Epstein: ‘We Were All Blindsided by the Report’

Epstein: 'We Were All Blindsided by the Report' This week has been a big one for Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.

First there was Jim Rice. Then there was Daisuke Matsuzaka. Friday, there’s the trade deadline.

Right now, there is David Ortiz.

After Thursday’s 8-5 win over Oakland, Epstein spoke to the media about steroid allegations surrounding the prolific slugger.

“We support David,” Epstein said shortly after Ortiz made his own statement. “We’ve known him for a long time and we really respect him as a person and we care about him. He’s meant a lot to us personally and as an organization, and we always support him.”

Epstein indicated that he, along with the rest of Red Sox Nation, did not see the news coming and was surprised by it.

“We were all blindsided by the report,” he said. “We haven’t really had
time to process it. We just had time to talk to David about it after
the game and he told us how he wants to handle it, which I think is the
absolute right thing.”

The GM also indicated that the team is 100 percent behind its star as he gets to the bottom of the situation. He said he admires Ortiz’s courageous approach in the face of the startling news.

“We admire his approach to this, which is, he’s not going to run from it, he’s not going to hide from it,” Epstein said. “Now he needs to find out what he tested positive for, and now he needs some time to get some answers. Then, he’s going to stand up and answer any questions.

“I admire that courage.”

Epstein declined to comment on the leaked list of 104 players who reportedly tested positive for steroids in 2003; instead, he chose to comment solely on the situation as it pertains to Ortiz.

Granted, there is a lot going on with Epstein’s club right now — and he has a lot more to think about if he wants to make a trade before Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline — but he insists that he will not let this news interfere with his approach to the next 24 hours.

“I think this could be a distraction if we allow it to become a distraction,” he said. “David’s approach… will help it from becoming a distraction…. It’s easy to support him with the approach that he’s choosing to take.”

You can watch Epstein’s full post-game statement here:

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