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Red Sox’s Ortiz selects three Yankees for his era’s All-Star team

In a world of heroes and villains, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is all too familiar with both ends of the spectrum.

The 40-year-old veteran, who announced this winter that 2016 will be his final season in baseball, has played with and against dozens of All-Stars since his rookie campaign of 1997, and with Ortiz appearing in what is believed to be his ninth and final All-Star Game, the time has come for many to pick his brain.

Recently, Ortiz was asked by Bleacher Report to assemble an All-Star lineup of his era, of the last 20 seasons, and to one’s surprise, three former Yankees made the cut: shortstop Derek Jeter, reliever Mariano Rivera, and second baseman Robinson Cano.

Here are Big Papi’s thoughts on his Yankee picks:

Cano: “I thought Chuck Knoblauch was the one player who I thought was going to dominate that position for a long time. But once you got to see [Dustin] Pedroia and Robinson Cano play, they took that position to another level. Looking at Cano, you’re looking at a third baseman playing second base with good range. He makes everything look like he’s not even trying.”

Jeter: “The Captain was a champ. He was the guy you want to play for your team at shortstop for the next 20 years. He had consistency over the years. He may go down as the best shortstop of all time because he won so many championships. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. That’s what it’s about. To compete against Jeter was incredible. I played against him tons of times. It was a competition. You wanted to beat him, but you enjoyed watching him do his thing. There was respect.”

Rivera: “He had one pitch [his cut fastball]. You knew it was coming, but it didn’t make a difference.”

Both Ortiz and Jeter were the faces of baseball’s most bitter rivalry during the early 2000’s, but Ortiz also considered Alex Rodriguez for his All-Star team. However, A-Rod’s full time switch to third base in 2004 and Jeter’s five world championships kept Rodriguez off the lineup card, according to Ortiz.

On Tuesday night, Ortiz will hit cleanup for the American League in baseball’s Midsummer Classic in San Diego.