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Big Papi, Red Sox are going to miss Derek Jeter

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox looks

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

BOSTON - David Ortiz knows something about dramatic moments. He's had a few against the Yankees. But as Big Papi watched Thursday night's game in the Bronx unfold on the Fenway clubhouse TV, even he couldn't believe what he was watching.

David Robertson, one of the sport's top closers, teeing up home runs to Adam Jones and Steve Pearce that tied the score? Allowing Derek Jeter to get one more at-bat with the game on the line? Crazy stuff.

"I wouldn't say it's like a dream because not too many players know how to come through in those situations," Oritz said before Friday night's game.

"But I guarantee you, in a lot of people's heads, it's like, man they planned that, because of the way it went down.

"You never see their closer give up three runs. Then all of a sudden it happens. The perfect situation for DJ to come through. It was pretty exciting."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked Friday about the Orioles' strategy in letting Jeter get a pitch to hit with the speedy pinch runner Antoan Richardson on second base. Wouldn't Buck Showalter have been better off calling for the intentional walk of Jeter to set up the double play?

"He might not have gotten out of New York alive," Farrell joked.

Like Ortiz, Farrell marveled at Jeter's flair for the special moment, regardless of how he found himself in the situation.

"The game has an incredible way of creating unique opportunities," Farrell said. "When you consider his 3,000th hit was a solo home run. His last at-bat in Yankee Stadium is a walk-off. The game provides us opportunities that embed memories and that's certainly one of them."

Ortiz always has respected Jeter's ability to deliver when it matters most -- just as Papi does for the Red Sox. Maybe he sees him as a kindred spirit of sorts. His first impression of watching Jeter inside-out that pitch through the right side of the infield?

"That's him -- money time," Ortiz said, smiling.

The other thing that impressed Papi about Thursday night was witnessing a side of Jeter that he never had seen before. Even on TV, Ortiz could tell Jeter was struggling to stay cool, to keep the emotion from spilling out completely. That was new.

"When you're playing your last game at your stadium, I'm pretty sure that is something that shows up at some point," Ortiz said. "That's what we are. We are human. He's a guy that's done it all in baseball. But at the end of the day, he's human just like everybody else. He's got feelings."

And the feeling at Fenway is that the Red Sox's ancient rival just won't be the same without Jeter, who wraps up his 20-year career here on Sunday.

"When you talk about the Yankees, you're talking about Derek Jeter," Ortiz said. "He did whatever it takes to help his ballclub. That's why he has so many World Series rings. You're talking about a player that's hard to find. You're not going to see many Derek Jeters out there. We're going to miss him."

New York Sports