Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ortiz Deserves Tribute from Yankees

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ortiz Deserves Tribute from Yankees

Article excerpt

BOSTON -David Ortiz is going to get his day at Yankee Stadium.

So deal with it.

The team made official Thursday what many already had suspected -and feared -by announcing that yes, Ortiz would be "recognized" before the Sept. 29 game in the Bronx with a pregame ceremony. The Yankees did their best to slide this through under the radar, burying a few sentences in their daily notes.

The Yankees surely realize this might not go over so well with a fan base that has been tortured by Ortiz for more than a decade, and especially in 2004, when Big Papi orchestrated the most humiliating collapse in the Yankees' long playoff history. Maybe next season they can work in a Pedro Martinez Jheri curl wig giveaway or a Manny Ramirez bobblehead to coincide with a Red Sox visit.

We kid, of course, because the fandom's angst over feting Ortiz is understandable. But let's put aside the profanities for a minute and understand something else: What the Yankees are doing for Big Papi is the right thing to do.

"He's been really good for the game of baseball," Joe Girardi said. "Even though he's done a lot of damage [vs. the Yankees], I hope people show him the respect he's earned, I think, in this game."

Judging by my Twitter feed Thursday afternoon, many of you disagree, using some colorful language in the process. We get the emotion. There's been no bigger Yankee assassin in our lifetimes, maybe ever. Before Thursday, Ortiz was a career .305 hitter against his Bronx buddies with 52 home runs, 166 RBIs and a .965 OPS in 236 games.

That's a dangerous hombre, and those kind of numbers deserve at least a hat tip. It's called sportsmanship. And if it's any consolation, the Yankees' 27 world titles still dwarf the Red Sox's eight.

Knowing Big Papi's special affection for New Yorkers, we tried to track him down before Thursday's game at Fenway Park for his take on the upcoming Bronx day in his honor. …

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