Sunday, August 9, 2009

My thoughts on David Ortiz's presser

Squawker reader Jonmouk71 wanted to know what I thought of the David Ortiz press conference. Answer is: not very much. Granted, Ortiz is a very likeable guy, and a beloved figure in baseball. Heck, even after the whole steroids scandal surrounding him, he still garnered very few votes so far in the Subway Squawkers poll on our readers' least favorite Red Sox. (Jonathan Papelbon may be untainted by steroids, but he is also the overwhelming "winner" so far in the poll.)

All that being said, Ortiz's story just isn't plausible. As SNY-TV's Sam Borden wrote:
"I definitely was a little bit careless back in those days when I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter," Ortiz said, as if this was somehow a good thing. A person whose livelihood depends on physical activity is so "careless" he doesn't read labels? Doesn't know what's he swallowing? Doesn't even remember whether he took a particular product?
Exactly. It defies credulity that Ortiz, who has a personal chef, didn't pay attention to what he was taking. Besides, wouldn't he want to know what worked, and what didn't? And very few people in the media are noting that Ortiz admitted that he was indeed in 2004 about being on the list. So how could he be "blindsided"? And why wouldn't he find out then from the union what he failed the test on, so that he wouldn't take that same stuff again?

And, more to the point, whatever "vitamins" and "supplements" he was taking turned him from a mediocrity to MLB's top RBI producer from 2003 to 2007. Yet he wants us to believe he had no idea what he was doing? C'mon now.

Aside from wanting somebody to ask why Ortiz was dressed like Roy Clark on "Hee Haw," here are some other questions that I would have liked to see Big Papi have to answer:

* Did he ever take HGH?

* What about Jerry Remy's son saying that he talked steroids with his personal trainer?

* Exactly what supplements and vitamins did Ortiz take back then?

* Why isn't he petitioning the government for his test results, to clear his name?

* Why did it take nine days for him to talk? All this defense about multiple lists and such were things the union knew six years ago, so that can't be the reason.

If the lack of Red Sox in the Mitchell Report didn't make you cynical enough, the fact that MLB and the Players Union issued a joint press release about the steroids test really makes you wonder if everybody is in the tank for Boston. That, and the fact that the union was nowhere to be found when it came to Alex Rodriguez.

Even the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy noted the disparity as to the union being MIA with A-Rod:

“We thought we were pretty darn vocal,’’ Weiner said. “We wrote a long and publicly-released letter to congressmen Waxman and Davis. Maybe we made a mistake of thinking people would read a letter sent to congressmen.’’

Right. Most of us routinely inspect all correspondence between the Players Association and Congress. Sorry we missed this one.

Good point. But Shaughnessy's skepticism isn't shared by some other media members. AOL's Lisa Olson writes:

Despite everything I know and all the lies and denials I've heard players utter over the years, I'm inclined to believe Ortiz, despite the circumstantial evidence tracking his mediocre career in Minnesota to his superstar resurgence with Boston. Here's why: no union officials ever felt the need to sit beside Giambi, Ramirez or Pettitte during their so-called confessionals.
Let me get this straight. Ortiz is a player who never hit over 20 home runs in Minnesota, nor drove in 75 RBIs, goes on to average 44 home runs/128 RBIs a year from 2003-2007. But Olson believes him because a guy from a union that is on record as saying that steroids are no worse than cigarettes is at the presser? Good grief.

Maybe that was Barry Bonds' mistake - he should have had some slick union dude backing up his "I thought it was flaxseed oil" story.

Yankee fans have noted ESPN's anti-Yankee bias for years. This weekend, the same network that had one of their anchors chanting "boli, boli, boli" about A-Rod, thought Ortiz's presser was "genuine." And while A-Rod's PED scandal involved wall-to-wall coverage, the Ortiz story is barely a footnote on today.

What's the cliche - no cheering in the press box? Too bad so many in the media can't resist shaking pom-poms when it comes to carrying water for David Ortiz.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Joseph Gomes said...

As Warner Wolf says"go to the videotape". Look at ANY locker room interview from 1995-2003 and all thse guys had various supplements in their lockers. Enhancements have been a part of baseball FOREVER- Tom Seaver's on record about bowls of amphetamines in the locker room in the 60's & 70's.

These athletes are not too bright- think back to high school...were many of the jocks academically "challenged?", never mind the elite ones. Are they dumb enough to take something without thinking it through to conclusion? Well how many young men between the ages of 18-28 make DUMB decisions every day with much more serious consequences? Our prisons are full of them and we have fatherless children in the thousands because of it.

Weekly NFL Picks said...

Ortiz is a sad story right now. If you didn't take any steroids and your going to deny doing it, why does it take you 5 days to prepare after the story is released, when you were asked so many times before then and had "no comment". A-Rod took the right road even though the whole truth wasn't revealed. Ortiz may end up going down as hated as Barry Bonds without the numbers to back him up.

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