Paper chase

What's the secret to Russ Ortiz's success? Check his files.

Updated: August 8, 2003, 2:43 PM ET
By Ryan Hockensmith | ESPN The Magazine
When Russ Ortiz was traded from the Giants to the Braves last December, he made sure to pack his comprehensive file on NL hitters. "Well, I wouldn't exactly call it a file," Ortiz says. "It's just a pile of paper stuffed into a folder. But, hey, it works."

Can't argue with that. Since the 2000 All-Star break, only Curt Schilling has won more games in the NL than Ortiz: 57 to 56. Ortiz, not Greg Maddux, has been Atlanta's ace this year. The 29-year-old righthander came into August with a 15-4 record, having gone five-plus innings in 22 of 23 starts.