It’s David Ortiz’s final season, and barring a Red Sox playoff appearance, his final road games will be at Yankee Stadium the last week of September. Given how much of Ortiz’s career and reputation is caught up in the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, and how his heroics in the 2004 ALCS turned around the franchise’s century of futility, it’s a fitting place to go out. But Ortiz won’t be content with merely a last look at his longtime tormentees. He wants some love.
“You know what I want most of all?” Big Papi told the Post on Tuesday at JetBlue Park. “I would love it if the fans at Yankee Stadium gave me a standing ovation.”
There’s a very clear answer to whether Ortiz should be showered with applause by Yankees fans, and it’s: nobody cares. (This discussion is going to go on for a while today, and again leading up to that last series in the Bronx, and the word “classy” will be deployed liberally. You have been warned.)
I don’t think there’s any doubt Ortiz gets cheered. Very few fans are so divorced from reality that they can’t appreciate the achievement and entertainment value of a career like Ortiz’s, no matter if so many of his best moments came at their team’s expense. Remember, Red Sox fans cheered Jeter in his last game there. And—this is no small thing—every fan base loves to be able to pat itself on the back.
So Ortiz will get his standing O in September. Unless there just aren’t any fans at Yankee Stadium.