David Ortiz knows a thing or two about the historic Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
The former slugger played 14 seasons in Boston, including 2004, when the team broke the 86-year “Curse of the Bambino” and came back from an 0-3 American League Championship Series deficit against the Bronx Bombers and to go on to win the World Series.
So, what exactly is it like taking the field against your enemy?
“It’s like playing in the World Series already,” Ortiz said Thursday during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!”
Ortiz saw the best and worst of the Yankees. From the 2003 ALCS Game 7 walk-off home run by Aaron Boone, to winning three championships in nine seasons, Big Papi witnessed a lot and was able to share the field with the likes of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. And because of that, Ortiz has great appreciation for the rivalry.
“Those series always got the best out of me,” Ortiz said. “And I’m pretty sure it got the best out of every player. It was like going back and forth every inning, every pitch, every swing. To me, (in) my career, there’s one thing that I always can appreciate was those games against the Yankees.”
The Red Sox close out their regular season this weekend against their division rival and will play them in the American League Division Series if the Yankees defeat the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card game. So there’s a possibility the rivalry will continue into the postseason.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images