Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lack of accountability earned David Ortiz a “free pass"

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz went on another rampage Monday, defending his honor when it comes to his connection to performance-enhancing drugs.

Ortiz aimed bombastic comments toward MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane, and the network itself after being mentioned in an on-air discussion about PEDs and Baltimore Orioles OF/DH Nelson Cruz, after Red Sox pitcher John Lackey’s comments following Sunday’s game.

Magrane suggested that Ortiz received a “free pass” because his positive test was during MLB’s trial period of testing and it was not against the rules. Ortiz, in typical fashion, took offense to his name being mentioned in the same breath as PEDs, and lashed out at anyone who thinks he’s received a free pass via WEEI.com.

“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].

“That’s reality. You don’t use the words that I get a free pass. You don’t get a free pass on this. MLB don’t play that B.S. MLB don’t play that. There’s a reason why I’ve been drug-tested like eight times and we’re not even at the break. Is that a free pass? There’s a reason why I’ve been tested like 40 times since they approved the policy, the drug policy. Is that a free pass? They can get that free pass and shove it up their [expletive].”

The last part of Ortiz’s rant is true. He’s probably been tested as many times as he suggests. He and the rest of MLB players have undergone the same scrutiny since the drug policy took effect.

But, as is all too typical, a baseball player snagged in the PED net refuses to simply admit and move on. Sure, Ortiz is also correct in that he did not defy the rules when he was using PEDs in 2003. But, to suggest he’s never used them and that there was no proof is simply a way to misdirect reality. Ortiz’s lack of accountability is the where the “free pass” comes in.

He's not getting a free pass now, he's been holding onto one since his name was leaked in 2009 and he did not own up to his indiscretions.

Ortiz, like Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Ryan Braun took the easy way out. Denial.

And to what avail? Several years have passed and the shadow of PEDs still follows Ortiz around. Wouldn’t it have been easier for him to simply say he did PEDs, but was not abusing the rules at the time and it has not and would not happen now that the policy had changed?

Instead, almost five years later, we lump his name in among those who made it necessary to begin the rigid testing and with good reason -- zero accountability. He did not have to face fans and admit to taking drugs to enhance his performance. Free pass.

Is it unfortunate that his name was leaked? Not really in my view. I wish all the names were revealed so the witch-hunting could cease. There would be no penalties other than it being acknowledged that the player used PEDs at the time of survey testing.

It would be then up to each of the players to stand in front of the fans and make a choice. Provide an explanation or deny it.

Ortiz has cried foul for so long now, it would be interesting to see him change course, but he won’t. He’s dug in and won't retreat. As a result, Ortiz will continue to be attacked as he pretends he was not a part of the original problem, and we'll insist he's maintained a free pass until he admits his use.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo.


  1. I agree 100% with this article. Ortiz has gotten a big time free pass. Lets see how he would do if he had to stand up to the same kind of scrutiny and negative attention that A-Roid got because of that list.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Ortiz has received plenty of scrutiny. I think much of it would dissipate if he'd come clean, or at the very least give some sort of explanation as to why his name was on the list.

  2. Wrong, wrong and wrong. You have no idea what you're talking about. First of all how is he supposed to be accountable when the results of what he tested positive for weren't disclosed to him or anyone else. You're automatically assuming (and I'm sure hoping because you're a another pitiful yankee fan that can't deal with it that Ortiz destroyed the curse and your team for the last 12 years) that he knowingly took whatever he allegedly tested positive for in 2003. But as any rational person knows there were countless supplements that could be purchased over the counter that contained substances on the banned list. (By the way this "list" was compiled by federal investigators and the not a lab or MLB. Both MLB and the MLBPA have said that the list is not accurate. But the media never tells that part of the story.) What NY Times writer Michael Schmidt and his anonymous sources did when they broke federal law by disclosing names on a list that were part of a Collective Barganing Agreement was to put Ortiz (and A Rod and anyone else on this 2003 list) in an impossible situation. He was not able to find out what happened because those test results as well as all of the evidence was sealed and by now it's probably been destroyed. As far as a "free pass" you have to be kidding. First of all there were no punishments assesed with the 2003 survey testing. Unlike A Rod and Manny and others Ortiz has not been involved in any scandels or tested positive once since the program started in 2004. He's taken more than enough abuse for something that hasn't even been proven.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Your points are well taken. First, I could give a rip about the Red Sox winning the World Series and Ortiz being a major part of them. Just as you think I'm a pitiful Yankee fan, I believe Red Sox fans wear huge blinders where it comes to Ortiz. Of course, Red Sox fans feel he MUST have been using something a supplement that contained substances on the banned list, because there is NO WAY he'd ever do what nearly every other player was doing at the time. Right? Look, this is all opinion. I gave mine and you certainly have a right to yours. Again, thanks for the comment.

  3. Love how Yankee fans take the Guilty till proven innocent stance, so please tell me what drug

    did Ortiz test positive for? Or tell me how the Mlb hasn't caught him using for 11 years now

    while busting another Boston favorite proving their is no bias.

    also Explain how he could be using while taking multiple tests and passing each year? Either

    major league baseball testing is a joke or he is clean. If testing is a joke then all accused should have their names cleared for the time being until being tested again and failing.

    Meanwhile i can tell you Alex Rodriguez tested positive for Primobolan also known as methenolone enanthate

    The Mlb also released this statement:

    "On the same day, the Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement pointing out that because of several factors, any player appearing on the list compiled by federal investigators in 2003 did not necessarily test positive for performance enhancing drugs. Among those factors were that the total number of players said to be on the list far exceeded the number of collected specimens that tested positive. In addition, there were questions raised regarding the lab that performed the testing and their interpretation of the positive tests. Also, the statement pointed out that certain legal supplements that were available over the counter at the time could cause a positive test result."

    so lets recap we have more players than actually tested positive, there are questions about

    the actual testing and LEGAL supplements can cause a fake positive test.

    Real strong evidence(sarcasm)

    Besides without any proof its just an unfounded accusation, what if i were to tell you Derek

    Jeter tested positive on an Anonymous list that was done by people who cant tell what he

    tested positive for and the testing could be faulty? then by your logic he must be guilty and

    You must be a stupid Yankee fan for believing he isn't because some survey said so and anything written is always true like how aliens and ghosts are real.

    basically this is just Yankee fans upset

    about Arod testing positive and want to try to discredit their rival's best players achievements

    to draw attention away. You can deny it but you know its true

    i presented evidence that counters this unfounded accusation id love to see what you will try to accuse him next of.

    1. First, thanks for the comment. This is a blog. It's opinion based. It seems to me that when names are mentioned in these lists they inevitably turn out to be true. Now, it is certainly possible that Ortiz never did PEDs. It is also possible he tested positive in the MLB survey and then wised up and never did it again. I could believe that since you are correct in that he has not failed a test since the rules came about. But, I can certainly believe that he might have been taking them along with tons of other players before the rules change. "Stupid Yankee fan," or not, that's my opinion. Also, I don't care about A-Rod and have never stuck up for him. Thanks again for the comment.

  4. I appreciate your well thought out response, you were willing to evaluate both sides of the argument so while we may disagree with each other you have earned my respect

    Also I never meant to call you stupid, i do believe you are an intelligent baseball fan, i was just using the word to emphasize a point after reading "Red Sox fans wear huge blinders where it comes to Ortiz." it was to show that just because you believe a player didnt use P.E.D's doesn't make you ignorant.

    Finally i believe you in that you don't care about Arod it was more directed to the Yankee fans that do, i was just using him as an example of a player that we can actually name the drug he used instead of just suspicion of a player who could possibly be using.

    Im not blind to see there is a possibility ortiz could have used but what irks me is when a person is accused of a crime where there is little to no credible evidence that suggests its true, I would only call Ortiz out if there is evidence that can prove beyond a reasonable doubt he was lying about usage.As of this moment i don't see any indisputable evidence against Ortiz so he should be treated as innocent right now while people still having the right to claim suspicion just not condemnation

    Once again i appreciate your time and willingness to address my post

    1. Not a problem, and I thank you for coming back to respond. Hope you visit the site again, I don't always bash the Red Sox (I probably rip the Yankees more) and I sometimes write about stuff other than the Yanks.