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Ortiz, Brady, and Interesting Facts

By Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.

First, a word about the Designated Whiffer

So David Ortiz hit his first home run last night. Big deal. It’s almost June and the Red Sox’ DH (you know, the position reserved exclusively for players whose only job is to hit the baseball) is batting .210 with that lone home run. It’s time to move on. It’s time to try something else. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

How long are we going to have to watch a designated hitter who only bats .210?

Is he or isn’t he?

Tom Brady, that is. Is he ready…or not? One thing’s for sure, we won’t know until Bill Belichick is ready to tell us and good luck guessing when that time will come. It’s safe to say that Brady will have ease himself back into the quarterback position in ’09. While the injury he sustained (torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments) isn’t considered to be “career threatening” in and of itself, it can definitely affect an athlete’s mental game.

The simple reason is this: Brady knows the last time he got hit by a defender his season ended abruptly in a cavalcade of pain. His body may be healed, but his mind knows the score. The natural reaction for the mind is to yell “DANGER DANGER” even louder than it did before when bodies as big as dump trucks are attempting to run you over and maul you.

There may come a time when scientists will be able to crack brain codes and figure out how to affect or otherwise manipulate memory, but until then athletes like Brady are on their own. The mind is a wonderful, complicated instrument and sometimes the only thing that a recovering athlete can do to assuage inner fear is to train like mad and pray that it doesn’t happen again.

If he hasn’t found out yet, Brady will realize he’ll never look at other people’s injuries the same way again, if he looks at them at all. Welcome to the club, Tom Terrific.

Interesting statistic I’ll bet you didn’t know

Doug Flutie finished his career with the Patriots in 2005. He played with Steve Grogan in New England from ’87-’89. Grogan, who retired in ’90, played his rookie year in ’75 with Jim Plunkett. Plunkett started his career in ’71 with the Patriots. In ’71, Houston Antwine ended his 11 year Patriots career.

Put simply, this means Flutie played with Grogan, who played with Plunkett, who played with Antwine, who started his career on a fledgling Boston Patriots team in its second year of existence in 1961. Four players whose careers all connected to each other span virtually the entire history of the Patriots organization.

Answer to last week’s question:

The longest tenured coach in Patriots history is Belichick.

Question of the week:

Pro-Bowl Patriots tight end Marv Cook once remarked how his eventual replacement would dwarf his (Cook’s) accomplishments. Who was Cook referring to?

(Answer will be provided next week)


  1. Cool, Bill Belichick! Well, Big Pappi is lil pappy what to do now? You are right on with the injury/Brady talk, I know so many people with injuries and heard of so many athletes...just watch them play after an injury and you can tell. So I think the Pats will be the powerhouse within their division. Thanks-