Do the eyes have it? Papi to check vision
Francona opts to sit Big Papi day game after night game
DETROIT -- During the most prolonged slump of his career, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has tried everything in search of a cure. He has worked endlessly in the cage with hitting coach Dave Magadan. He has made small alterations to his batting stance. He has studied film clip after film clip.
Thus far, nothing has worked. So Ortiz said Thursday that he might try something entirely different. He might get his eyes checked, just to make sure his vision hasn't declined.
"I've been thinking about getting my eyes checked -- for real," Ortiz told The Associated Press. "My vision has always been 20-20, and I'm not feeling anything crazy, but I'm going to get it checked out."
In Wednesday's win over the Tigers, Ortiz showed some signs of a breakout, hitting a 420-foot out to center field and crushing a two-run double.
But he has shown such glimpses before, only to go back into a slump. Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave Big Papi Thursday's day game after a night game off with lefty Dontrelle Willis on the mound. The Red Sox recorded a 6-3 victory.
Ortiz will be back in the lineup on Friday night when the Red Sox open a homestand against right-hander Kevin Millwood and the Texas Rangers.
"We get our eyes checked every year," Ortiz told the Boston Globe. "I'm 20-20. Go and check it out. It's not anything big. I will, though. I seriously will."
The one thing Ortiz doesn't enjoy seeing clearly these days is his stat line. He is hitting .187 with one homer and 20 RBIs in 187 at-bats.
On May 26, manager Terry Francona moved Ortiz from third to sixth in the batting order. Earlier in the season, Francona gave Ortiz a three-game mental health break, sitting him for an entire three-game series in Seattle May 15-17.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.