Back in May I stated in a blog that if David Ortiz, one of my favorite ball players, tested positive for steroids...I would be done with America's pastime. Sure it was an empty threat, but it looks like that time may have come.
The New York Times dropped a bombshell on us on Thursday – apparently Manny Ramirez (duh) and David Ortiz are two of the players that tested positive in the MLB's anonymous 2003 drug tests (which the league used to decide if they should start testing).
If they are anonymous tests, how does the New Tork Times know? Lawyers with knowledge of the results, (of course) seeking their own anonymity, told them so.
As The Times point out, some of baseball's most cherished storylines have been forever tainted by steroids and performance-enhancing drugs, but is there a bigger story in the last decade than the one involving Man-Ram and Big Papi?
In 2004 (a year after the alleged positive tests), Ramirez and Ortiz were instrumental in the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series in 86 years, breaking the "Curse of the Bambino." That Red Sox team was a force to be reckoned with, spoiling the city of Boston with another title in 2007.
Earlier this season, Ramirez tarnished the credibility of those wins with a different, more recent, positive drug test that landed him a 50-game suspension.
For Bo-Sox fans that were hoping this was a new thing he was trying, it seems that isn't the case.
As for Ortiz, he says he's surprised to learn that he tested positive for a banned substance and vows to find out what that substance was and share that information with the world.
To be honest, I believe him.
"You know me -- I will not hide and I will not make excuses," the Red Sox slugger said.
According to the NY Times baseball blog, the 2003 test results were obviously supposed to remain anonymous and the list was supposed to be destroyed afterwards, but it wasn’t. Federal agents then seized the roughly 100 names.
Doesn’t that seem a bit sleazy on the part of whoever was responsible for the anonymity side of the agreement?
The other thing is, according to MLB.com, only five-to-seven percent of the 2003 tests came back positive. Doesn’t it seem a little bit unlikely that if you tested everyone, you would only catch the stars of the game?
I just find it hard to believe that the MLB could catch big name players like A-Rod, Man-Ram, Ortiz and Sammy Sosa and the other 93-95% of the league was clean.
If players of that stature were using performance-enhancers, it’s almost a guarantee that a good chunk of the rest of the league was also using.
You know what the sad part in all of this is?
Pro baseball players can no longer have a bad year without some kind of allegations of previous steroid use coming up. A player can no longer have a couple of outstanding years and then a bad one without people saying “he must be off the juice!”
It’s already happening with Big Papi…let’s hope he’s got a darn good excuse for that positive test!