The New York Yankees will play host to the Boston Red Sox from September 27-29. Prior to the September 29 game — which will double as David Oritz’s final game in New York — the Yankees will honor Big Papi in a pregame ceremony.
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) September 15, 2016
The response for this drew a few predictable responses from apparent Yankees fans. Still, this is to be expected.
Ortiz has been honored in his final game at essentially every road stadium he’s played at this year. New York’s rivalry with Boston does add a wrinkle into that mix. Still, the Yankees are simply following the lead of every other team.
Secondly, the Red Sox have done this for New York legends before. Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter were both honored during their retirement tours in 2013 and 2014.
Even if Rivera’s worked out to more of a roast than anything, Boston gave Jeter a very nice sendoff the following year at Fenway Park. If nothing else, this is the Bronx Bombers’ chance to repay the favor.
Lastly, if there’s any team that should be celebrating Ortiz’s retirement, it’s the Yankees. He was famously the series MVP for Boston during its 2004 ALCS win over New York.
He’s also hit 52 home runs against the Bombers with a .305/.396/.569 slash line. Combining the old and new Yankee Stadiums, Big Papi has 31 career homers in the Bronx. He’s only hit more in Tampa’s Tropicana Field, Toronto’s Rogers Centre, and of course, Fenway Park.
Embracing the retirement of a player like that is definitely something the Yankees should do.