Yankees: A fans’ love-hate relationship with David Ortiz


Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that David Ortiz is going to be a big part in the history of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry. 

Earlier this week, reports came out indicating that Boston Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz, would retire after the 2016 Major League Baseball season. To be quite honest, I have mixed feelings over that revelation.

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On one hand, and this is me being objective, I’m sad to watch him go. As a die-hard New York Yankees fan, I have grown to appreciate what Ortiz has brought to this rivalry. Despite Ortiz hurting the Yankees and their fanbase time and time again, Yankees fans surely have some admiration for the man affectionately known as “Big Papi.”

On the other hand, if the bases are loaded in the ninth, with the Yankees leading the Red Sox 4-3, you want Ortiz up at the plate. Why? So when Andrew Miller strikes him out to end the game, you can revel in his misery.

To me, there is arguably no greater respect that can be shown than to respect and hate an athlete at the same time.

The types of emotion elicited by Ortiz is unlike the usual feelings brought out by sports, namely a sporting rivalry. This is a guy that you love to boo, and yet, his attitude and love for the game is infectious.

Almost immediately after it was revealed that Ortiz would retire after the 2016 season, fans began wondering whether or not the Yankees would honor him during his final game at Yankee Stadium. Ortiz’s final series against the Yankees will take place from September 27 through the 29th.

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When asked if the Yankees would honor Ortiz, much like the Red Sox honored Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, Hal Steinbrenner mentioned that it hasn’t been discussed yet.

“We have not talked about that, but we obviously have a lot of time,” said Steinbrenner to the New York Post.

While Yankees fans might not want Ortiz, the same player who put the Red Sox on his back in the 2004 American League Championship Series, to be honored, it is only fitting given the fact that the Red Sox did the same for Rivera and Jeter.

In the 2004 ALCS, down three games to none, the Red Sox leaned on Ortiz, and he delivered one of the greatest postseason performances in recent memory.

In game four, Ortiz’s walk-off homerun in the 12th nearly brought the roof down at Fenway Park.

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In game five, although Ortiz hit another homerun, it was his walk-off single in the 14th that had Red Sox fans thinking about an improbable comeback.

In game seven, Ortiz hit yet another homerun in the blowout win over the Yankees.

I won’t lie, even though that was 11 years ago, it still haunts me. I was in the Navy at the time, stationed in Bahrain. Needless to say, I didn’t see any of the games, but I still felt like I had been kicked in the chest.

Ortiz did that to me. And in some weird way, I respect him for it.

So as I sit here, reflecting on the career of David Ortiz, I have one thing I would like to say to him: Ortiz I respect what you have done in baseball, but I hope you go 0 for 76 against the Yankees this season.