for that. I have thoughts.

1. I’m not the only one sick of all this Aroldis Chapman stuff, right? Commissioner Rob Manfred is taking a very long time to hand out the suspension and I understand why. This is a sensitive subject and he has to toe the line between setting a harsh precedent and not going overboard so the league loses an appeal. I’m just a baseball fan who just wants to watch baseball and be a fan. Every day we get a non-update about the suspension or learn some mundane detail about how the domestic violence policy works. This is Biogenesis all over again, except with a much more serious offense. A suspension is inevitable — MLB is not going to let a player go unpunished after police were called to his home because of an argument in which he fired a gun in anger, this is exactly the sort of incident the domestic violence policy is intended to cover — and I really hope it is announced soon, however long it may be. This is distraction not only for the Yankees and Chapman, but the entire league.

2. Yesterday Cliff Lee’s agent told Ken Rosenthal his client is unlikely to pitch again after being unable to find a suitable offer this winter. Lee, now 37, has not pitched since the middle of the 2014 season due to a flexor injury, but he was open to pitching in 2016 if he could find a good situation. Apparently one never presented itself. The Yankees didn’t have any interest in the southpaw this offseason as far as we know. Anyway, over the last six or seven seasons Lee probably had the most impact on the Yankees among players who didn’t actually play for the Yankees. The Yankees beat Lee and the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Then of course there was the failed trade in 2010. And then Lee and the Rangers beat the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS. And then the Yankees tried and failed to sign him during the 2010-11 offseason, which changed the team’s short and long-term outlook considerably. It’s impossible to say how different everything would be right now had the trade gone through in 2010, or if Lee ends up with a team other than Texas, or if he does agree to sign with the Yankees that offseason. He was an artist on the mound and a bonafide ace, and for the first time, Lee made many Yankees fans experience the team not getting a player they coveted.

3. Today is Starlin Castro‘s first day on the field as a Yankee and he’s an important part of the organization going forward as they try this rebuild on the fly thing. The team made a pretty significant investment in Castro and took on quite a bit of risk. They gave up a valuable player in Adam Warren and assumed roughly $40M in future salary. None of the other retooling trades required that kind of commitment. Starlin is still incredibly young — he’s a month younger than Didi Gregorius — and his potential is so very obvious. He’s had some really productive seasons in his career. That’s why the Yankees went out and got him. Two of his last three seasons have been bad though (legitimately bad), and that’s the risk. What if Castro is just a guy who peaked early? It’s possible. If this rebuild on the fly thing is going to work, the Yankees will need Starlin to get back to where he was a few years ago, because the 2013-15 version was thoroughly mediocre.

4. I’m curious to see how the Yankees dole out innings during exhibition games. Traditionally the relievers with the best chance to make the team pitch early in the game, mostly because the coaching staff and front office want to see them against big league players. All the regulars are out of the game by the fifth or sixth inning most days. The Yankees have a few open bullpen spots and a ton of bullpen candidates, yet there are only so many innings to go around. Early in camp, before the starters are really stretched out, it’ll be interesting to see which relievers are brought into the game first. That could be an indication of which way the Yankees are leaning with those open bullpen spots.

Olson. (Presswire)
Olson. (Presswire)

5. Random reliever who will have a big camp: Tyler Olson. Don’t ask me why. It’s just a hunch. Olson had a big camp with the Mariners last season — 15 strikeouts, no walks, no earned runs allowed in 12.2 innings — and made the team, then got hammered (5.40 ERA and 6.36 FIP in 13.1 innings) during the regular season and was demoted to Triple-A. So it goes. I could see him having a weirdly great Grapefruit League season and getting consideration for a bullpen spot. Olson is a pure lefty specialist with an upper-80s fastball, a sweepy breaking ball, and a funky low arm slot. The Yankees don’t really have a need for a lefty specialist — Andrew Miller figures to face the toughest lefties in the late-innings — but who knows. They like Olson enough to keep him on the 40-man roster, so he’ll get a chance to show he can contribute in camp. He fits the “I have no idea why he’s on the 40-man but wow is he having a great spring” mold perfectly.

6. These things are always tough to pin down, but based on his transaction history, it does appear Carlos Corporan has a minor league option remaining. If true, his late-March opt-out may not be that big of a deal. The Yankees would be able to add him to the 40-man roster and option him down to Triple-A — they can slide Greg Bird to the 60-day DL, so they wouldn’t have to cut ties with anyone to clear a 40-man spot — allowing them to carry Gary Sanchez as the backup catcher and keep Corporan in the organization as depth. It’s a different story if he’s out of options. I still think the Yankees should send Sanchez to Triple-A for a few weeks to delay his free agency, and if that allows them to keep Corporan for a few extra weeks, great. Holding on to catcher depth is never a bad move.

7. You may have seen it by now, but if not, David Ortiz told Kevin Kernan he “would love it if the fans at Yankee Stadium gave me a standing ovation” this season. Ortiz is retiring after the season and the Red Sox will be in the Bronx in late-September, for the second-to-last series of the season. I do expect the Yankees to do something to honor Ortiz — the Red Sox did something for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, after all — but man, could you imagine Jeter or Mo saying they would love an ovation at Fenway Park? Not a chance. Like it not, Ortiz is a historically great player, and he’s earned whatever accolades he gets this season. Saying he’d love a standing ovation at Yankee Stadium is kinda small time though. Chances are he’s going to end up with the exact opposite now.