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David Ortiz on Stadium tribute: ‘I am definitely getting booed’

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reacts

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz reacts after grounding out against New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) to end the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Boston. Photo Credit: AP / Elise Amendola

BOSTON — There isn’t much drama to it as far as David Ortiz is concerned.

Indeed, Ortiz knows exactly what the fan reaction is going to be when the Yankees honor him at the Stadium Sept. 29 before that night’s game against the Red Sox.

“I am definitely getting booed,” the 40-year-old DH and longtime Yankee-killer told a handful of New York reporters before Friday night’s game at Fenway Park. “I am ready for that.”

Ortiz has tortured the Yankees for well over a decade, both in the regular season and postseason. He brought a .307/.397/.575 regular-season slash line against the Yankees into Friday night and promptly had an RBI single in the first inning and a double in the sixth.

“I’m always going to respect Yankee fans,” he said. “Yankee fans, believe it or not, are the only fans that come to me straight up and tell me, ‘Hey, I’m a Yankee fan, but I respect you.’ And I respect that. Whenever I got to New York and I have to take time taking pictures and signing autographs for the Yankee fans, I don’t mind because baseball is a big family and it’s not all about who you are a fanatic about.”

General manager Brian Cashman called it “appropriate” that the Yankees are recognizing Ortiz. “He has been a thorn in our side, no doubt about it, and I say that with great respect,” Cashman said. “An extremely talented competitor.’’

The Red Sox rubbed some the wrong way in 2013 when, before Mariano Rivera’s last game at Fenway, they played a tribute video that prominently featured his blown save in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.

Ortiz smiled when asked if the Yankees should include any of his “bad” moments if there is a tribute video.

“They probably did it just to make us feel good about ourselves, you know what I’m saying?” Ortiz said of the Red Sox. “They were just trying to make it funny. Mariano was so successful against everybody. If you can pick out one bad moment out of a thousand moments, who cares?”

With David Lennon

New York Sports