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David Ortiz praises Derek Jeter when explaining why he’ll miss his retiring rival


Even though the two play on arguably the greatest, fiercest and most contentious rivalry in all of sport, a mutual respect seems to exist between David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. The Boston Red Sox elder statesman abundantly illustrated that he has nothing but admiration for the New York Yankees captain when explaining why he’ll miss the New York Yankees captain upon his retirement following the 2014 MLB season.

During an interview on Tuesday on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, Big Papi showered Jeter with praise, saying he and all of baseball undoubtedly will miss the way in which the Yankees shortstop approached the game.

“If there’s one guy that the baseball game is gonna miss once he’s retired, it’s Derek,” Ortiz said, as quoted in a New York Post report. “Derek is very professional, that’s a guy that is all about the game, all about the business. He is one of the baseball players that I can tell you that pretty much his whole career has done everything perfectly right. And when I watch him play I get goosebumps. You know what I’m saying? That’s one of the players that everybody wants to come and see. … That’s a player that definitely we’re all gonna miss after he’s done with baseball.”

That’s some awfully high praise for a nemesis, although nemesis may not be the right word. Worthy and respected adversary may be a better way to put it.

Either way, as Ortiz embarks upon his 20th major league season, wondering when the BoSox slugger will follow Jeter’s lead and stroll off into the sunset warrants contemplation. Odds are if it were the other way around and Ortiz was heading into retirement, Jeter would have essentially the same things to say about Big Papi. And will say those things if asked when the time comes.