Ortiz represents our immunity towards steroids

Ortiz

Steve Buckley of The Boston Herald thinks that fans will just have to deal with the fact that some of these players may not have known what substances they were actually taking in the past. Since the players might have been in the dark, the fans will never get answers.

In what continues to be a complicated issue in which facts and innuendo collide, creating an awkward, interpretative truth, it comes down to this: Anybody with an interest in baseball, from fans and media to industry employees and the players themselves, is forced, in the end, to make a judgment call about all this.

It’s a little like viewing an abstract painting: What you see, what you feel, may be far different from what the person standing next to you is seeing, feeling.

And so it is with David Ortiz.

But perhaps some Yankees – and some of Big Papi’s teammates – viewed the entire scene from afar, wondering if their name will be the next released.

It’s the world in which the players now live.

It’s the world in which anyone who follows baseball now lives.

I hate all this pussyfooting. If a player took a supplement that “may or may not have contained steroids,” I view the issue in the same light as just doing the real drugs. It’s like finding a paper bag full of money hidden in a bush. You know that money is there under shaky circumstances, but you might take it anyway and walk away with an unexpected payday. Still, it’s not kosher. These players knew they were getting into some risky business when they walked into these “stores” or “doctor’s offices” and are willing to feign ignorance.

Find a picture of David Ortiz from the height of his career. Now look at Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez from theirs. Now go find a photo of Hank Aaron from any point of his career. Case closed.

If guys like David Ortiz really cared about “keeping it clean,” they would have made sure the substance didn’t contain a steroid. Whatever he was taking, it allowed him to put up bloated numbers that he’ll never again be able to replicate. To me, that’s evidence enough. I hope I’m proven wrong. Then again, like most real baseball fans, I take the last 15 years of the game with a grain of salt.

Hank Aaron never hit over 50 home runs in a season. However, he did hit 755 in his career, but none of them went over 500 ft. into impossible territory. I don’t think too much about the suspicion surrounding Ortiz because I already know the answer. None of those guys were for real.

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Selig upset with steroid leaks

According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, baseball commissioner Bud Selig is upset that names from the 2003 list of players who tested positive for banned substances are being leaked to the media.

Apparently Selig and others around Major League Baseball believe that a lawyer with the U.S. Attorney’s office (either past or present) ignored a court seal in order to give Sammy Sosa’s name to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Daily News, who reported yesterday that the slugger was on the ’03 list.

I don’t blame Selig for being peeved that someone is leaking names that were supposed to be kept anonymous. After all, the only reason the player’s union agreed to the ’03 drug testing was because the players who tested positive wouldn’t be punished and because their names would never be released.

That said – give…me…a…break. If Selig wants to be upset with anything, how about he get upset with himself, the owners and the player’s union that allowed us to get to this point. He turned a blind eye to the steroid issue and now he wants to play victim. I guess he has to put on this little front about being mad about the leaks in efforts to settle down the player’s union, but he has nobody to blame but himself for this mess.

What Selig should do is go back on his word to the player’s union and release the rest of the 104 names on that 2003 list before the media does. A-Rod and Sosa’s names have already been released – how much longer until more names are announced? If Selig thinks that the media is going to stop digging, he has another thing coming. He may anger the players and the union by releasing the names, but it’s well past time for people to start taking responsibility for what has happened to the game of baseball.

Canseco hints that Manny is on the juice

Jose Canseco recently touched on the topic of steroids in baseball to an audience at Bovard Auditorium on the campus of USC and hinted that Dodgers’ outfielder Manny Ramirez could be/could have been on the juice.

Jose CansecoWhat about Manny Ramirez? someone asks.

He says this, despite the fact that A-Rod isn’t being treated as toxic, nor are other players who were caught up in the steroid scandal but publicly apologized, including Miguel Tejada, starting shortstop for the Houston Astros, and Andy Pettitte, a starting pitcher with the New York Yankees.

Why didn’t Ramirez get a long-term deal? Canseco asks. Why were owners gun-shy about signing arguably the game’s best hitter?

Never mind that Ramirez was asking for a mega-deal at age 36. Or that he was negotiating in a sickly economy, while weighed down by the heavy baggage of a surly reputation. Canseco will have none of it. To Canseco, the drawn-out negotiation, the lack of a long-term deal, the lack of interest all raise red flags, and so he tells the Bovard crowd that Ramirez’s “name is most likely, 90%,” on the list.

Canseco admits later that he has no way of knowing. But it makes sense to him, so he threw it out there — kaboom! — swinging for the fences, still.

Late Saturday, I tracked down Ramirez to tell him what Canseco had said. The immediate response is pure Ramirez: He laughs. Sitting at his locker, he says, “I got no comment, nothing to say about that. What can I say? I don’t even know the guy.”

Canseco is a nut, but as it turns out he’s been right about a lot of the players he has called out for taking roids. But that doesn’t mean Ramirez has ever been on the juice and I don’t know if you can point to his contract troubles this past offseason as an indication that he was taking performance-enhancers. I think teams were more leery of Man-Ram’s age, eroding defensive skills and the possibility of him flat out quitting on the Red Sox last year.

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