Ramirez and Ortiz Did Not Taint The Red Sox World Series Titles

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IJuly 30, 2009

TOKYO - MARCH 23:  Infielder David Ortiz #34 and Manny Ramirez #24 of Boston Red Sox smile before prseason friendly between Boston Red Sox and Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome on March 23, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

With the breaking news of the day being the release of the names of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz for failing a drug test in 2003, questions now surround performance enhancing drugs in baseball once more.

As names begin to come out about drug tests that never should have been made public, and big names coming to the surface, Major League Baseball keeps getting pounded in the news. While most seem to feign outrage with each name, a few of questions remain.

The first that comes to mind is does anyone really care? Do fans or the media really care what names come out anymore? I think it is safe to say that PED’s were rampant before baseball started its testing program in 2005.

The case could be made with a 100 players testing positive, and with 30 teams, it is more than conceivable that every team in baseball had at least one player fail a drug test. Most teams more than likely had two or more players just like the Red Sox with Ramirez and Ortiz.

This brings me to my next question on the subject. What fan out there thinks that their favorite team was full of nothing but clean players?

All over the internet, fans have been posting how happy they are that it was two Red Sox players and not their team. Of course it was your team using PED’s as well; either before 2003, or on the list of players that failed that test taken in 2003 and their name has not come out yet.

This Pollyanna outlook on your team just because there was not a Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, or Barry Bonds suiting up on a daily basis. Every team, based on the averages, had at least one player who failed that test or was using before baseball started testing.

Just because a player for a team has not been named yet does not mean that there was not a player using PEDs on your favorite team. It just means that it has not been made public yet and some players will never come out and say they were using PEDs.

Everyone should know where I am going by now. Did Manny and Big Papi taint the Red Sox’s two World Series titles?  In no way do I think that they did by testing positive taint or ruin the titles won by the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 with the wide spread use of PED’s in baseball at the time.

Plus, the fact that every team more than likely has a player on the list of failed tests, or had a player using at some point in their career before testing was used in undeniable.

How can they say that just the Red Sox titles are tainted? Every title since the beginning of steroids and PEDs would have to be assumed at being tainted as well. Until testing was approved by MLB and the Players Union every title and record would have to be considered as ill begotten.

Most fans and media think that they are but if everyone was cheating who could judge who cheated more. Until testing, the years before will have to be viewed as each person wishes to see them.

As fans we are not free of guilt in my eyes as well. After the 1994 strike left a bad taste in our mouths we as fans, and rightfully so, were slow to come back to the game.

With the 1998 home run chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa taking national attention and ours as well we over looked the use of PED’s and made excuses as to why baseballs were going out of the park at a record pace.

Now the last few years we have been outraged to find out that players where using PED’s. The whole time in our heart of hearts we knew this to be true but we chose to over look it.

Fans are just a guilty as players and owners who over looked what was going on as well.

That is why fans of other teams are so quick to say the Red Sox have tainted their titles. They still refuse to see the fact that we helped baseball overlook cheating because we watched it in record numbers and cheered loud and proud of that home run chase.

Last but not least should the list of players that failed the 2003 test be released? Does it really matter if the list is released? Will we feel so much better to know who did what and for what team?

Release the list or not, it does not matter to me. The past is the past and nothing can be changed that happened six years ago. It will not make people feel any better about the state of baseball and the use of PEDs that went on.

I do not have to read the names on the list to know that the problems were widespread and affected every team. I do not have to know each and every player that cheated. Nothing can be changed from the past.

I want baseball to be able to move on one way or another. I will not even read the list if it does come out. I want baseball to test now and clean up the game we have in the present, not the past.

Let’s acknowledge that, yes, there was cheating on every level and move on.  We need to try to enjoy the good things about baseball, not keep slowly pulling off a bandage and opening up an old wound over and over again.

Did Manny and Papi taint the Red Sox titles? No, we all had a hand in tainting baseball, and every team and player looked the other way the whole time. Do not ask for the list to come out if you do not want to see your teams name there.

From here out, let’s move on and be glad that now baseball does test for PEDs and is trying to clean its self up.


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