Ex-Red Sox spills the beans on working with iconic Yankees duo

Ex-Red Sox player David Ortiz with the legend of the Yankees, Derek Jeter

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On the eve of the World Series, the United States witnessed an unexpected encounter that went beyond the rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, sparking a sense of camaraderie. Former Red Sox athlete, David Ortiz, lovingly referred to as “Big Papi,” found himself seated at the analysis table with his former on-field rivals, Yankees legends Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, as part of the FOX MLB team. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Ortiz shared his thoughts on this new chapter in his life, reflecting on the evolving bond he shares with Jeter and Rodriguez.

A bond forged beyond rivalry

Ex-Red Sox player David Ortiz with the legend of the Yankees, Derek Jeter

For David Ortiz, retirement from professional baseball didn’t mean leaving the sport behind. He now channels his passion for the game into his role as an MLB analyst on FOX. When asked about working alongside one of the American League’s best players and New York Yankees legends, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, Ortiz’s response is filled with humor and warmth. He acknowledges their past animosity, saying, “We all had some good days [when] we played, but now our job is basically passing the baton,” adding, “And I’ve known these guys for a long time, so we used to hate each other, but now we’re family.” He playfully jokes about wanting to “spank” Jeter sometimes but emphasizes the strong professional bond that has formed between them.

From competitors to comrades

Ortiz and former star of the New York Yankees Derek Jeter share a playful moment, hinting at Red Sox-Yankees rivalry camaraderie during the 2004 ALCS.

This unique camaraderie was evident during the interview with PEOPLE as the trio, along with host Kevin Burkhardt, discussed their second acts as broadcasters. Their ease and camaraderie in the green room, contrasting with their fierce competition on the field, highlight the transformative power of their shared passion for baseball.

Derek Jeter, now 49 years old, is the most recent addition to the broadcasting team, joining almost a decade after retiring. As he navigates the transition from player to broadcaster, he humorously reveals that the most challenging aspect has been reliving the painful memory of the epic 2004 ALCS defeat of the Yankees to Ortiz’s Red Sox, a series in which Boston made a stunning comeback after being down 3-0. Jeter’s humor underscores the enduring connection among the three as they continue to share experiences and anecdotes from their legendary careers.

The chemistry in the air between Ortiz, Jeter, and Rodriguez serves as a testament to their ongoing bond as part of the baseball family. In a recent post-game show, Ortiz and Rodriguez interviewed Astros star Yordan Alvarez fluently and seamlessly, reminiscing about their days on the field. Ortiz is particularly pleased with the positive feedback they’ve received, reinforcing his commitment to achieving new goals in his post-player career.

Reflecting on his baseball career, Ortiz expresses satisfaction with his transition to the analyst role. He explains, “I don’t miss playing at all. I mean, those moments were very special. It was all about winning. We played to win. We were lucky to have a long career.” Ortiz’s perspective highlights the unique nature of a long baseball career and the joy of sharing insights and opinions about the game he loves.

As the conversation continues, Ortiz playfully acknowledges the transition from being a kid to becoming an adult, with Jeter humorously interjecting, “You are an adult, that’s what you’re saying.” The room erupts in laughter, emphasizing the genuine and heartfelt connection that has developed among these former rivals as they continue to celebrate the sport they hold dear.

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One thought on “Ex-Red Sox spills the beans on working with iconic Yankees duo

  1. I have no love for two cheaters like Ortiz or Rodriguez but Ortiz personality saves him at times. Arod or Afraud has no redeeming personality. He’s a pathological liar who tried to sue his teammates at one point. He also thinks the Yankees should retire his number. What they should do is ban him from the stadium. He was a distraction and an embarrassment. Jeter doesn’t need anyone of them.

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