• Big Papi On PED Users – A Look Back

    Posted by on July 30th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    As a follow-up to MJ’s post on Manny and Big Papi reportedly testing postive in 2003 for PEDs, I thought it would be fun to look back at what David Ortiz had to say just five months ago on this topic:

    David Ortiz wants players who test positive for steroids to be suspended from baseball for a year instead of the current 50-game penalty.

    Taking players to court, though, for cases involving use of the substances before players were subject to penalty is not the way to clean up the game, the Boston Red Sox designated hitter said Monday.

    “I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody,” he said. “You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that’s about it.”

    And if a player tests positive for steroids?

    “Ban ‘em for the whole year,” the slugger said.

    “I think you clean up the game by the testing,” Ortiz said Monday. “I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I’m going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don’t want to be facing that situation.

    “So what would I do? I won’t use it, and I’m pretty sure that everybody is on the same page,” he said.

    He drew a distinction between the use of steroids through 2003, when it was not penalized, and the period since then when testing with penalties has been in effect.

    “All the drama, bringing that to court and acting like those [are] serious criminals, it doesn’t look good for the game,” Ortiz said. “It’s not like something that is happening right now. Everybody that has been taken to court, it’s because they did it in the past when it wasn’t banned from the game.”

    Alex Rodriguez has said he used banned substances between 2001-03, when he was with the Texas Rangers.

    Ortiz said that at that time, “I would say it was certainly low, the percentage that wasn’t using it. Like he said in the interview [with ESPN], that was what was going around the league at the time.”

    He praised Rodriguez for saying he used banned substances and said that after 2003, “he’s been playing clean and he still produced and he’s still been the best player in the game. So if I’m a fan and I had to judge the guy, I would put that in the past and move forward.”

    Now, Ortiz said, he believes the percentage of users is very low. And he said he might even accept blood testing for banned substances.

    “I don’t care. Whatever,” he said. “I just want to go out there and make sure that people are not looking at you like, ‘Oh, look at this guy. He’s big now. What’s going on?’”

    …He drew a distinction between the use of steroids through 2003, when it was not penalized, and the period since then when testing with penalties has been in effect…

    And, now, we know why, don’t we?

    Comments on Big Papi On PED Users – A Look Back

    1. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 30th, 2009 | 1:27 pm

      Even if you presume that he was a hard-core user pre-2004, is it so bad that he has seen the light and advocates these kinds of penalties? Do you think he’s so hypocritical that he’d say these things but has been a hard-core user even with testing and penalties?

      It is more likely that as he was quoted in the Times article, he used protein supplements purchased in the Dominican and did not know if they were tainted with steroids, so maybe he did use them in the past.

      Its just as possible that he tested positive for that reason as it is that he’s been using pre and post 2003. But what we know is that he hasn’t tested positive while there has been testing + penalties.

    2. Evan3457
      July 30th, 2009 | 1:41 pm

      And to bring this full circle, Steve, remember the Bill James piece that you posted last week?

      In that piece, he said that he refrained for commenting about it for a long, long time, but he was breaking his long silence about it. You don’t suppose he got a tip from the Times about this story ahead of time, did he? Or perhaps someone in the Sox’ organization tipped both the Times and James?

      How very, very convenient this all is….

      1) Manny has been traded for forcing his way off the team for bad conduct. The Sox offense is sputtering without him. He’s victorious and celebrated in Los Angeles.
      2) Ortiz’ career may be just about finished. He may be benched shortly, or lose his job to Victor Martinez in the next couple of days.
      3) About a week ago, James writes about the steroids mess in detail for the first time.
      4) The Times just recently announced they were selling their piece of the Red Sox.
      5) The Times probably sees a whole bunch of names out of the 100 left on the 2003 list, but only sees fit to mention Manny and Ortiz in their article.

      How terribly convenient this all is. Almost like an old-Soviet style hatchet job, without the arrests. Or a leaked take-down of people by executive branch Federal officials (both parties against each other) in the U.S. Government, if that’s more to your taste.

    3. Evan3457
      July 30th, 2009 | 1:43 pm

      OnceIWasAYankeeFan wrote:

      Even if you presume that he was a hard-core user pre-2004, is it so bad that he has seen the light and advocates these kinds of penalties? Do you think he’s so hypocritical that he’d say these things but has been a hard-core user even with testing and penalties?

      It is more likely that as he was quoted in the Times article, he used protein supplements purchased in the Dominican and did not know if they were tainted with steroids, so maybe he did use them in the past.

      Its just as possible that he tested positive for that reason as it is that he’s been using pre and post 2003. But what we know is that he hasn’t tested positive while there has been testing + penalties.

      Good luck with that, Once.

      We all know how well that type of argument worked in heading off rampant speculation that A-Rod was still using after 2003, especially the MVP years of 2005 and 2007.

    4. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 30th, 2009 | 2:06 pm

      But it really depends on what Ortiz does now. A-Rod was forced to acknowledge extensive use over a three year period. He said questionable things about it, leading to more doubts than clarity. That certainly played a role in questions about his subsequent seasons.

      Plus everyone likes Papi, don’t they? ;)

      A-Rod, not so much. :)

    5. YankCrank
      July 30th, 2009 | 2:18 pm

      Its just as possible that he tested positive for that reason as it is that he’s been using pre and post 2003.
      ——

      Whatever helps you sleep at night, Sox fan.

    6. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      July 30th, 2009 | 2:22 pm

      I’ve never had trouble sleeping, thanks, and won’t have trouble sleeping now.

      2003 wasn’t 2004 or 2007.

      I could care less if people question his stats or his accomplishments because of this.

    7. thenewguy
      July 30th, 2009 | 2:44 pm

      I could care less if people question his stats or his accomplishments because of this.
      ———

      Just like I could care less if people question A-Rod’s stats… but that doesn’t mean the problem will go away. Really, if the response to A-Rod hadn’t been the way it was, I probably wouldn’t care nearly as much about Manny or Papi. Honestly, I dont even care if these players are using steroids. I just cared about the response A-Rod got and want it to be the same response Papi gets.

    8. Evan3457
      July 30th, 2009 | 2:55 pm

      thenewguy wrote:

      I could care less if people question his stats or his accomplishments because of this.
      ———

      Just like I could care less if people question A-Rod’s stats… but that doesn’t mean the problem will go away. Really, if the response to A-Rod hadn’t been the way it was, I probably wouldn’t care nearly as much about Manny or Papi. Honestly, I dont even care if these players are using steroids. I just cared about the response A-Rod got and want it to be the same response Papi gets.

      It won’t be, of course. A-Rod was the first name off the list, and caught the full force of abuse and criticism. With each succeeding event, the attacks will be less severe. Also, this is being released mid-season, there are games and pennant races going on right now. So the full weight of media scrutiny cannot be mustered, and will dissipate much faster.

      Finally is the difference in the storyline. A-rod is regarded as a selfish, immature jerk. Ortiz is beloved as a winner and team man. The legend sometimes trumps the facts. If there are two competing stories, one will be discarded by history and time. Ortiz broke the curse, and his heroics for the Sox in 2004 will push aside this revelation in the long run, especially because he got lucky in that A-Rod was first. A-Rod has never won it all, and if he never gets there, the steroid use will become a permanent part of the overall “yeah, yeah, great numbers, but a loser” legend that will be written about him after he leaves the game.

    9. July 30th, 2009 | 2:57 pm

      Hey, anyone know if John Henry has tweeted about Big Papi’s news yet? ;-)

    10. Tcarda4
      July 30th, 2009 | 3:23 pm

      red sox fans are so predictable.

    11. kia
      July 30th, 2009 | 8:08 pm

      I want to ask a question. One of the reporters asked Posada if he expects his name to be on the list he said that he doesnt know. If a person is clean why would they say that?

    12. July 30th, 2009 | 8:16 pm

      kia wrote:

      I want to ask a question. One of the reporters asked Posada if he expects his name to be on the list he said that he doesnt know. If a person is clean why would they say that?

      Maybe Posada once had one of Big Papi’s homemade milkshakes at a party one day and now he’s afraid that Ortiz slipped him a PED roofie?

    13. ken
      July 30th, 2009 | 8:18 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, anyone know if John Henry has tweeted about Big Papi’s news yet?

      LOL!

    14. kia
      July 30th, 2009 | 8:19 pm

      LOL!You are one funny man!

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