BOSTON — The Red Sox beatific David Ortiz off afore his final regular-season bold with a affiance that he will return.
This week, in the playoffs, back he goes for his fourth World Alternation title.
And abutting year, back they adhere his No. 34 from the Fenway bluff amid the team’s retired numbers.
During a pregame commemoration Sunday abounding by Red Sox greats like Carl Yastrzemski and teammates from Ortiz’s three championship teams, the ballclub accustomed their soon-to-retire slugger by draping a Dominican banderole over the Green Monster and bringing out his ancestor — Big Papi’s absolute Papi — to angle abutting to him in the average of the diamond.
Ortiz bankrupt into tears back he mentioned his backward mother afore acquisition himself calm to acknowledge his teammates and associates of the alignment from buyer John Henry to adviser accessory Pookie Jackson. He additionally thanked the admirers — bottomward to one knee and angled his cap to the army — forth with the media, Aloft League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, who were both in attendance.
“He afflicted the Red Sox,” Manfred said afore the game. “He was a key allotment of the amazing three wins here. It afflicted the advance of the franchise.
“But I additionally anticipate that he afflicted the city. He became a attribute of the backbone of the burghal and will consistently be remembered for that.”
Ortiz appear in November on his 40th altogether that this would be his final year, ambience up a season-long adieu bout about the aloft leagues.
As the home team, the Red Sox get to go last.
Here are some added architect and sounds from Ortiz’s farewell:
The Green Monster scoreboard read: “Thanks, Big Papi.” Banners afraid from the ablaze stanchions above. And Ortiz’s angel was mowed into the centermost acreage grass, as it has been for the absolute season-ending alternation adjoin the Toronto Blue Jays.
Fans in the right-field bleachers captivated up cards that formed Ortiz’s No. 34 during the ceremony. During the game, the cards appear the message: “Thanks, Papi.”
And of advance there were the three World Alternation championship banners abaft home plate, all acknowledgment in allotment to Ortiz. During the ceremony, Mike Lowell, Pedro Martinez and Jonny Gomes agitated out the World Alternation trophies.
Mary J. Blige sang the “Star-Spangled Banner,” as she did afore Bold 1 of the 2013 World Series. The Red Sox additionally played the Dominican civic canticle in Ortiz’s honor, and Medina threw out a august aboriginal pitch.
THE DARK CLOUD
Stopping by Fenway Park on the day several playoff positions could still be determined, Manfred dedicated Ortiz from a address — afterwards acknowledging it — that he activated absolute for a performance-enhancing biologic a decade ago.
The New York Times appear in 2009 that Ortiz was amid the players on a account of those who activated absolute in a 2003 analysis analysis of urine samples advised to actuate the amount of steroids use in baseball. Ortiz has denied application performance-enhancing drugs. Neither the abutment nor the commissioner’s appointment has explained the report, and players and administration auspiciously fought a acknowledged action to accumulate the account and samples abstruse afterwards federal agents bedeviled them.
Manfred said on Sunday there were at atomic 10 names on the account whose admittance could be doubted for “legitimate accurate reasons.”
“Even if you were on that list, it was absolutely accessible that you were not a positive,” Manfred said.
Asked if there was annihilation baseball could do to advice Ortiz bright his name, Manfred said the after-effects accept been destroyed.
Since Ortiz did not breach baseball’s biologic rules, the alone accident from the address is to Ortiz’s bequest and his Hall of Fame antagonism back he alcove the election in bristles years. Manfred said it was up to the voting associates of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America whether to conscript players who accept formally activated absolute for steroids.
But he said: “In situations area it is leaked, that is arbitrary to the player, and I anticipate it would be wrong” to exclude them.
Manfred said Ortiz chock-full by his appointment aftermost offseason to say he planned to retire. The Red Sox slugger afresh went to the commissioner’s appointment back the aggregation was in New York aftermost week; this time, he asked to use a appointment room, area he met with beneficiaries of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and added associates of the community.
“I got the bigger bang out of aloof watching this beck of bodies advancing through,” Manfred said. “Each one was a bigger adventure than the last.”
Manfred said he planned to allocution to Ortiz about confined the action in some accommodation afterwards he retires. Aloft League Baseball affairs to run a bartering in English and Spanish during the playoffs that ends, “Thanks, Big Papi! You’re not walking away, you’re walking off.”
ON THE STREET
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the arch over the MassPike that leads from Kenmore Square to Fenway Park would be renamed in Ortiz’s honor; Mayor Marty Walsh said the burghal would do the aforementioned for a artery that leads from the ballpark to addition alternation station.
The Red Sox Foundation and the team’s owners accept apprenticed $1 actor to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.
The governor said he was afraid to acquisition that there was a arch larboard in the accompaniment that hadn’t already been alleged for addition — and it was appropriate abutting to the ballpark. It was a accustomed to name it — “Big Papi David Ortiz Bridge” — in account of addition whom he alleged “the best important amateur in Red Sox history.”
“I absolutely don’t anticipate we accept three World Alternation afterwards him,” the governor said.
Walsh said the weekend was bittersweet.
“We accept abundant memories,” he said, “and there are still abundant memories to be made.”
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