We all knew.
Now we know.
For those of you not on planet Earth yesterday, David Ortiz was named as one of the 104 major leaguers who tested positive in Major League Baseball’s 2003 “anonymous” steroid investigation. Yipee ki yay, motherf*&%er.
As a Yankees fan, I’m ecstatic. As a baseball fan, I’m ecstatic. That’s right, I said it. I know I’m supposed to say Thursday was another sad day for baseball, but I’m not gonna do it. Nah gah dah, as Bush Sr. used to say. I say, the more light we can shed on the steroid scandal, the better. A thousand points of light perhaps?
Joe Girardi likened the leisurely release of names to “ripping a Band-Aid off slowly”, and he’s right. As I said before, it would be best to get everything out in the open in an attempt to get past the Steroid Era ™, but that’s not going to happen. The test was supposed to be anonymous and the players agreed to be tested as long as the results would never become public. As much as I would love to know all 104 names, especially the Hall of Famer Jose Canseco insists is on the list, it isn’t fair to the players. Even if they cheated.
That’s not the point. The point is that David Ortiz cheated! Sweet vindication.
It’s not that I wish this on David Ortiz. I actually like the man. His This is SportsCenter spot was hilarious, he seems like a big, gregarious lug, and he was the most clutch hitter this side of Derek Jeter from 2003-2007. Unfortunately he racked up all those clutch hits while wearing a Boston uniform. He ruined the Yankees 2004 season and along with Manny (two time steroid user, that we know of), Ortiz led the Sox to two (two!) World Series victories. He helped usher in the Boston Decade of Dominance. I should loathe the man.
But I don’t. I like him. I just hate the team he plays for and the fans that root for him, which is why I love the fact that we finally, unequivocally know David Ortiz took steroids. Boston lovers can no longer self righteously point to A-Rod and all the Yankees on the Mitchell Report (now revealed as a true farce since part Red Sox owner George Mitchell conveniently left off any Boston players) and cry foul.
We all know Boston fans are insufferable. We let them have their day in the sun and gave them some leeway because they hadn’t won anything in 86 years. It’s been five years and now they have two world champions. I’m not taking any more crap from Beantown fans, especially about roids and tainted championships.
To all those Boston fans that denied Ortiz ever used before this: have you seen his numbers? Ever? Before Ortiz came to Boston he never hit over.282, never hit more than 20 home runs, never cracked .840 OPS. From 2003-2007? Papi averaged .302, 1.014 OPS, and 41 home runs. This year Ortiz is sporting a .228 batting average and is on pace for 23 dingers.
So am I glad that Ortiz tested positive? No. I’m glad that two major reasons the Red Sox have two World Series rings tested positive. Now Red Sox fans must admit they are in the same boat as everyone else. It’s crowded in here, but at least we’re all in this together.
And now, for your comedy pleasure, some selected David Ortiz quotes:
“I tell you, I don’t know too much about steroids, but I started listening about steroids when they started to bring that shit up, and I started realizing and getting to know a little bit about it. You’ve got to be careful. I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don’t do that any more because they don’t have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I’m off of buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican (Republic). But it can happen anytime, it can happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it.”
“They pick me [to be tested for steroids] every time. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a big guy, or what, but all I know is all they are going to find is a lot of rice and beans.”
“I did not become good overnight. It took years of hard work for me to become the hitter I am today. I worked every day to be better. And now you are going to say this about me? The minute you put my name with steroids, then I’m a target. That’s what we’re dealing with in baseball now. Any superstar connected to that word becomes a target. And for what?”
“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.