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When the Tampa Bay Rays play the Boston Red Sox this weekend, it will mark the final games for David Ortiz at Tropicana Field. While most teams have used these opportunities to honor Big Papi with gifts, the Rays will not and now they look silly.

Rather than present Ortiz with gifts and a nice Kumbaya ceremony on his farewell tour, the Rays will simply have a “brief video tribute” for Ortiz prior to the second inning of Sunday’s game, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

According to the Boston Globe, the Rays will be just the second team, joining the Atlanta Braves, to not bestow Papi with any gifts.

When Topkin asked Rays team president Brian Auld to comment, he simply said, “David Ortiz has had a terrific career and we are looking forward to honoring his many achievements, particularly those he’s had at Tropicana Field, during his final game in St. Petersburg.”

The move is certainly an interesting one. The relationship between Ortiz and the Rays has never been a good one. And he has certainly done his fair share of damage to the club, hitting 52 home runs against the Rays in his career.

But at the same time, there are a LOT of Red Sox fans in the Bay Area. And while it has been annoying at times to see The Trop overrun with Red Sox fans, those fans did buy tickets, bought concession items, and paid for parking. Those Red Sox fans have given the Tampa Bay Rays a lot of money over the years.

And I assume there will be a LOT of Red Sox fans at The Trop on Sunday.

So, instead of having a ceremony that nobody would have paid attention to, now the national media is going to rip the Rays for looking silly and for looking petty.

But most importantly, the national media is going to rip the Rays for looking cheap.

That is almost certainly not the reason (Topkin has some theories), but it doesn’t matter. The Rays are going to be accused of being cheap, because that is their reputation.

Would it have killed the Rays to throw them this little bone and have an actual ceremony and let Ortiz say a few words?

Apparently it would have.

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7 Comments

  1. Geoff Peterson says:

    I can see doing this for surefire hall of famers but Ortiz is not that IMO. He never fielded a position during his productive years and his success came with the stink of PED suspicion on a team that had more than one other known PED user. Based on the era in which he excelled and the positive test, admission, and then denial blaming it on a supplement, Ortiz has no place in the hall of fame. One day when the entire PED generation can be addressed by the hall, he may get in with a large group of suspected and admitted cheaters.

    Unfortunately, a player like Fred McGriff had his solid HOF numbers tarnished by these cheaters putting up video game stats until they're age 40 and beyond which had not previously happened in the history of the game.

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  2. Steve says:

    Who cares?

    I don't think the Rays look silly. I think all the other teams look silly for showering him with love and affection. Honor him with gifts? Please. What do we owe him? Why is he entitled to all this BS, because he took steroids to help himself become good at hitting a baseball? Screw that.

    He plays for our rival. He never played for the Rays. He should get nothing from us. He already has enough money and stuff to last several lifetimes, I don't think he'll lose any sleep over it.

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  3. Joe B. says:

    I don't see why the Rays need to recognize him at all. He's not special in my opinion. He's a cheater and has a bad attitude. I watched him just the other day foul two balls off, then drop his bat and put his hands on his hips in disgust, right in the middle of an at bat. He thinks he's bigger than the game, and that's enough for me to laugh him off.

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  4. monte says:

    I think anyone who made use of PEDs should be banned from the Hall of Fame if those drugs were prohibited at the time of use. I do not think Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, or Willie Stargell used PEDs.

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  5. Brent says:

    ROIDtiz

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  6. zenny says:

    The Rays owe Big PEDi absolutely nothing, and neither does anybody else. He clearly extended his career by circumventing the rules - nobody else in MLB history has turned around the usual mid-late 30s career slide typical of big sluggers like that. NOBODY. And taking one look at his gross obesity, you can't argue that he got his bat speed back by getting into "the best shape of his life"... unless the shape in question is "barrel".

    But besides that, why the hell do people think that retiring New York and Boston players and only NY / Beaner players deserve an around-the-league sendoff party? What about every other good, non-cheating ballplayer who's about to hang up the spikes? I'm sick of it, myself. The media can take their ESPN-driven northeast bias and stick it in their bat rack.

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  7. Rob says:

    I say kudos to the Rays. I think around the league celebrations for players should be reserved for once in a generation type players whose impacts are universally felt (e.g. Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, etc.).

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