Should Ortiz Get Standing Ovation From Yankee Fans?
The 2016 MLB season will, of course, be the swan song campaign for Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. While Big Papi will surely be lauded around the league for his success since joining the Sox in 2003, there's one gift he seems to want more than anything else; a standing ovation from New York Yankees fans.
Papi made the comments Tuesday and they are getting quite the play around the media circuit.
As New York Post columnist Kevin Kernan noted in his coverage of the comments, Papi's wish comes on the heels of back-to-back sendoff parties for Yankee greats Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter in 2013 and 2014.
Both Yankees were given parting gifts from the Sox and received warm receptions from the Boston fans in their final trips to Fenway Park.
One major differentiating factor between the two New York stars and Boston's designated hitter, however, is that neither Jeter nor Rivera made public pleas for warm receptions from the fans of their biggest rivals. They also never had legitimate steroid allegations follow them or ran their mouth like Ortiz has, during his career.
Now, of course, throughout their careers both Jeter and Rivera received their share of not-so-warm welcomes from Red Sox fans because of success that they and the Yankees enjoyed at the hands of Boston on multiple occasions. The same can be said for Ortiz, who helped Boston's 2004 team pull off the biggest comeback in the history of the game and end an 86 year championship drought against New York. He has repeatedly been a thorn in the side of the Yankees since then.
Let's take a look at the exact numbers.
According to Baseball Reference, Ortiz has played in 224 games against the Yankees in his career. Throughout that time, Papi has put together a .306/.395/.565 slash line and has slugged 47 home runs and 72 doubles, while driving in 158 runs.
Now keep in mind the fact that all of those homers, all of those doubles, all of those RBI, the great slash line, that all came AGAINST the Yankees.
None of those numbers helped New York capture a World Series title. None of them helped the Yankees keep the Sox in the cellar. In fact, those numbers, along with the rest of his career stats, helped Boston win three titles and helped them hold the Yankees to just one ring in the same time period.
So what is there, exactly, for New York fans to cheer about? Not too much good came to them, thanks to those numbers.
Spare me the "he's a great player and he should be honored for his greatness" act. I don't care.
As a Yankee fan, myself, not only has he not done anything for me, like a guy who played his whole career for the Padres and A's, but he has actually caused me pain. He has caused me to be ill on multiple occasions and for that I owe him nothing. Yankee fans owe him nothing.
I didn't expect Mo and Jeter to get grand ovations from Sox fans at the end of their careers. I wouldn't expect Sox fans to expect me to give that to Ortiz.
So let Boston tell him how they feel about his career. Let Anaheim thank him for his service to the game. Let the Yankees themselves honor him with some sort of trivial gift. But when he enters Yankee Stadium, let's hope New York fans stay true to their side of the rivalry and give him the ole "Bronx Cheer."
Yes, Ortiz has had a tremendous, Hall-of-Fame caliber career, but let's not forget what side he was on.