It was only a matter of time before the question arose. You know, THE question that everyone in baseball asks when a player is doing well. No, not “what substance is that on his arm?” (Sorry, Clay). The other one.
“Is he on the juice?”
At 37 years old and batting .414 with a 27-game hitting streak, David Ortiz is facing the question. Again.
The Boston media shark that is Dan Shaughnessy badgered Ortiz (Note: paid subscription may be needed to view article) prior to Tuesday night’s loss. He was looking for a slip. Catch him in a lie. Of course, Ortiz denied it and pointed to the facts.
He claims to have been tested five times (four urine tests, one blood test) this season. From 2009-2011, no one rushed to judgment as Ortiz seemed to be on a steady downhill slope to retirement following a wrist injury. In the midst of his best season in several years last year, he found himself on the DL again, this time with a busted Achilles’ heel.
So why now, Shaughnessy? Is it that your preseason prediction makes you look foolish so there must be some outside force causing the Red Sox (21-12, first place AL East) to be playing so well? Are you just trying to sell papers (or online subscriptions)? Did the incredible work the Globe did during the Boston Marathon bombings make yours look silly, so now you have to go all investigative?
Whatever the motive, just stop, Shaughnessy. Ortiz and this Red Sox team is doing nothing wrong, other than losing games they shouldn’t. Big Papi is perhaps the most adored man in a Red Sox uniform and has been for the last decade. Even the FCC let Papi curse on live TV and not pay a price. Is that what you’re upset about, that he isn’t held to the same standards as you? Because he’s larger than life (and you)?
I, for one, don’t believe Ortiz has ever been on steroids or PEDs. His name was included in the Mitchell Report in 2003 for having allegedly shown up on a drug test report for testing positive. But I still don’t believe that, considering it was practically swept under the rug by MLB. As harsh as MLB has been on users, a valid report would have landed those on it on some sort of list, thus meaning Ortiz would be watched under a microscope. And there has been nothing since 2003. That tells me he’s clean. Or at least very good at hiding it.
Ortiz: keep on keepin’ on, man. Red Sox Nation has your back, even if those hammerheads in the mainstream media don’t. WE have all seen you impress us with 10 years of Hall of Fame worthy ridiculousness on the field. To US, you’re one of baseball’s best. To THEM, something must be wrong.
And to them, I say, “This is our (expletive) team!” Deal with it.
Like what you read? See more from Ben here.
As always, give me a shout on Twitter: @thebenwhitehead