You want to vote David Ortiz into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot? Fine. Vote David Ortiz into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. It’s extremely difficult to tell the story of baseball for the past 20 years without mentioning Ortiz’s name, as much as I might want to.
You want to differentiate Ortiz’s case from Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, considering Rodriguez’s positive tests piled up over the years and resulted in suspensions and nasty lawsuits, while Ortiz only provided us with the singular blemish? Fine. Sure. Go for it. Can’t argue with knocking A-Rod.
But if you’re going to make that decision, please don’t feed us the same level of nonsense Phil Rogers, formerly of MLB.com, just did.
At least put logic and reason on the spoon before you shove it in our mouths, or just admit you like Ortiz and not the other guys.
Valid arguments for Ortiz? You don’t believe in the 2003 survey testing as ironclad. You don’t believe in excluding players for one positive PED test (something, by the way, Barry Bonds never received in a round of MLB testing). You’re willing to overlook indiscretions in favor of placing the very best players in the Hall — and Ortiz smacked 541 homers with a 141 career OPS+. I get it. Again, I’d vote for Papi for all of these reasons; he’s one of the game’s upper echelon greats, and I’d also vote for Bonds, Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez.
But please, if you’re going to vote for Ortiz, don’t say it’s because he did the best job defending himself against the accusations of anyone listed above. Perhaps he was “best” only in comparison to Rodriguez, who fell flat on his face and reportedly peed on somebody’s carpet once. But Ortiz’s defense was incomplete, incoherent and cloying.
One writer’s excuse for voting for David Ortiz for the Baseball Hall of Fame is so, so flimsy.
Say what you will about Ortiz and his potentially faulty positive, but he objectively a very poor job defending himself, basically tossing out the OJ defense claiming he was still out here looking for the real steroid (he never found it, then stopped looking immediately).
We also can’t forget Ortiz’s rich commentary on “Yankee Bias,” ignoring the fact that George Mitchell of Mitchell Report fame was the director of the Boston Red Sox. The bias is coming from inside the Green Monster.
Here’s what Ortiz had to say, word for word, in a 2017 interview about this supposed New York-based tension that caused his name to leak:
"“What was the reason for them to come out with something like that? The only thing that I can think of, to be honest with you, a lot of big guys from the Yankees were being caught. And no one from Boston … This was just something that leaked out of New York and they had zero explanation about it … Everybody who got caught, all of them were told what they bought, what they used, everything. But David Ortiz. Nobody came to me after, nobody came to me before. Nobody came to me ever, to tell me that I tested positive for any kind of steroids.”"
Sure. Yeah. That’s it. It’s Cancel Culture.
As the writer of this particular CBS Sports article, Mike Axisa, continued:
"Back in 2009, Ortiz said he would look into his failed test to determine what happened, but he’s yet to provide a follow-up."
We’re still waiting for that update, but Phil Rogers absolutely isn’t. He’s heard enough. Ortiz is innocent because he says he is, which is far and away the best defense anyone’s come up with yet.