The way David Ortiz sees it, what's bad for the Red Sox in 2012 is good for baseball. The longest-tenured member of the team has, thanks to a balky Achilles, only played once since July 16. But he has been a fixture with the club, and as the 36-year-old designated hitter reflects on the season, he is able to see the big picture.

"Look at these guys over here across the hall," Ortiz said yesterday before the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 6-3. "It's fun to watch them, let me tell you. You watch them play, and it's like it's unexpected. That's good for the game, when you don't have the same people winning over and over and over. Even what we are going through is good for the game, so people know it's not just, 'OK, it's supposed to be like this because it's the Red Sox, or it's the Yankees. They're going to finish first and second in the division and that's it.' No. You've got the Orioles, Tampa, Toronto, Oakland. The NL is the same thing.