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The Red Sox are still steamed that a PED guy played against them in the playoffs last year

Apr 11, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

David Ross Getty Getty Images

And not just that: they’re not particularly happy that Nelson Cruz played against them just last week.

This comes from Ken Rosenthal’s story about how several Red Sox players, led by Jonny Gomes, it seems, were at the forefront of the movement to get the changes made to the Joint Drug Agreement we first heard about a couple of weeks ago. Specifically, the stiffer penalties for first and second time offenders and the ban on a player who tests positive for drugs appearing in the playoffs with his team that year, even if his suspension has been served.

Based on the quotes, though, it seems like anything short of lifetime bans for first offenses won’t satisfy these guys. Their take on Jhonny Peralta coming off his suspension to play against Boston in the ALCS last year:

How much conversation was there among the Red Sox?

“A lot,” Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes said.

What was the tone of those conversations?

“Not positive . . .”

“Every time he got a hit, you were just mad,” Ross said. “It wasn’t like something we dwelled upon. But there were remarks made here and there. It’s only natural to not like a guy you feel like is cheating, is on a different level than you are, whether he still is or not.”

And they have an issue with Nelson Cruz too:

“It still makes guys mad,” Ross said. “Nelson Cruz beat us with a home run on Opening Day (this year). You just have that sense of getting beat by a cheater. It hurts a little more than normally when you would just give a guy credit for doing something good. That’s on them, too. That’s something they’ll carry the rest of their playing career, and probably the rest of their lives.”

If it’s more about them “feeling like” guys are cheating, I’m not sure what anyone is supposed to do about it. Even under the new penalties, Ross and Gomes are going to “feel like” someone is cheating after their time is served. And for a lot of people, time goes in both directions. Manny Ramirez didn’t test positive for drugs until after he left Boston, but a lot of people “feel like” he was probably cheating in 2004 and 2007. David Ortiz tested positive for drugs during a trial testing period in 2003, but a lot of people “feel like” he’s still tainted in some way. Just go look at any comment section regarding any post involving David Ortiz ever.

At least Ross is honest, though. When asked if he’d feel differently if one of his teammates was using PEDs he said:

“As human beings, we have a funny way of looking at it,” Ross said. “If it happens to our family, we’ll console ‘em. If it happens to an outsider’s family, we’ll condemn him.”

Applause for the players for making the changes to the Joint Drug Agreement that they wanted. But like anything in baseball — everything else in baseball, it seems — people’s ethics on almost every matter of consequence is at least partially dependent upon the jersey worn by the person being considered. Fans do this, the players do this and the media does it too.

I just wish that the acknowledgment of people being “human beings” and thus somewhat understandably possessing situational ethics and a sliding scale of morality was extended to the guys who use PEDs too. Not to excuse them or forgive them, but maybe to demonize them less and understand them a bit more rather than cast them as villains.

133 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. harpua13a - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Well, most real baseball fans are pretty steamed the Sox have won multiple world series with confirmed cheaters, at least one of whom is still on the sauce, and nobody seems to call them out for it the way other teams get called out for it.
    This dude had better look around his own clubhouse before he DARES to open his yap about somebody on another team.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Didn’t read the article huh Harpua?
      Let me help. Following is a quote from Ross.

      “As human beings, we have a funny way of looking at it,” Ross said. “If it happens to our family, we’ll console ‘em. If it happens to an outsider’s family, we’ll condemn him.”

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        Perhaps he was referring to Gomes, who is far less reasoned than his teammate.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Good point CC. And in fairness…Gomes is far less reasoned then anyone.

      • ischoen - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        In other words, they’re hypocrites.

    • raysfan1 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      “at least one of whom is still on the sauce”

      Who is that, and what is your proof?

      • jfelano - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Ortiz, get a clue.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        I knew the other commenter meant Ortiz, thanks. If somebody is going to lay such an accusation, however, they should have the gumption to name names and offer some sort of evidence.

        I don’t root for Ortiz or his team, which should be obvious from my handle. Thus, if “harpua” has any evidence that is using PEDs now, since he says Ortiz is “still on the sauce,” I’d like to see it. Caveats: (1) none of us know exactly what the 2003 positive was for, only that he popped positive for something–and we shouldn’t even know that since it was supposed to be confidential that year. (2) “Look at how good his stats are” is whining and not evidence, so don’t use that one.

        I’ve posted many times that I have a line in the sand starting with 2004. That is the year PED use became truly against the rules complete with sanctions for breaking the rule. I pretty much give a pass to players who used them previously although I wish they hadn’t. However, those who have used since 2004 get no sympathy with me. If it came to light that Ortiz used PEDs anytime in the past 10 seasons, then he’d deserve the backlash he’d get. Laying such an accusation, though, had best come with proof, or the accuser is just a whiny troll.

      • goondal - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        raysfan…I agree 100% with you on the “line in the sand” at ’04. This has been my stance since day one and to me is the most logical, however it is very rare that I come across someone that agrees.

    • ravenunitas - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Amen brother

    • walkoffhr - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      If baseball was serious about catching guys like big ploppy they would move to an Olympic style drug test where they keep the sample on file to test against drugs as they become known. It’s stupid to believe that testing is working when it takes so many factors going right all at once to catch someone

    • sfgiantsmaysfan - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      I think it is ridiculous that Pete Rose is banned for life while all juicers can still play and make their millions.

      • hiflew - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:24 PM

        Betting on games involving your team is a far worse offense than taking drugs. It is the #1 rule in baseball, and it is simple not to break it. Don’t bet on the game.

        It is equally ridiculous to think that a shot or a pill makes these guys that much better. Try looking at the names in the Mitchell Report. Most of them barely made the majors. They didn’t hit 70 homers in a season or strikeout 300+ guys.

  2. Carl Hancock - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    I can’t wait until Gomes is eventually no longer with the Red Sox so he can fade back into obscurity where he belongs. He’s never before received so much press until his antics with the Red Sox. I can’t wait until Gomes, and Napoli for that matter, and their stupid gimmicks are gone.

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Gimmicks or not, they were key pieces of the championship team last year.

      You can’t deny that.

    • thomas844 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      What are Napoli’s “gimmicks” exactly? His beard?

      • Carl Hancock - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Napoli annoys me with his constant egging on of Gomes. He’s constantly promoting Gomes antics in Twitter, etc. He was probably right there telling Gomes “Yea man I’ll wear that American flag suit to the White House!” To get Gomes to do it and then of course doesn’t. He tweets about Gomes all the time posting pics of things Gomes does. It reminds me of a college kid getting his college buddy to do something stupid while he declines to do so himself but instead sits back and laughs and enjoys the entertainment. And yea, the beard thing was annoying simply because it was a gimmick and they played it up as such. I also didn’t like them co-opting the Boston Strong slogan for team merchandise, etc. considering it stemmed from a terrorist attack that impacted more than just Boston. People from all over the world attend the Boston Marathon. I supported the Idea of Boston Strong but didn’t like that the team sold merchandise and co-opted that slogan for their use.

      • thomas844 - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Thank you for that answer, Carl. I wasn’t trying to defend Napoli with my earlier statement, I was honestly just asking a question. And you answered that very well for me so thank you lol.

    • danger5838 - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Hard to fade away when those championship rings shine so bright

  3. aceshigh11 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    As a Red Sox fan…they REALLY shouldn’t have gone there.

    Highly ill-advised.

  4. timpaz - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Wonder what they will say when Big Papi finally gets caught

    • danger5838 - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      as soon as someone has any proof

      • golfnowrocks - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        You mean like the simple fact that he FAILED a test, unlike Cruz or Peralta?? Only difference was the timing.

  5. metitometin - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Big Papi hasn’t done jack compared to the real cheaters out there like Braun, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and Peralta. I can understand people hating the Sox but stick to the facts. There’s absolutely no evidence Big Papi has used illegal drugs in years while Peralta was probably still feeling the afteraffects of them in the playoffs.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      There was no evidence against Peralta and Nelson Cruz, until there was. Cruz has also more or less denied it, saying that he only accepted the suspension because of advice from the union and his team, but that he regretted coping to the plea.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Of the guys you mentioned…who actually failed a drug test? Peralta…and Ortiz?
      So…you are 2 for 6.

      • rdanie29 - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Excuse me? Braun most assuredly failed a test, and got off on a technicality. But the actual test was positive. And McGwire and Bonds, while not failing a test, admitted that they juiced. I believe that is 5 out of 6.

      • rdanie29 - Apr 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        And by the way, Sosa also was accused of testing positive in that 2003 report. 6 for 6.

      • goondal - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        When did Bonds admit he juiced? I was under the impression he always denied it.

  6. irishinyourface - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Papi is clean, always has been

    • trueholygoat - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Ortiz failed a PED test in 2003. Now you know, so you can stop embarrassing yourself in public.

      The Red Sox should probably just STFU, enjoy their titles and stop embarrassing THEMSELVES in public.

  7. shadowchronicler - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Everyone who’s saying “Oh this guy never tested positive.” is wrong except for Sammy Sosa, he’s the only one who never tested positive. The guys who didn’t test positive Mark McGuire and A-Rod admitted they used PEDs. Barry Bonds was exposed by the guys supplying him. Ryan Braun tested positive, but won the appeal via technicality. Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz and Braun again, went to the Biogenesis clinic…for PEDs. Manny Ramirez kept getting caught after he left the Red Sox. So if we’re claiming the Red Sox are the PED team, the facts show they aren’t. Look at the Yankees, Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, A-Rod, Chuck Knobloch & Gary Sheffield. That’s more than Manny Ramirez and possibly David Ortiz.

    • Spinner60 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      “Everyone who’s saying ‘Oh this guy never tested positive’, is wrong…”
      Maybe “naive” would be better word than “wrong”.
      I used to say the same thing about Lance Armstrong; tests never came back positive but one questionable and then he was retested and “clean”. There are doctors who make a career of helping professional/elite athletes get away with “cheating”.
      How many times could Babe Ruth have used a corked bat? Or popped pills to keep awake after a particular hard night on the town? No proof, but can anyone actually be certain he NEVER did?

  8. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    First offense should be a 1 year ban. Second offense should be a lifetime ban. Plain and simple.

    • dtownbeatdown - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      A-roid is one what his 3rd offense? Still denying it. I do not appreciate cheaters, but we all know they are in the game. As a Tigers fan I was not happy with Peralta being able to play in the playoffs. It was like hey here is a 2 month vacation and when you get back we will reward you with being able to play in the playoffs. Then they end up releasing the guy this year. At that point might as well have kept him, as much as I would of loved to win the whole show, it would of felt tainted with Peralta on the team.

  9. jdillydawg - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Ross’ comment is awesome. “Console family, condemn outsiders.”

    That has got to be one of the most honest and truthful statements I’ve read. I was all set to go off on him for sounding like a religious zealot or something, but the truth is more like he’s super competitive, loyal, and protective.

    Like all brothers should be.

    • ischoen - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Purely a hypocritical statement on his part. Highly unprofessional.

      • jdillydawg - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        We are all hypocrites. Some are just more honest about it than others.

  10. kylecleric - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    MLB has yet to tell Ortiz what he tested positive for in that 2003 drug test.

    • zackd2 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      How would we know? It’s confidential so MLB wouldn’t announce it. The Boston media fanboys never question Ortiz since he promised to get the real facts and explain.

      • zackd2 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Wouldn’t announce it to the public*

  11. anxovies - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Gomes and the Sox are a bunch of self-righteous twits. I can just see them sitting around having their little pity party. Moaning about PED users when they have at least one in their clubhouse, probably more.

  12. miguelcairo - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Jonny Gomes is a bum.

  13. jfelano - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Two words…..David Ortiz.

  14. jlilly67 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Really? Red Sox have the nerve to whine about that when they harbor an offender. Pot and kettle here….

  15. mikeborg5 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    “Every time DAVID ORTIZ got a hit, you were just mad. “It wasn’t like something we dwelled upon. But there were remarks made here and there. It’s only natural to not like a guy you feel like is cheating, is on a different level than you are, whether he still is or not.”

  16. AZ Dem - Apr 12, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    This is nothing more than gamesmanship. Every ball player knows the score. Cruz suffered a really nasty infection, and he lost a lot of weight as a result. He was in no physical condition to play. He could have missed, potentially, the entire season trying to regain weight and strength. Or he could use HGH for 2-3 weeks to speed up the recovery process.

    I’m a Sox fan, but I’ve got no problem with Cruz. I would have done the same thing. I honestly believe that players should have the right to use HGH when they are recovering from illness or injury. What’s the big deal?

    If there were a FDA approved and affordable HGH type of stimulant, I would use it. I’m renovating my house for sale. By myself. It would be going much more quickly if I had the energy and stamina that I had 20 years ago. So, if I were to “juice,” would that make me a “cheater?”

  17. William Miller - Apr 12, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    So the team that won a World Series with PED user Manny Ramirez is now steamed that they had to play against a PED user in the playoffs? Sorry, Red Sox fans and players, but you don’t exactly have a lot of credibility on this issue. Forget the outrage and just play baseball.

  18. eagle1251 - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Can we call them the Boston Whiners.

  19. poz2685 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Reading up on the history of PEDs in the MLB, I feel like I’m lived in an alternate universe than what I’m reading about. I remember (in 1998) when that ginger Mark McGwire was breaking the single season home run record. It was on OTA broadcast television…I couldn’t tell you what station but I distinctly remember the broadcasters talking about McGwire’s usage and endorsing raves of Andro (Androstenedione). I can’t understand how, 1.) people were so open about talking about it and 2.) Its like the history books have been written and he just admitted steroid use in 2012….
    I knew he was on roids when I was 13. Androstenedione is infact an anabolic steroid. The steroid/PED wasn’t enforced back then so if you were given the same options to make millions of dollars I think a lot of people would take that road too. REALIZE that there are still dinosaurs from this era like Alex Rodriguez (1993) in the league when these acts were given the blind eye and accepted as much as pitchers nowadays with their pine tar.
    Past that, steroids are not a mile from being caught anymore. There are not undetectible steroids anymore. The latest and greatest they are able to test for 0 to 2 years later. Which means cheating players either swapping drugs or using their steroids in certain windows where they aren’t tested. I havent kept up on MLB drug testing policy but (I don’t have the actual numbers…) you may only test positive for a drug weeks to a few months after usage. After that its out of your system but the effects it has on your body, the enhancement, last for much longer. Thats why MLB (if they really do care) need more random drug tests by UNBIASED OFFICIALS especially during the offseason and I’m not sure if its possible but testing for Post Cycle Therapy hormones to see who has elevated levels. Obviously finding these elevated levels isn’t a violation as they’re naturally occurring but they should keep a sharper eye on players with elevated levels.

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      people don’t care if these guys use drugs. Most will buy the ticket anyway….I would really like to see other players push this issue. Its their jobs if others are cheating. If I played in the league and was average but couldn’t quite hit it the extra 20 feet to get it out of the yard on a consistent basis…I would be POed at these douches.

  20. mpzz - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    The proof that Ortiz is a user is that he was washed up years ago and suddenly was great again.

  21. jollyjoker2 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    its up to the guys to cheat and the league to catch them. there is a lot of money riding on a few years of juicing and no one is going to take it way once you have it …especially if you had zero chance of making it without it.

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