Just when the most hectic time of year rolls around — the trade deadline — the Red Sox get hit with earth-shattering news. According to reports, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are on the list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, causing some to speculate that Boston’s pair of World Series championships are now of the tainted variety.
If the accusations against Big Papi are accurate, what does that actually mean?
Yes, it may suggest Ortiz had a little extra pop at the plate, but it doesn’t take away from his unbelievable ability to hit when it counts — in the clutch.
The general misconception about steroid users is that they inject themselves with a magical syringe, and the ball flies out of the yard. Nothing could be further from the truth. The preparation time of a PED user is extremely methodical. A player under the influence of a banned substance may work out harder and longer than a player who is doing it the natural way. Hand-eye coordination still plays a huge factor in being a productive major leaguer — steroids or not.
David Ortiz, and all the other players who are having the finger pointed at them, may be guilty of breaking the rules, but they still had to go out there and produce on a daily basis. It is troubling to hear many fans of the game refer to their numbers as “fake.”
Didn’t Ortiz and the others on the list put the ball in play?
Didn’t they put their best effort on display doing anything for their team to win a championship?
Basically, this is an example of a player doing whatever it takes to win for his club.
And here’s my biggest question: Wasn’t that list supposed to be destroyed after Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts' book on A-Rod exposed the slugger for being on the exact same rundown of users?
Either way, all of this steroid speculation is like a modern-day witch hunt.
When will the names stop trickling out?
Shouldn’t all of the names be made public knowledge so the great game of baseball can move forward in a productive and fan-friendly fashion?
It’s very tough to see this happen to a player of Papi’s caliber, but he’s been through ups and downs before, and every time, he’s come out on top. I find it hard to believe that this episode will be any different.
Keep your head up, Papi. Things will turn around very soon.