Swept by the Yanks, AL East Champs, and Ortiz Honored
Yes! this series against New York was tough to watch with all the late game collapsing and losing. Who cares though, when before Teixeira even launched his game 2 walk-off grandslam into the Bronx sky, the Red Sox were announced as the champs of the toughest division in sports, an accomplishment worth celebrating regardless of just losing in the 9th.
The Sox had one of the toughest stretches of schedule out of any MLB team. Over 46 days Boston played 31 road games, this included two trips to the west coast, and five games in 4 cities over 5 days. The team landed in Anaheim on July 28th 2.5 games out of the division lead, and after they left Toronto on Sept 11th they had a 2.5 game lead in the division, that they never gave up. Boston took on the challenge and finished 25-18, storming up the standings and taking their rightful place atop the AL East.
The reason I’m not breaking down this series against the Yankees by game like I did with the past three, is because it was more then the game of baseball and the greatest rivalry in sports. With David Ortiz making his final trip as a player to the house that Steinbrenner built, the atmosphere was both greatful and respectul. With every at bat, Dominican flags waved and chants of Papi could be heard.
Game 3. David Ortiz’s final game against the Yankees, the team he hit his first career home-run against, the team he broke in the 2004 ALCS, the team he hit 53 total home-runs against. The pre-game ceremony was heartwarming, and showed that though these two organizations hate each other, they respect each other and their great players. Ortiz was presented with gifts by his longtime idol and friend Mariano Rivera, a leather bound book with personal hand written notes from both current and former Yankee greats and also an oil painting showing Ortiz at home-plate tipping his cap to the Yankee stadium crowd.
“a very professional and very nice ceremony. Impressive, man. There were no boos out there,” Ortiz said. “It seems like everybody was happy that I’m leaving.”
It all came to an end in the 4th, Big Papi worked a walk against CC Sabathia, and took his last steps towards 1st in front of the Yankee faithful. John Farrel pitch ran for Ortiz, who as he walked back to the dugout, recieved a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance. A sight, that as a lifetime Sox fan, I can respect and thank the New York fans for the respect they showed toward the great David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
“I don’t remember seeing it happen here,” Ortiz said of a visiting player receiving such adoration. “But like I said, man, I really appreciate it.”
One can only imagine what great gift the organization will have for their great slugger. A bridge in his honor maybe? The House of Representatives already said yes! Now just the waiting game to hear back from the Senate, but honestly how could you say no. With all Ortiz has down on the field and more importantly all the charitable work for the children of New England and his native Dominican Republic. Imma stick my neck out and say the bridge that spans the Massachusetts Turnpike between Landsdowne Street and Newbury Street, near Fenway Park. Will be renamed the David Ortiz (Big Papi) Bridge. A fitting farewell for the great David Ortiz.
The season ends with a 3 game series against the Blue Birds of the north. A series that is very important if the Sox want home-field throughout the play-offs. Its even more important to Toronto if they want to keep their spot in the wild card race. Hopefully Porcello can play spoiler, and get win 23.