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Hanley Ramirez tells Red Sox fans everyone must move on from David Ortiz

Say it ain’t so Hanley! But he’s right. As much as it pains us all, David Ortiz is not walking through that door.

MLB: ALDS-Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

David Ortiz is retired. The Red Sox haven't won a postseason series without Big Papi since 1999. When Theo Epstein plucked Ortiz out of relative obscurity prior to the 2003 season the iPhone was still four years away, the most recent Star Wars film was Attack of the Clones, and Mookie Betts was just ten years old.

So when Hanley Ramirez arrived in Fort Myers wearing an Ortiz shirt and talking about Papi as the past and himself as trying to fill those big shoes, he made a statement.

And that’s the key here: Hanley isn’t just trying to replace a bat, even in his final year Ortiz hit .315/.401/.620 while limping around the bases for each of his final 38 home runs. He’s trying to move on from his mentor and friend.

In some ways, Ortiz knows the Red Sox better than they know themselves. He wrote the book on Boston while winning three World Series.

This IS his city. And Hanley will have to try to rally the team around a new strategy, although the same goal: a championship. With Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and the emerging Andrew Benintendi, combined with a reinforced pitching staff courtesy of Chris Sale, he might just be successful.

For his part, David Ortiz is leaving no doubt about it: he is retired. Although he will be back on June 23rd to see his number 34 retired forever on the walls of Fenway Park. Until then, his presence will be missed while the DH looks into some of his other interests.

Vacation week....

A post shared by David Ortiz (@davidortiz) on

Now that’s spring training, eh?