From Hero To Hypocrite: David Ortiz's Legacy Takes a Big Hit With Drug Claims

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJuly 30, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 20:  Designated hitter David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox on July 20, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Well, isn't this just what the Red Sox really needed to hear right now.

On Thursday, the New York Times reported that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

So we can now cross off two more names on the mystery list of 2003, which also includes Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa.

Now, Manny served his suspension. He got caught in May for his steroid use and was suspended 50 games, but not like the Dodgers fans really cared.

He's still loved in Dodger-town. Hey, it's L.A. It's Hollywood, filled with actors and actresses doing illegal things. They don't care.

But as far as Ortiz goes in Boston, that's a different story.

Ortiz was never caught before. Ortiz also has been vocal about steroid users who have been caught, even once saying that "all users should get a 100-game ban if caught."

And what did Ortiz have to say for himself last night when a Boston reporter brought this up to him?

Apparently, Ortiz shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't want to talk about this." So we go from all users should be punished to I don't want to talk. Nice, David. Really nice.

Personally, if this positive result is true, then David Ortiz is nothing but a big hypocrite and deserves every bit of criticism he gets from the media and fans. I always had a feeling Ortiz was a user all along, and his stats and injuries show it over the last couple years.

Go back to before his days in Boston; when he was with the Minnesota Twins, his highest home run total was 20 in 2002. That's it. Then the next season in Boston, he hit 31. In 2004, 41. In 2005, 47. And 2006, 54.

So in a matter of four years, he went from 20 home runs to 54. That's quite a dramatic increase.

But in 2007, he dropped to 35 home runs, and in 2008, only 23, and this season in 2009, he's at 13. Ortiz has had multiple injuries over the last injuries, which is a sign of steroid users having their body breaking down after years of usage. Just go back to Juan Gonzalez and watch his fall from grace.

This very well may be the end of Ortiz's legacy in Boston. He's going to be 34 in November, if that really is Ortiz's real age. The Red Sox aren't exactly the nicest organization in dealing with aging superstars, as they showed popular guys like Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Johnny Damon the door.

Ortiz also plays in Boston, one of the most media-crazed cities in the United States. Manny said he got tired of the media in Boston because they are like sharks and vultures at times. Well, the sharks are swimming now, and they might be looking for Ortiz's blood.

The media will be looking for answers from Ortiz. They are going to want to know why their biggest hero over the last five years got caught cheating. Why did he feel the need to take steroids? Is he still taking steroids? When did he start? What did he take? Did you and Manny inject each other? On and on...this is what Ortiz should expect.

The best thing Ortiz can do is tell the truth.

History shows that people who tell the truth don't feel the wrath as much as guys who deny it. Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, and Alex Rodriguez all told the truth, and they took their bullets and lived to tell about it. Guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens still deny their use, and they are facing federal charges.

In the middle of a heated pennant race, with the trading deadline tomorrow and trailing the Yankees by three-and-a-half games in second place with the Rays breathing down their necks, like I said before, this is really just what the Red Sox needed.

A giant case of negativity with a side dish of criticism to rain on their parade.