Boston Red Sox

Big Papi is a Big Cheater

BOSTON - JULY 05:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners on July 5, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Sean KennedyCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

Now We Know Why Papi Doesn't Play So Big Anymore

"Ban 'em for the whole year."

That was Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's suggestion on what to do with MLB players who test positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). At least that's what he said during Spring Training.

I wonder how Ortiz feels now?

Care to put your money where your mouth is, David?

When Ortiz was asked about the revelations of a 2003 drug test before today's game, he told The New York Times: "I'm not talking about that anymore. I have no comment."

Sorry, David, but that just won't do. You took a very strong public stance against PEDs and the players who use them, so there's no backing down or ducking out now. You've got some explaining to do.

As for Manny Ramirez, also implicated as a PED user today (which was already old news), the guy just seems to be bullet proof. Manny has always believed that he is different than everyone else and that he gets to operate under a different set of rules.

But Manny is not the Red Sox' problem anymore. He's a Dodger now. Earlier this month LA fans gleefully welcomed him back from a 50-game suspension for using a female fertility drug. Perhaps Manny is attempting to become the first ever pregnant man.

Manny just motors along, unfazed in Manny Land. His personal mantra seems to be, "What, me worry?"

Ortiz and Ramirez were both iconic figures in Boston. They were heroes to Red Sox Nation and idolized by children. But both have now proven to be cheaters, plain and simple. And both are terrible role models to the kids who adore and cheer for them.

So much for rules. So much for ethics. So much for integrity. So much for "playing the game the right way," as players so often love to intone.

Like A-Rod, Sammy Sosa and likely Barry Bonds before them, Ortiz and Ramirez are both liars, cheaters and frauds.

Today's revelation explains once and for all why Ortiz's career has suddenly fallen off a cliff. Quite clearly, Ortiz's performance is no longer enhanced.

It's all so ugly and shameful. The news will only put further pressure on Theo Epstein to make a trade in an attempt to change the headlines in Boston.

As it is, the Red Sox are already the focus of a circus-like media atmosphere at home. Aside from New York, no city has as many reporters covering its team.

This story will become a focal point and take on a life of its own in Boston – just what the slumping Red Sox don't need right now.

Due to his rather rapid and stunning decline, the shine has already come off Ortiz in Red Sox Nation. Today's sad revelation should only serve to tarnish and diminish his once legendary exploits.

Ortiz was always beloved by Red Sox fans. But those fans can't pretend that there are two sets of rules. If they condemned Bonds, Sosa and A-Rod, they should be consistent and condemn Ortiz as well.

Copyright © 2009 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author’s consent.

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