A few months ago, I wrote an article naming ten players I believe could be in the remaining 103 names affiliated with the A-Rod steroids controversy.
Much to the chagrin of Red Sox fans, one of the names listed was Red Sox DH David Ortiz.
The article was written February 10, and since then Ortiz has done nothing but confirm any suspicions that his better years are in the past.
In 44 games so far this year, Ortiz has compiled a .189AVG with 1HR and 18RBI.
Two weeks ago, I was prepping for an article titled “If it was anyone but David Ortiz they would have been benched already.”
Then he was benched.
One week after that I prepared an article titled, “If it was anyone but David Ortiz they would have been dropped in the lineup by now.”
Then he was dropped in the lineup.
While the Boston Red Sox nation tries to determine what is wrong with David Ortiz, no one considers the most pessimistic explanation: this might not be a slump— it might be the end.
Normally, I don’t target specific players in articles (however I did get butchered for a piece about Dwyane Wade last month). However, in the aftermath of Major League Baseball’s steroid era, I’m growing frustrated with the inability of any major media outlet to use the ‘s word’ when a player takes a turn for the worse.
There seem to be basic guidelines when a player is caught with a needle in their hand (these are borrowed from a previous article I wrote about the steroid debacle).
1 – Deny, Deny, Deny — No matter what the media, player, family, trainers, dealers, celebrities, and world leaders say— you didn’t do it. Until they come out with Phelps-esque damning evidence, fight it to the end.
2 – When you admit to steroid use, do so in the most minimal time frame possible — If you tested positive in April 2003, tell the media that you tried steroids only once in your life… it just happened to be in April 2003 (and of course you never tried it again).
Just one time I would like to see a player come out and say, “Yes, I did it. I took performance enhancing drugs because I wanted to be better than everyone else, and they worked. I didn’t only try it once and get unlucky, and I didn’t take something my trainer gave me without knowing what it was. I read the label, ingredients, and directions, then popped the needle in and played a whole lot better than I had before. If I hadn’t been caught I would have never come clean, but now that I have I may as well tell the truth.”
Is that too much to ask?
This article isn’t saying that only Ortiz should do this. In truth, I wish every player who used PEDs in their prime would admit it, but that’s just a pipe dream from an increasingly pessimistic baseball fan.
Instead, this article is to point out one of the many non-productive ex-steroid users who is still siphoning an A-List contract from his team.
Anyone can tell that the writing is on the wall. Consider the following:
- The stats. David Ortiz seems to have magically lost any hint of power he ever possessed. Compare his batting average, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, etc. and you will find a severe drop-off in the past few years. Yes, the same years that Major League Baseball began a strict crackdown on steroid use…
- Lou Merloni, who played with the Red Sox from 1998-2002, recently told the press how the Red Sox team doctor gave detailed explanations of how to use steroids at official team meetings. If you don’t believe me, read the story.
- David Ortiz’s former Bash Brother (no steroid reference intended) recently tested positive for a drug commonly used while cycling off of steroids. Translation: the only reason on God’s green earth he would be using this drug would be to cycle off of steroids.
Once again, this article isn’t meant to condemn only David Ortiz.
However, in a half-joking-half-serious manner, Ortiz has to know that the show is over.
It’s just time to come clean…