A Yankee Fan’s Opinion on David Ortiz’s Retirement.

Posted: September 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

Ortiz was the most feared hitter on the Red Sox roster.

During the last peak of the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, David Ortiz was the batter Yankee fans did not want to see come to the plate with the game on the line. Whether it was hitting a critical home run in game 7 in the 2003 American League Champion Series that was erased from relevance because of Aaron Boone or rescuing the Red Sox’s from the grave in the 2004 ALCS Yankee fans did not want to see Ortiz batting. With a lineup that had Manny Ramirez or a Nomar Garciaparra in his prime, and other quality hitters such as Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, or Dustin Pedroia,  Ortiz was the primary threat to the Yankees. When Ortiz stepped into the batters box and clasped his hands, Yankee Universe would be holding their breath in anticipation of what could happen.

Since there was that combination of fear and respect with Ortiz when the Yankee pitcher was able to neutralize Ortiz in a key  situation Yankee fans would rejoice. Whether it was Andy Pettite, Kyle Farnsworth, or Mariano Rivera who won the battle against Big Papi that out would be magnified because of Ortiz, who came through some many times before, was unable to deliver. Also as the years went on the fear of Ortiz started to diminish and even though Ortiz would still hit against the Yankees, the angst and stress of an Ortiz about was nowhere near as intense as in seasons past.

Ends an Era in the Yankee v Red Sox Rivalry

The 2003 and 2004 ALCS championship series will be considered the best 7 game series ever played in the history of baseball. And Ortiz is the last surviving member from both franchises to have been a part of those classic series that occurred over a decade ago.  Gone are Derek Jeter, Pedro Martinez, Joe Torre, Terry Francona and all other players and coaches. With Ortiz taking his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium there will be no links to the intense games that would occur between the Yankees and Red Sox.

The stereotypical Yankee v. Red Sox game would last about 4 hours be high scoring and be a test of wills between both teams. In most years both teams were fighting for supremacy in all of baseball as very few teams could match either the Yankees or Red Sox. Yet as father times caught up more teams started to compete for the World Series title and  even the American League East divisional crown with the onset of the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.

Ortiz was not Criticized for his Negative Actions.

In 2009 information was released that David Ortiz was on a list of major league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. While Ortiz played in an era that is synonymous for PED abuse people turned a blind eye to this piece of information that stated how Ortiz was using PEDs. Mike Pizza dealt with ramifications of just being an alleged PED user when his entry into the Hall of Fame was delayed because of unsubstantiated claims that Piazza used PEDs. Yet, in Ortiz’s case, he never dealt with public criticism for being associated with PEDs.

Ortiz would also have emotional blowups when a questionable call would go against him. On May 6, 2016, against then Yankee reliever Andrew Miller with the bases loaded and Boston trailing by one in the top of the 9th Ortiz disagreed with a strike call on the 3-1 count. Ortiz stepped out of the batter’s box and was walking down the first base line as he was audibly disagreeing with the umpires call. Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected after the pitch and on the 3-2 pitch Ortiz went down looking. After Ortiz walked back to the dugout, he was ejected by the home plate umpire Ron Kulpa and Ortiz ran up to the home plate umpire Kulpa and was screaming in Kulpa’s face while Ortiz was being restrained by the Red Sox coaching staff.

This was not an isolated incident. Whether Ortiz is staring down an umpire at Fenway Park or bashing a telephone in a dugout of Camden Yards, Ortiz has shown a temper. While some might argue that it shows Ortiz intensity imagine Ortiz was not criticized for his action.

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