I am not a fool, there is literally no one in the game of Major League Baseball that I would be shocked to hear took steroids in the early part of this decade. With the exception of Derek Jeter, you ask me about pretty much every superstar in baseball, and force me to gamble my mortgage on whether or not they liked a good needle in their ass, I’d probably bet in the affirmative.
That being said, it didn’t hurt me nearly as much as many when your name was leaked as part of the 104 players who tested positive in 2003 (note to everyone involved in MLB: unless all 104 names are just announced, this black mark on baseball will keep creeping up (second parenthesees – is it ok to use “black” mark, or I am going to be suddenly summoned to a meeting with our President with my favorite six pack?)). But please, Mr. Ortiz, I beg of you, just handle this the right way. So far, so good with your “wait til I get all the facts…I do want to address this with my team and the public.”
Your legacy has not been tarnished in my eyes. Your walkoff hits against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS will still be legendary…it’s just that the legends will be part of the Steroid Era. It is what it is.
I had a conversation at dinner last night. The question was, if you were Ortiz, how would you react? There was a flurry of, well, if we were Ortiz we would know if we were guilty or not. At which point my brother looked at me as if I had asked him how to spell the word “and”.
You have handled this controversy, thus far, as well as could be expected given a crappy set of circumstances in a town that loves to either love or hate it’s baseball players. My sister-in-law pointed out that Manny has it a little easier – LA journalists aren’t as hawkish towards their players. Given your scenario, keep hitting three run home runs doing your charity work, and people will move on. Someone else’s name will be leaked and the attention will shift. Not that I’m condoning drug use, but 2003 was a don’t ask/don’t tell gray area of steroid use.
This bizarre, marketing/paper selling name dropping scheme is getting annoying. First off, the federal government being involved in substance use and abuse in baseball is a little confusing and seems over the top. Doesn’t the government have better things to worry about? There is this little skirmish going on in the Middle East … and some famines, genocide, epidemics, pandemics …
I don’t think the entire list should be published, but I do think that the leak should be determined and shut up (yes, I’m the master of the obvious). It is not only tainting the sport and the era, but the sensationalism is making the sport, the athletes and the fans all seem cheaper.
Steroid use was not regulated in 2003. You agreed to anonymous testing in an effort to determine if drug use should be monitored and are getting screwed over 6 years later. It sucks and I’m sorry you and the other’s who were tested aren’t being treated with the respect you deserve.