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July 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm ET
15 Comments
Roid Sox: The moment I feared

A Yankees fan friend broke the news to me on Facebook; according to the New York Times,

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results…

Now, players with Boston’s championship teams of 2004 and 2007 have also been linked to doping.

I’m not going to pretend otherwise: I believe this report. Deep down, I knew this day would probably come. Too many stars on too many teams were taken down with the Red Sox managing to dodge most of the bullets. Then when Manny tested positive, I knew it was probably when not if. But I didn’t want to believe it. I still don’t.

Ortiz? On steroids? CRAP.

I can only offer one weak defense, and I imagine it will ring fairly hollow since I’m obviously motivated by blind love for Ortiz and the Red Sox. But to put this in some sort of perspective, the 2004 Red Sox have featured two players now linked to PEDs, but they also beat a Yankees team featuring A-Rod, Giambi, Sheffiield, and Kevin Brown. Not an excuse, but one day we may learn the full truth, and we should just accept that the truth is probably that everybody was doing it. Sure, not 100%, but way more than we know.

Let there be no doubt, I’m tremendously disappointed in David Ortiz, and not defending him. But at the same time, my steroid outrage has dissipated more with each new revelation. The only way for us to begin to come to terms with steroid era is to release and examine the full list. How many more leaks singling out the A-Rods and Ortizes will it take before we’re allowed to see a real picture of the steroid landscape in baseball? Only then will we be able to decide what it actually means for someone to have juiced. Now, we’re judging without having all the facts.

But as for 2004, nothing can taint that for me. Baseball as a whole was tainted long before, and I still find a way to love it. More than anything, this is just  just another reminder that professional baseball players are gifted athletes, not gods. Even David Ortiz.

UPDATE: Torii Hunter in the ESPN.com article reminds me that my last paragraph there is, well, delusional: “I still love him but at the same time it’s tough to hear that. I know it’s going to be tough on him and tough on his family once this gets out. It’s Big Papi, man, it’s the Big Dog of Boston and he helped win two World Series with those guys, with the clutch hits. And now all those things are going to be tainted.”

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15 Responses to “Roid Sox: The moment I feared”
  1. Adam C says:

    I hate Boston, and I’ve waited for this day as well, and I say…fuck it. MLB exists for our enjoyment. Mark McGwire was hitting the ball into the stratosphere for my enjoyment. Barry Bonds was scary to watch and I enjoyed every minute of it. In terms of competition, yes, it sucks especially if your team was on the losing side due to perceived unfairness. I am a hardcore baseball fan, but in the end it’s just a game. I’ve decided I’d rather enjoy it for it’s entertainment value and not worry about the rest. I love baseball and…Boston still sucks.

  2. Dirty Water says:

    Tobin, it is inconsistent blogging when you fail to mention that Ortiz is black, like you have with every other of your posts going back months. Ortiz is black and a cheater; what, that doesn’t work within your agenda?

    • Franklins Tower says:

      Wait a minute. According to your claim back on Feb 12 2009, answering Chris’s question of ” mlb should release the rest of the 103 names that are in that 2003 document” by saying he should go to the 1996 Yankee roster. Sorry, but I don’t see Manny and Ortiz’s name there. Do you?? Or do you still think that only Yankees do steroids and ALL red sox players are clean?? Hey, Dirty, call for you, reality check on line one. And they are laughing. Loud. If you call into question any Yankee WS wins from ’96 to ’00, then according to you logic, the 1918 curse still stands. You logic, not mine.

      http://www.bugsandcranks.com/t.....ment-29071
      Chris, if you really need the names start here: http://www.baseball-reference……1996.shtml and go forward 12 years. I think you will find the majority of abusing players therein.

      You’re welcome.

      http://www.bugsandcranks.com/t.....ment-29020
      Fuck Barry Bonds. This report in no way vindicates what he did.

      As far as the report itself: I don’t understand why so many consider it a big deal. I always thought Afraud used, but then again, I also thought the majority of ballplayers did. Those 2003 test results tell a different story though; less than 10% of players tested, tested positive. And, hell, if one were to ignore the Yankee rosters since 1996, the percentage of players using would probably be under 5%. That makes guys like Barry, Roger, Giambi, McGwire and Afraud outliers; NOT the majority. That’s good news, to me.

  3. dude abides says:

    Hey, 2004 is no more tainted than any other WS wins. I’m getting tires of non Yankee fans trying to explain how 98-00 was supposedly tainted. I don’t buy it.I believe PEDs were widely used, so no one had an advantage over anyone else. Sox earned their 04 win as fairly as anyone else did. Just my 2 cts

  4. dude abides says:

    Also, as a Yankee fan, I would drop the Kevin Brown part. If it wasn’t for him, we might have actually won! Just ask Johnny “grand slam” Damon! Also, Giambi didn’t play in the ’04 ALCS. Still, Sox won it fairly in my eyes.

    Lastly, where’s the outrage about Ortiz’s name being leaked, as this was supposed to be confidential, as was Arod? Or has confidentiality gone by the wayside? So much for the deal.

  5. Jeff says:

    Is there anybody other than Red Sox fans that actually believe their ’04 team won a World Championship? The Yankees won the A.L. East that year; the Sox came in second! The Sox were non-division winning second-chance champions, just like the Miami Marlins (2x) and others during the Bud Selig era.

    I’ll give Boston credit for winning a division championship and a ligit W.S. trophy a few years later, but the core of those teams were cheaters. What a shocker!

    Actually not.

  6. Franklin's Tower says:

    Back in Feb when Chalk was patting himself on the back (again) predicting Arod’s use of PEDs, the following comments were made, including the quote “less than 10% of players tested, tested positive. And, hell, if one were to ignore the Yankee rosters since 1996, the percentage of players using would probably be under 5%” and also “you will find the majority of abusing players therein [link to 1996 Yankees]. Well, hell, I guess that logic makes Manny and Ortiz a member of the Yankees now, doesn’t it??? And Loui Merlnoi too, no??

    http://www.bugsandcranks.com/t.....ment-29020
    Fuck Barry Bonds. This report in no way vindicates what he did.

    As far as the report itself: I don’t understand why so many consider it a big deal. I always thought Afraud used, but then again, I also thought the majority of ballplayers did. Those 2003 test results tell a different story though; less than 10% of players tested, tested positive. And, hell, if one were to ignore the Yankee rosters since 1996, the percentage of players using would probably be under 5%. That makes guys like Barry, Roger, Giambi, McGwire and Afraud outliers; NOT the majority. That’s good news, to me

    http://www.bugsandcranks.com/t.....ment-29071
    February 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    Chris, if you really need the names start here: http://www.baseball-reference……1996.shtml and go forward 12 years. I think you will find the majority of abusing players therein.

    You’re welcome.

  7. Cam Martin says:

    “Is there anybody other than Red Sox fans that actually believe their ‘04 team won a World Championship?”

    Um, yeah: everyone except bitter Yankee fans like you, Jeff.

    Dave Roberts takes his lead….haha

  8. GreggB says:

    Listen, we all have to grow up and face what is clearly the case. Every indication is that the MAJORITY of major leaguers used PEDs, and probably most still do. Canseco, jerk that he is, has been a consistently accurate reporter on this subject, and he estimated as high as 80%.

    These guys are extraordinarily competitive. Millions of dollars are at stake. They saw everyone else doing it. Of course they did it. Wouldn’t you? It wouldn’t feel like cheating, any more than it felt like I was breaking the law back in 1970 when I smoked dope in the dorm. Everyone was doing it. That is how human beings think, and we are all being unrealistic if we believe otherwise and feel crushed with news like this. We should all assume that most of them did it, and stop acting outraged.

    • In addition, keep in mind for non-US players, the trade off between taking steroids for fame and fortune in the US vs. a traditional job in the home market is much greater than it is for US players.

      For example, the poverty rate in the Dominican Republic is about 25%, unemployment is about 16%, inflation is 8%, and GDP per capita is $8.1K vs $47.0K in the US. Tough decisions for a young man to ponder.

      • Dirty Water says:

        That’s an excuse for those trying to make it. I find no excuse for those already in the show.

        Ortiz had it right; any ML caught doing it today should be suspended for a year. Papi, the voice of reason.

  9. Jeff says:

    Does this mean that Yanks fans are done hearing from the holier than thou douchefans about how the last 4 Yanks titles are tainted?

    Stop trying to rationalize this because you are blinded by your love for the Big Sloppy. He is a cheater just like the rest of them.

  10. Jeff says:

    Big shocker here: Ortiz is now saying that he was taking a legal dietary supplement instead of admitting he’s a cheater.

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