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A-Rod’s lawyer gives a shoutout to David Ortiz’s PED issues

Jan 15, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT

A-Rod’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, went on ESPN radio yesterday and reminded people that his client is not the first one to be linked to PEDs:

Of course this is a reference to David Ortiz.

A lot of people are trying to make this comment out as uber-controversial or a “shots fired” moment or something, but that seems silly to me. It’s been nearly five years since Ortiz was reported by the New York Times to have tested positive for PEDs during the 2003 survey testing. He claimed surprise and innocence at the time and made noises about wanting to get down to the bottom of it all, but we never really did get down to the bottom of it.

I have no idea what caused David Ortiz to test positive in 2003, but (a) the union has a list of all of the people who tested positive on that survey testing and if he were wrongfully reported to be on it, they would have corrected it years ago; and (b) regardless, no excuses or explanations like the one Ortiz gave has ever been accepted at face value by the sporting press or most fans. So for anyone to claim now that accusing Ortiz of PED use is somehow controversial or out of bounds is ridiculous. It’s about wanting to slam A-Rod and Tacopina, not about actually being offended at such an allegedly provocative comment.

And, of course, there is a lot of truth to what Tacopina was getting at. While his client is and perhaps always will be a pariah, a lot of guys with PED use in their past are not, and it’s rarely if ever about drugs they took as opposed to whether they were well-liked before or whether they had the nerve to try to defend themselves in a strenuous way.

People like David Ortiz and Andy Pettitte. People hate A-Rod and Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I totally understand why and don’t begrudge those differences of opinion at all. But let’s not pretend that Tacopina said something shocking yesterday.

  1. jkaradell - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    If Calcaterra knew what he was talking about he’d know that Ortiz TRIED to get to the bottom of why he was on the 2003 list but COULDN’T because the results were seized by the federal government and by now have most likely been destroyed. (Which they were supposed to be in 2003). The union itself did not have access to any of the testing results including what they tested positive for. Ortiz and everybody else whose name was released that was on the 2003 list (including a rod) had their union federal rights violated by law breaking NY Times writer Michael Schmidt and his sleazy lawyer informants. Since 2003, others on the list like arod, many and palmeiro have gotten in trouble over other incidents. (Biogenesis, failing tests etc). Ortiz has not.

    • mikhelb - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:49 AM

      Per the agreemen they had, David Ortíz (and every player who tested positive) were notified, so was the MLBPA… that’s the reason why David Ortíz said he knew about that and wanted to get down to what caused his positive (he didn’t want to say what the substance was though he knew).

      He later joked about his “special milkshakes” in the DR.

      One thing to keep in mind: has has been training for years with Ángel Presinal in the DR, a guy banned by MLB because of his role with PEDs (and quite a few of players trained by him have tested positive as of lately)… he is quite well known by ARod’s cousin.

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