David Ortiz thanked New York Yankees fans, saying that they pulled the best out of me and even acknowledging a little bit of love for them as he prepares for his final series at Yankee Stadium.But the Boston Red Sox slugger also offered a clear warning -- hes still going to try to hit the ball all the way to the choo choo train, referring to the subway station outside the stadium.Ortiz reflected on his role in the heated rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees in an open letter published Tuesday on The Players Tribune, saying the intensity of their games brought out the best in him and that he was born to play against the Yankees.Our rivalry with the Yankees made me who I am, Ortiz wrote. The intensity of that competition is what Im gonna miss the most when Im done. I could wake up in the morning and my body could be feeling like s---, but as soon as the bus pulls up to Yankee Stadium and I see that white fence on the upper deck, Im like, Its on.Ortiz, 40, is batting .321 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs this season, which he says will be his last in the majors. He also said later Tuesday that he has no intention of playing for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.Id probably need 15 months to recover, Ortiz told the media Tuesday. I would love to represent my country, but like I say, Im in a situation where Im trying every day to get ready to play a game. My body is so happy. My body is counting the days.The first-place Red Sox (92-64) clinched a playoff berth last week and are contending for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.But the Yankees (80-76) are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention, meaning their three-game series starting Tuesday against the Red Sox likely will mark Ortizs final games in the Bronx.It takes me a long time to get my body ready for these games now, he wrote. But I guarantee you this. When our bus pulls up to Yankee Stadium today, Im gonna be ready to go.Ortiz has spent the past 14 seasons with the Red Sox and has been a central figure in their rivalry with the Yankees, most notably in 2004, when he helped Boston erase a 3-0 series deficit in its historic American League Championship Series victory against New York.His success in the Bronx, where he has 31 home runs in 114 regular-season games, has drawn the ire of Yankees fans, who routinely have booed the Dominican slugger. One fan even is attempting to organize a widespread mooning of Ortiz in the series finale Thursday.Let me tell you something, Ortiz wrote. If 50,000 people moon me, I promise you two things. First, Im gonna laugh so hard I might start crying.Then when the tears dry, Im gonna step up to the plate and try to hit the ball all the way to the choo choo train. You gotta be careful. You guys dont have Mariano [Rivera] no more, you know what Im saying?Though he may get booed inside Yankee Stadium, Ortiz said hes beloved on the streets of New York City.People are nice. I rarely bump into anyone trying to carry that out ... Ortiz told the media later Tuesday. People are super nice here. We have a lot of, what, 3 million Dominicans living here in New York. Most of them, I would say, are Yankee fans. I talked about it before, the relationship between Dominicans and New York Yankees. My people, they receive me just like I play for the Yankees. Much love. They know I play for Boston but I still represent with others, a Dominican coming into the stadium doing good things.Ortiz explained that he channels his intensity for games in Yankee Stadium because of his experiences in his native Dominican Republic, where he says the Yankees are extremely popular and New York City is viewed as the American dream.He also professed his appreciation for the rivalry on multiple occasions, writing that the intensity is just not the same against another team.The Red Sox let me be me, Ortiz wrote. You see my beard? The Yankees wouldnt let me have that beard. Id be shaving twice a day. But it goes beyond that. The Red Sox let me say what I feel. They let me be myself. If I was a Yankee, Id be just like my boy, [Derek Jeter].You know, One game at a time.But thats why Im gonna miss this rivalry so much. Because we were perfect opposites. Everything we had in Boston, New York had an answer for it.Information from ESPNs Scott Lauber contributed to this report. Nike Air Max 2018 Outlet . -- Bryant McKinnie came out of his stance and lowered his shoulder into a practice squad player, causing a crisp thud to reverberate in the Miami Dolphins practice bubble. Sale Air Max 2018 . LOUIS -- Heading into the final stretch of the season, the issues for the Chicago Bears banged-up defence only seem to be getting worse. http://www.airmaxwholesale.com/ . -- The plastic that was taped across the lockers in Oaklands clubhouse came down and the champagne that was on ice went back into the cooler. Cheap Air Max 2018 . Irving scored 23 points, Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-109 on Friday night. Air Max 90 From China . - Levi Browns tenure at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers is over before it even began. PITTSBURGH -- Plenty of the numbers from Pittsburghs breezy 99-80 victory over Gardner-Webb looked pretty.And none of them mattered to coach Kevin Stallings. Sure shooting 54 percent and never being challenged on Monday night was nice, especially three days after needing double-overtime to hold off Eastern Michigan in Stallings coaching debut with the Panthers. Yet Stallings is more concerned about whether his team is ready for a far sterner test on Thursday against SMU at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic.You look at our defensive numbers, they were indicative of a team that was not really wired into play, he said. Thats my fault. Thats my job.Cameron Johnson scored 18 points and made all four of his 3-point attempts for Pitt (2-0). Michael Young put up 18 points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes after being held out of the starting lineup for only the second time in his career due to a minor violation of team rules. Sheldon Jeter added 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.Still, the Panthers led the Runnin Bulldogs trade baskets early in the first half and for long stretches in the second. Stallings wonders if his players are getting a little too caught up in the free-flowing offense Stallings brought with him from Vanderbilt.Maybe Ive sent the wrong message about tempo and offense and things like that, Stallings said. Were not ready to beat anybody thats equivalent to us in terms of talent because we dont sustain any type of defensive intensity.At one point in the first half, Stallings pulled the entire starting five off the floor in frustration.I think he just wanted more effort and energy, Johnson said. He cited a lack of focus for that.Not that much was required over the final 30 minutes after a 10-0 burst that included a pair of 3-pointers by Johnsoon to give the Panthers a 30-14 lead that was never threatened.ddddddddddddRUNNIN WITH THE PANTHERSLaQuincy Rideau finished with a career-high 23 points for Gardner-Webb (0-2) while adding eight rebounds and six assists. David Efianayi scored 20 points and Liam OReilly chipped in 14. The Runnin Bulldogs spread the floor to provide Rideau with room to slice his 6-foot-1 frame through the lane.I felt there was little more space where maybe we could attack the paint off the dribble, Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. The problem is we werent converting. Some of the finishes were a little wild.BIG MAN DEBUTPitt junior Rozelle Nix made his long-awaited debut after missing last season with a foot injury. The 6-foot-11, 300-pound Nix entered with just over 4 minutes left and finished with four rebounds and on emphatic block on Gardner-Webbs DJ Laster that sent Nixs teammates erupting off the bench.He got me once like that once, Jeter said. Im not ashamed to admit it. Im not afraid to admit it.BIG PICTUREGardner-Webb: After managing just 44 points in a lackluster loss to SMU in the opener last week, Gardner-Webb was happy to try and keep pace with Pitt in what Craft called a learning experience for a young team that will rely on Rideau and Efianayi -- both sophomores -- to carry some of the scoring load.Pitt: Despite the defensive issues, the Panthers seem to have quickly embraced what Stallings wants to do on the other end of the floor. The Panthers made 13 of 26 3-pointers and finished with 29 assists on 35 field goals.UP NEXTGardner-Webb: plays Eastern Michigan in Indianapolis on Friday.Pitt: faces SMU on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. 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