Love this move. This is one of the final stops on the David Ortiz retirement tour, and I was wondering if the Orioles were going to do anything for him. Yes, Red Sox fans recognize Ortiz as the lovable teddybear with the big heart, bright smile and infectious laugh, but other fan bases, like the Orioles, know Ortiz as that short-tempered asshole who smashed their dugout phone in a fit of rage. I don’t know that any fan bases outside of Boston really adored Ortiz very much, but I’m sure most of them are somewhat apathetic, while a handful of them hate the guy, like Baltimore and New York.
The Tampa Bay Rays did nothing at all for Ortiz, which is fine. I don’t think you have to do something for the guy, but I’m glad that the Orioles had a good sense of humor about it, thought ahead and knew that this day would one day come, and that it’d make a good joke, and serve as a nice memento for Ortiz to have in his house to enjoy during his retirement. By the way, that wasn’t the only thing that the Orioles did for Ortiz. They played a highlight reel of all of his home runs against the Yankees, and also wrote him a check for 10 grand for his foundation.
Update: Last week, the Rays said that they weren’t honoring David Ortiz in his final series in Tampa this weekend, but apparently they’ve changed their minds. Glad they ended up deciding to do something. It’d be weird if everyone else in the AL East did something for Ortiz, and the Rays chose not to.