BOSTON (CBS) — With his two home runs Monday night in Toronto, David Ortiz passed Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list.
Tony Massarotti has had it out for Ortiz all season, but he’s also got a hot take on Yaz, calling the Hall of Famer one of the most overrated athletes in the history of Boston sports.
So on Tuesday’s Felger & Mazz on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Felger simply asked Mazz: Ortiz or Yaz?
“I labored over this decision and did some research to find some things out…. It’s a toughie, because I put great value in the winning, and Ortiz has been the consummate winner. However, I’m picking Yaz,” he said. “He was the more complete player of the two.
“He won [seven] gold gloves on top of all the other stuff,” explained Mazz. “Yaz, to me, was the more complete player to me. It’s close, it’s real close.”
Even with the 1967 MVP (the season Yaz won the triple crown) and 18 all-star nods to his name, Felger disagrees wholeheartedly.
“It’s so Ortiz and it’s not even close,” said Felger. “It’s not even close.”
Felger points back to Yaz playing during a time when the Red Sox were still in the midst of that 86-year World Series drought, when winning wasn’t expected. Ortiz has come in and won three rings, and helped change the landscape of Boston sports.
“One of the most positive developments in this decade – our decade, our time – is that we now are in a city of champions where we recognize what wins, our teams win, we expect winning,” said Felger. “No longer is this town run by the Dan Shaughnessys and Steve Buckleys and Dorris Kearns Goodwins with this moronic celebrating of losers, or putting on a pedestal these teams and players that lost. That’s what ran this town, and it was pathetic.
“Now, we don’t celebrate these losers,” continued Felger. “We’re about championships and champions, and performing well on the big stage. When I think of David Ortiz, I think about .688 in the World Series, what he did in the ALCS in 2003, and every single year I think about his instrumental role in three championships, sometimes flat-out carrying that offense.
“I see him with three rings he won,” said Felger, before playing the radio call of Yaz popping out to Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles to end the 1978 season, capping off a historic collapse by the Red Sox. “I choose to celebrate and gravitate towards those who came through in situations versus popping up, habitually. This one isn’t even close.”
Yaz had some great career numbers with the Red Sox, finishing his 23-year career with a .285 batting average and 452 career homers. But Felger keeps pointing to one number: Zero rings.
“The Red Sox were a good team from 1967 to basically now, so they were good for all of Yaz’s years, and he won exactly nothing,” said Felger. “[Ortiz] is my guy, you can have your lovable loser.”
The debate rages on…
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