The best part of Big Papi's rant is that he apparently wasn't aware of the new rule. "Is that new?" he asked. "It seems like every rule goes in the pitcher's favor. After a pitch, you got to stay in the box? One foot? I call that bulls---," he said to the Boston media throng on Wednesday.
This is why we love Ortiz. He doesn't hold back. He said hitters aren't stepping out to waste time but to think about what pitchers are going to do. "When you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you're out, because you don't have time to think," he said. "And the only time you have to think about things is that time. So, I don't know how this baseball game is going to end up."
Anyway, MLB has said it will fine batters who don't follow the new rule, rather than expecting umpires to enforce it. That makes sense. Can you imagine the first umpire who tells Ortiz to step in the box or calls an automatic strike on him? The proposed penalty is $500.
With that in mind, how much will Ortiz pay in fines at the end of the season?
Let's say the fine is per game. If Ortiz plays 145 games and gets fined each game, it's a mere $72,500. Considering he's making $16 million this year, he probably carries that much in his wallet.
But let's say the fine is for every plate appearance in which he breaks the rule. He had 602 plate appearances in 2014. Now we're talking $301,000.
Finally, let's say the fine is applied to every pitch after which he steps out of the box. Now, the rule says a batter can step out after swinging. Ortiz saw 2,407 pitches last year. Let's assume you wouldn't be fined the first pitch of plate appearances, so subtract 602 from that. He put 429 balls in play, drew 75 walks, struck out 95 times and was hit by three pitches, so those wouldn't factor in as potential fines, either. We're down to 1,203 pitches. He hit 425 foul balls. That's a swing and doesn't count. He had 215 swings and misses, although 84 of those we already counted in his strikeout total. So we subtract 131 swing-and-misses that came in the middle of counts.
That gives us a total of 1,072 pitches in which Ortiz could potentially step out of the box, spit in his batting gloves, rub his hands together and think about the next pitch.
Total fine: $521,000.
For a rookie, that's an entire season's salary. For Ortiz, however, that's a mere 3 percent of his salary. And he can probably write it off on his taxes as a charitable donation.