The ending of David Ortiz‘s career gave me much joy. It came at the hands of Terry Francona and his Cleveland Indians, with former Yankee Andrew Miller pitching in with two brilliant relief outings in the series. It was a clean sweep – a disappointing end to a Red Sox season that had World Series aspirations. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I dislike Ortiz as much as the next Yankee fan. I hate the double standard between him and A-Rod. I watched this guy destroy my team over the last 14 years. He gave me as much misery as any Red Sox over that time. While I’m happy to see Ortiz go, I must admit. I’ll miss him a little.
See, Ortiz is the last link to when the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry was at it’s peak in the early to mid 00’s. Those teams and those games were larger than the sport itself. Every year, I’d look at the schedule and circle the games with Boston because it felt like they were the only ones that mattered. There were those 18-19 games with the Sox, and then there was just everyone else. Filler.
Without Ortiz, this Red Sox team is pretty likable (aside from Pedroia and maybe Hanley). Mookie Betts? Great young player, seems like a nice guy. Don’t hate him. Xander Bogaerts? Same deal. Oh, and he wears number two because of Derek Jeter. You can’t hate that.
Andrew Benintendi? Again, nice young player who I wish was on my team. I’m almost indifferent on every single member of this Red Sox team, quite a far cry from the days of Manny, Pedro, Nixon, Mueller, Millar, Varitek, Lowe, Schilling, Papelbon, Youkilis, Damon, Wakefield, Bellhorn, Timlin, Embree. Who is there to unequivocally hate now?
It was fun when Ortiz came to the plate in a big spot, even though it raised my blood pressure and gave me anxiety attacks. I wanted him to get out so bad, because he rarely did in those situations. It was a battle to beat one of the best, and that’s when baseball is great. Rivera vs. Ortiz, bottom of the ninth with the Yankees up by a run? As much as that stressed me out, I miss it. I miss the rivalry which is pretty dormant now.
Ortiz was right when he said he was born to play against the Yankees. He was a villain we always paid attention to, even when the Yankees weren’t playing the Red Sox. While I won’t miss the damage he did to the Yankees on the field, or his tirades or constant complaining about something, I’ll miss seeing the Yankees compete against him. It was fun to watch.
He’s finally gone. David Ortiz can torture me no more.
With the Indians’ sweep last night over the Red Sox, the book closed on Ortiz’s career – and I couldn’t be happier about it. It felt like he was going to play until he was 80 years old, and he probably could have just against the Yankees. He’d probably still get big hits and make me miserable. And the Yankees probably would still give him pitches to hit, but that’s a story for another day.
While I dislike Ortiz and can’t stand the double standard between him and A-Rod, I have to admit that I’ll miss him a little.