Hall of Famer David Ortiz Hopes New Red Sox Boss Craig Breslow Turns Away from Analytics Some

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File
Hall of Fame inductee David Ortiz speaks during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Sunday, July 24, 2022, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Hall of Famer David Ortiz has watched his former team, the Boston Red Sox, stumble to consecutive last-place finishes and in three of the past four seasons.

Now he believes his old teammate and recently hired Chief Baseball Officer, Craig Breslow, can turn things around by going away from analytics somewhat.

I heard yesterday that he’s trying to shut down a little bit of the analytic side and going back to the old-fashioned part of the game, Ortiz said Friday in a video call with The Associated Press from his golf tournament — the 15th annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic — in Marco Island, Florida.

I think that’s a good way to start. I think the game has transformed everything to analytics and, at the end of the day, analytics can only cover so much, he said. “You need to have people with heart, people with spirit, people that have been in the situation that can give some guidance to the young blood and teach them how to put up with situations.”

Ortiz points to this past World Series and postseason as proof that experience and veteran managers pay off, bringing up recently retired Dusty Baker (Houston), Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas and Torey Lovullo of Arizona.

You see all these guys playing for the old-school managers and all of them have a different idea of the game — learning from these dinosaurs, Ortiz said. “Those are guys that have been around for a long time and they have something to bring to the table. They’re teaching those players something that nobody has the past five, 10 years and that’s why these guys are winning. We just need to go — not all the way (away from analytics) — but we need to emphasize (experience) at some point of it.”

As far as free agents for the Red Sox to consider, Big Papi knows Shohei Ohtani would be a huge prize.

Who doesn’t? Everybody would like to have Ohtani on their ballclub, but how many people are going to have the opportunity to? the three-time World Series winner with the Red Sox said. “You’re talking one of the best players in the history of the game that is a free agent. Who knows? It’ll take a lot of money to sign this guy, a lot of money.”

Ortiz, who recently turned 48 and was inducted into the Hall in 2022, feels like Breslow having played the game in a pressure-packed city like Boston will help in his new job.

All those little details that a GM that hadn’t been in a clubhouse doesn’t know, he knows it, Ortiz said. “I’m very confident about Breslow doing his thing out there as a GM because he’s been in that situation before.”

The David Ortiz Golf Classic raises money to provide critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and his native country, the Dominican Republic.