All-Star walk off for Big Papi: AL teammates embrace Ortiz

No one has done that for a full year since Albert Pujols (1.141) in 2008, which was the year before Sports Illustrated's metrics guy wrote that the Red Sox should cut Ortiz's cord at midseason. "The exterior stuff aside, I have an appreciation for people who want to be in the big-time moment, the big-time situation".

David Ortiz never has been shy about vocalizing what he wants.

While Bradley, 26, and Bogaerts and Betts (both 23) soaked up the atmosphere of their first All-Star appearances, Ortiz was the center of attention in this, his 10th and final mid-summer classic.

"Because I'm a lovely person, man", he said. And most important of all: nobody got hurt. Ortiz departed to a huge ovation.

While his career. 295 batting average, 17 home runs (T-7 most) and 60 RBIs (No. 5) in the postseason are noteworthy enough, his regular season measurables place him among the all-time greats. This is Ortiz's 10th All-Star Game, and he's feeling the vibe of what the game has brought to downtown San Diego. They've played against each other often, particularly when Cano was in NY.

Indeed, once he hangs up his cleats for good, Ortiz will leave behind a very special legacy, unlike that of most Red Sox players. Ortiz's massive personality is something that baseball needs.

- Calling on the generation of stars behind him to carry the torch and set an example: "Those days when your mind says you can't go, you say, 'Yes I can'". Things don't change. You know your swing now if you're a professional. American League manager Ned Yost would stray from the plan only if Ortiz failed to reach base his first two times up. 332 at the All-Star break, with a career high in slugging percentage (.682).

"Hey, you don't get that from one day to another", he said. He said the friendly skies are the No. 1 reason he is leaving. All the credit goes to him. "I'll be trying to do the best I can". He hasn't been satisfied with is good start.

The popular Big Papi was embraced by almost every member of the American League roster Tuesday night when he was replaced by a pinch runner and strolled back to the dugout. National baseball writers from various outlets lined up to talk to the Reds' power-hitting right fielder? I think that's one of the major reasons why things have gone so well with me, because I'm not the only hitter on the ballclub. After a shoulder injury in 2014 and a down year in 2015, Bruce is hitting.

"This is a business and I understand the business of it", he said. "I just have to continue to work and know that it is going to happen".

He admitted that the Reds would be doing the organization "a disservice" if they didn't try to trade him for prospects. "I thought he was going to end up playing with me this year". When I first came to the big leagues, the face of baseball was a guy nearly my age.

Thinking towards the future for these three emerging stars and the financial resources to keep all three players will be challenging.

The 87th All-Star Game is underway, and it has a distinct Chicago flavor. Except Ortiz also is campaigning strongly for the Most Valuable Player award.

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