The Boston Globe’s bold sports week continues. On Monday, writer Gary Washburn wrote his explanation for being the only NBA MVP voter to not vote for LeBron James for MVP. Washburn voted for Carmelo Anthony instead, and was heavily criticized for it.
Now, another Boston Globe write, Dan Shaughnessy, is saying that David Ortiz’s hot start is very suspicious considering his age, and the achilles injury he’s recovered from. Here’s what Shaughnessy wrote today about Ortiz:
“Hitting is not this easy. Athletes do not get better as they mature into their late 30s. Baseball has been peppered with performance-enhancing drugs for the last 20 years. The cheaters are always ahead of the testers. A number of players from the Dominican Republic have tested positive for steroids. Injuries to the Achilles’ tendon are consistent with steroid use. It is not natural for a guy to hit .426 out of the gate without the benefit of any spring training.”
Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming a theme in baseball. Anytime a player who technically shouldn’t be tearing it up is playing well, steroids seem to always be suspected. There are times where the player does test positive. The Melky Cabrera case last year is a clear example.
Cabrera was a fourth outfielder at best for years, and then all of a sudden turns into an all-star. He never hit above .274 until 2011, when he hit .305 with the Royals, and then he hit .346 last season with the Giants until he was suspended for the rest of the season for PEDs.
Shaughnessy brings up how Ortiz’s name was on a list of players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003, when he busted onto the scene for Boston. Ortiz being from the Dominican Republic doesn’t make his case look good either. Several players from the Dominican have tested positive. Bartolo Colon, Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez, and Edinson Volquez are a few notable ones over the past 2 years.
It wasn’t too long ago where talks in Boston were the Red Sox were going to release Ortiz after he hit .238 in 2009. Ortiz has a reasoning for his poor 2009 season.
“In 2009, I was coming back from a hand injury [partially torn sheath, left wrist]. I injured my hand, badly. I tried to come back, but I wasn’t the same. It carried over until my hand started feeling better. I got bad habits from that,” he said.
So far this season, Ortiz has a hit in every game he’s played and has a 27-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
It’s almost like he’s in a no-win situation. If Ortiz doesn’t play well, the talks will go back to the team wanting to release him. Now that he’s playing well, it has to be because of steroids. Ortiz can’t be playing well because he is a talented athlete, that’s not a reasonable explanation to some in the game. Before the Red Sox game against the Twins yesterday, Ortiz said he’s hurt by the allegations and is adamant he’s not on steroids.
“I guarantee you that later, you are not going to find out that I tested positive for some [expletive]. It’s not happening. Guaranteed. Guaranteed,’’ he said.
David Ortiz is one of the best guys in the game and has earned the respect of his teammates and of everyone else in baseball.
Since his return, the Red Sox have played well and are currently tied with the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East standings.