Big Papi and the Crystal Ball

I’m going to save you some time.


Instead of waiting anxiously to see how the David Ortiz crisis is going to play out, allow me to tell you exactly what’s going to happen.


Ortiz with ball resize.jpg 

(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


In the near future, Big Papi will tell us that in 2003 he took some sort of supplements or protein shakes without knowing they included performance enhancing drugs. 


Perhaps he purchased them from A-Rod’s cousin.


Most of us won’t really believe him, but Ortiz will apologize and – outside of the Bronx – his mea culpa will be accepted.  And life will go on . . . along with the Red Sox streak of consecutive sellouts.


Here’s where I stand on the revelation that Big Papi’s name is on “The List.”


I’m interested in all 104 names because it was supposed to be a secret and now it’s not.  It’s like when someone starts to share some dirt and then says, “No, I promised I wouldn’t say anything!”  The correct response is to push and prod until they fess up.


But at this point, there are very few names on that list that would surprise me . . . and sluggers who enjoyed huge leaps in their performance level are not among them.


I loved to hold out hope that Ortiz was clean, but I’m not shocked that he wasn’t. 


Were you?  Really?


It was six years ago.  Players weren’t being tested and the temptation to cheat was overwhelming.  That doesn’t make it right, but if your livelihood depends on being better than the other guy and the other guy is using ‘roids, your moral compass has a hard time pointing north.


I put much of the blame on the clean guys.  When it became obvious that steroid use was rampant, they should have demanded that the union institute a testing policy.


Then again, maybe the non-users represented the minority.


I believe David Ortiz is clean now – that’s where he and Manny Ramirez are different.  Manny got busted with a testing policy in effect and a 50-game penalty (40 if you include minor league games) for a first-time offender.  He deserves every bit of ridicule he receives.


I suppose David Ortiz deserves some too, but Red Sox fans will soon forgive even if they don’t forget.


I’m fine with that.  Go ahead and give him a standing “O” and accept his apology.


 As long as you eliminate the terms “A-Roid” or “A-Fraud” from your vocabulary.



  1. yawkeyway4

    agreed. not a shocker unfortunately.. his last few years have been very steroid-user-esque. (zero to hero to injury/decline)
    especially agreed on the whole “aroid” schtick. 104 names means players we all know and love around the majors.. and it doesnt stop at the 104 major league players who are included on THE LIST. this isnt a “see how foolish the yankees look now” thing. i’m red sox 100% of the way but we all need to put this into perspective. the playing field is level. their stars/team did it, our stars/team did it, other stars/teams did it. it’s disappointing because we all like the idea of baseball’s rich history and the culture of the game in its purest form, noone likes cheaters, but they might as well make a wing in the HOF for this “era” (as opposed to simply omitting all of the “cheaters” from the past decade) because it too is a part of the game’s history now.
    NOT looking forward to seeing these stories all over Boston publications in the months to come..


  2. sittingstill

    Bronson Arroyo had some interesting things to say about the 2003 testing here:

    I’ve never said “A-Roid.” I think A-Fraud has as much to do with his checkered career as a cooler for his various teams and his off-the-field behavior (and sometimes on the field, as Howie Clark might attest) as with PEDs. I’m disappointed when I hear of anyone I admire using PEDs, but I agree with Arroyo that the regulations on supplements in 2003 were not what they are now. The situation with the supposedly anonymous 2003 tests coming out name by name would be comical if it weren’t borderline criminal.

    And the question I have on Ortiz is this: why would his current slump–years AFTER testing with penalties was instituted–be related to steroids? I agree with you, Dan, that he’s now clean–but I don’t agree with folks who think that’s the reason for his current performance.

    In the meantime, I’m hoping desperately that Michael Bowden isn’t packing his bags for Cleveland right now…

  3. juliasrants

    Dan – Papi has to be clean now or he would have been caught recently like Manny. And I want to believe it was a supplement and not a cousin jabbing him. But here is a further concern I have – when the news broke – Ortiz said it was the first time he knew he had tested positive but today in the Boston Globe they reported that all the players who tested positive knew back in ’04. Did he or didn’t he know? And while I’ve never called him A-Roid. I still find his case even more troubling – he wasn’t just using steroids, he was using a drug that was illegal for anyone in the US to be using and had to be brought illegally into the country. If you or I did that – we would more then likely be in jail for breaking several federal drug laws.


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