Skip to content

David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing

Jul 9, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Getty Images

To review:

  • John Lackey got shelled by Nelson Cruz the other day;
  • Lackey makes some whiney comments after the game about how Nelson Cruz was suspended for Biogenesis stuff last year in an effort to discredit his performance;
  • Buck Showalter says that Lackey shouldn’t say such things given that every team has someone you could point a finger at regarding PEDs. Showalter mentions no names.
  • The Commentariat notes that, obviously, David Ortiz is one of those people on Lackey’s team at whom one could, if one desired, point a finger.

The latest: David Ortiz goes apepoop over people — specifically people at MLB Network — mentioning him by name in all of this. From WEEI:

“But then, when they are commenting about what Showalter said, they brought my name up,” he added. “Then one of the guys wanted to say that I got a free pass. And to be honest with you, in this country, nobody gets a free pass. He wants to make it sound like I got a free pass because nobody can point fingers at me directly. But the reason why I got that fake [expletive] free pass that he’s saying is because they pointed fingers at me with no proof. It’s easier to do it that way than having something that they can say, ‘Yes, you did this, you did that.’ My [expletive], I call straight up bull. Let me tell you. You don’t get no free pass here, especially a guy like me. I don’t get no free pass. That free pass B.S. that they want to talk about over there, they can shove it up their [expletive].

On the one hand, one has to roll ones eyes at this because, yes, Ortiz has gotten way, way lighter treatment in the arena of public opinion compared to just about every other player who has ever been associated with PEDs in any way, be it via evidence or innuendo. No one talks about his accomplishments or his team’s accomplishments as being “tainted,” hardly anyone, when discussing his legacy or his Hall of Fame chances, brings up his PED positive in the 2003 survey testing the way they do for Sammy Sosa or the way they did for A-Rod back when the 2003 survey testing was all that was known about his PED history. Ortiz clearly has received much softer treatment than others in this regard.

On the other hand, Ortiz’s treatment, in my view anyway, has been far closer to fair than it has been for anyone else and, if anything, the so-called “free pass” he’s gotten should be the rule, not the exception.

As Barry Patchesky notes over at Deadspin, Ortiz’s name was only made public in connection to that 2003 survey test because an overzealous law enforcement action brought them to light (the test results were supposed to be destroyed). Ortiz took the punishment his crime carried with it at the time (i.e. none) and he has never once tested positive for anything since nor has he been implicated in any of baseball’s various drug scandals. No, one cannot ignore the information that surfaced about him years and years ago, but the fact that we generally don’t dwell on Ortiz’s transgression is a good thing, not a bad thing, and is probably how everyone else who gets caught up in this stuff should be dealt with. Apply the applicable punishment, file it in with every other fact about the guy, but don’t let it be the entire story about the guy and his career.

Ortiz has made a habit lately of throwing public temper tantrums, and it’s a bad look for him even though — as is often the case — he is correct on the merits. So his going off like this is pretty lame. But Lackey bringing up Cruz’s past after Cruz took him downtown was pretty lame too. And people bringing up Ortiz’s treatment by the public, as if Ortiz should have to answer for it in some way, may be the lamest thing in all of this.

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ducksk - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Big fatty. Mouth

  2. twinfan24 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Papi needs to just play the game and quit reading the papers, listening to talk radio, and whatever else keeps getting his undies in a bunch lately. Just play the game and ignore the noise.

  3. sportsfan18 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Of course he isn’t.

    We all KNEW he wouldn’t be.

    He IS happy that he has something else to whine about though.

  4. tmc602014 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    One phrase in the next to last paragraph, “Apply the applicable punishment…” the PED – Pete Rose comparisons, the 2003 survey, subsequent rules changes, etc., to me it’s about the rules. Rose knew the rule and broke it. In 2003 there was no rule against steroid use and no one should be surprised that players took advantage of that. Was that an unfair advantage? Did any multimillionaire players hire sports psychologists, nutritionists, kinesiologists, sports medicine specialists, athletic trainers? Build specialized training areas in their homes, personal batting cages, on and on? Did that give them an advantage over a twentieth round draftee who worked with the fifth best coaching and training staff of the ML organization? We are human, and we will take what advantages we can in dealing with our lives and livelihoods. This is a matter of rules, and if it wasn’t against the rules in 2003 and there was no “applicable punishment” then we are done. If later evidence develops that the player broke the rules, punish him. If no rule was broken but some of us fans feel a player violated the “unwritten rules” contract between player and fan by “cheating” said fan takes himself way too seriously.
    Big Papi is an egotistical jerk, but he is a helluva ballplayer and that’s all I care about until he breaks a rule.

    • jimmyt - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      Use of illegal drugs has been against league rules for longer than just since 2003. Many, probably most of the PEDs taken then and now are illegal without a prescription (for very good reason) so yes, they were against league rules in 2003. The argument holds no water, it’s just trying to make excuses.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        Indeed, since 1991, use of anabolic steroids without a prescription has been illegal. Of course, there was no codified penalty for that misdemeanor in MLB and thus the rule had no teeth. A rule with no consequence for violation is essentially no rule.

        Similarly, amphetamines have been illegal and thus violating the same toothless rule, since 1971.

        My opinion is that intellectual consistency requires me to either condemn all PED users–and steroids and amphetamines are both PEDs, or give a pass to all who used before rules with sanctions were put in place. I choose the later since it seems over half of all players used steroids from the late 1980s until 2004, and some back to the 50’s/60’s. Likewise, amphetamines were ubiquitous from the 50’s on. I do not approve the use of any of the drugs, but feel condemnation is a waste of time. I don’t feel that’s excuse making, just accepting reality.

  5. cmoney4949 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Big Sloppy

  6. booboo31 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Papi complaining again? Surprise surprise…

  7. williamcostiganjr - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Arod never failed any drug tests after 2003 either. Just sayin…

  8. scoochpooch - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Simple solution for Ortiz: stop using steroids/PEDs and no one will mention your name. Other than being quickly released and out of MLB that is, due to poor performance.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3274)
  2. R. Castillo (2777)
  3. Y. Molina (2596)
  4. A. Rizzo (2454)
  5. A. Dunn (2420)
  1. M. Cabrera (2381)
  2. B. Posey (2277)
  3. J. Ellsbury (2198)
  4. D. Pedroia (2114)
  5. M. Wacha (2030)