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Breaking: David Ortiz used steroids in 2003

Ortiz and Manny were the most feared tandem in baseball for years.

Ortiz and Manny were the most feared tandem in baseball for years.

The New York Times reports that David Ortiz, who helped end an 86 year run without a championship for the Boston Red Sox, is on the 2003 list along with Manny Ramirez, of more than 100 players who tested positive for steroids. The list was supposed to remain confidential.

I don’t write this to gloat because I am a Yankee fan. It was always painfully obvious to me that Ortiz used steroids and his narrative was always suspicious. He was released by the Minnesota Twins in 2002 after hitting .272 with 20 home runs and 75 rbi’s. Not a terrible season but pretty much average for a first baseman type. Since he profiled as a DH maybe the numbers are a little worse. Whatever the case, the Twins let him go. His seasons afterwards.

2003 .288 31-101

2004 .301 41-139

2005 .300 47-148

2006 .287 54-137

2007 .332 34-117

2008 .264 23-89

2009 .224 13-55

Ortiz began to fall off. You could say it’s age or you could say he stopped using steroids as baseball became more strict with their steroid policy. I’ll always remember that he defended Jason Giambi, even in the face of the rivalry and steroid revelations. I always thought he was having an internal debate where he said, “What if people find out about me?”

What I won’t do is what many Yankee fans would like to do. I won’t say oh the Yankees could have won in 2004 or maybe things shake out differently in 2007. The fabric of baseball is tainted by the steroid subculture and is just now getting out from under it. New York Yankee players were in the Mitchell Report so even though they could have won here and there after 2000, maybe they won because of steroids here and there before 2001. One last takeaway not involving David Ortiz. Unless there is a big change from Hall of Fame writers, Manny Ramirez will most likely not sniff Cooperstown. He has now tested positive in 2003 and 2009. The, “You just happened to catch me the two times I did it!” defense has a zero percent chance of working. Lastly, a couple links on the Ortiz situation.

Ortiz defended a Dominican trainer embroiled in steroid controversy who trained A-Rod.

Rob Neyer calls out Ortiz for saying he used shakes in the Dominican Republic that could have been tainted.

Peter Abraham says it’s just more bad news for the Sox.

Ortiz was shocked about the Ramirez steroid revelations.

  1. kii?
    July 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    well i am floored by this news. and manny used it before 2009?! (there is not enough sarcasm in the world appropriate for those two statements i just made.)

  2. Shawn B
    July 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Good job with the breaking news. I just went to your website and saw this for the first time. You are my new ESPN. lol

  3. bobbygee
    July 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    The players know who the juicers are. Nothing shocks me.

  4. genemorris
    July 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Was just watching Peter Gammons discuss this issue, and the host brought up the point that in 2003 Ortiz hit a ton of his career high 31 home runs after July, insinuating that, hey, maybe that’s when he started using.

    I am a big Gammons fan, but he stuttered and sidestepped it until saying that because of Bostons platoon situation Ortiz didn’t get enough playing time in the 1st half.

    Well he had one more plate appearance in the second half, but hit 21 of his homers then.

    Just thought that should be said, because that’s bad on Gammons part.

    • Adrian Carrasquillo
      July 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm

      I love Gammons, he’s a legend and his niche as more of a friend and less adversarial with players has allowed him to get unprecedented access. I don’t think he does a disservice to fans because a lot of people get that he tries to stay away from the “ugly” side of sports news and focus on the positive. Most of the times it works. But on occasions like this when someone is actually in the wrong, its kind of painful to watch him try to qualify and excuse things that are clearly wrong. Plus he’s close with the Sox it seems. Oh well. Another hero falls.

  5. Michael K.
    July 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Yo, Adrian- he’s close with the Sox it seems? Gammons pays for season tickets to the Red Sox, haha.

    At one point, Gammons was the best baseball writer in the country. At this point, he is a name.

    In fairness to his Ortiz coverage, Gammons went easy on A-Rod too. I think he is a Boston homer, but he is also a homer for baseball- he would make excuses for all these guys because I think it legitimately bothers him that PEDs ruined his game.

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