The most recent and perhaps the most substantial news in Major League Baseball is the story covered by the New York Times, revealing that David Ortiz is among the 103 MLB players that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in 2003.
Outside of Red Sox Nation, everyone is applauding this breaking news. Many even question the validity of a 2004 World Series Championship, if two of the most proficient sluggers on that team, Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, are confirmed as players listed on the Mitchell Report.
Boston fans are known for standing by their players amid controversy. But there are many contradictions looming, and regardless of his past five years of productivity in Beantown, Big Papi must defend his honor.
Obviously, there are many questions to ask. At this point—whether die-hard BoSox fans or Boston haters—everyone wants to know the truth.
So who better to ask but the man himself? Here are the three most imperative questions Ortiz must field.
There are assumptions that most of the fans at Fenway Park were unaware of the breaking news during Boston's afternoon game. It may have been rumbling throughout the crowd, but it wasn't as widespread for game attendees as it was for listeners of ESPN and Boston radio WEEI.
The players, however, were unquestionably aware of the news. Ortiz was aware of the news. Perhaps that is the reason the slugger took such an unnecessary curtain-call after his go-ahead home run. The crowd at Fenway gets loud, yes, but if most of the people applauding knew of the breaking news, it would have been much, much quieter.
Still, it is worth celebrating a man who knows he is currently under fire but still performs for his team. Everyone should applaud a man willing to take the heat and still put runs on the board, right?
Wait.. he isn't taking the heat. After the day-game concluded, the only one who talked to the local media on the Red Sox' side was Boston manager Terry Francona. The skipper tried to defend the allegations, but it was clear that deep down inside, Francona knew that the only one who could effectively carry out such a task was the defendant himself, Big Papi.
"You know me," Ortiz previously said. "I won't hide."
Not being the first one to answer steroid allegations was the first contradiction to that statement. He hid, and Francona covered him.
Question number one, Big Papi: If you are falsely accused, or if you are innocent of what everyone is saying you are guilty for, how come it wasn't you that stepped up to the post-game press conference?
Everyone in the nation knows that David Ortiz struggled for the most part of the first-half of this season. The running debate started to become whether or not Ortiz was a former or recent steroid-abuser.
Now, a cold streak would have never mattered as much if not for the way Ortiz approached questions.
Big-time journalists would hit it hard, trying to eliminate the worst fears of die-hard Bostonians. As if to try and get to the bottom of things, they would question whether he would ever use performance-enhancing drugs.
Ortiz swung for the fences with his responses. Not only did he say that he has never had any part of PEDs, but he also said to the Boston media that he thought that anyone that did test positive for such drugs should be suspended for a full year.
Keep in mind, America, that he made these remarks this year. This year, when he started trailing off and becoming irrelevant to the game, when everyone blamed his slump on the fact that he used to be on steroids.
But everyone believed the honest Big Papi. Why not? He was always so adamant about everything he said, regardless of the fact that he never said much publicly. Everyone loves Big Papi, right?
Well, if the entire Fenway faithful comprising of that post-homer standing ovation was unaware of the news, the answer is yes.
If everyone in the crowd had to hear the Ortiz news once they got home, the verdict is not out until tomorrow.
When they got home, they might have had to consider a big dilemma. Every name on the original list of players that had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs had been notified of their test results.
So, in lies a two-part question for Ortiz.
One, if you knew that you had tested positive for PEDs that were not allowed by the MLB, why were you so adamant about being PED-free?
And two, why did you say that anyone who breaks the league's PED rules should be suspended for a full year?
There is a lot of speculation surrounding the Red Sox organization, regarding the relationship between the team and the New York Times, the newspaper originally breaking the Ramirez and Ortiz news.
Anyone can note that it seems the New York Times reports on players from the Mitchell Report every time there is no other big sports headline.
One would assume that, if any journalist had access to the full 103-player list, they would publish a story exposing and detailing the masses of all of the stars in one fell swoop.
There are the conspiracy theorists, though, that say that the relationship between the Sox and the New York Times poses a problem. After all, the Times has partial-ownership of the Sox. Is it so crazy to ponder whether the Sox told the Times to publish this story a day before the trade deadline?
Maybe the Sox are further unwilling to tolerate the mostly mediocre performance of a falling slugger. Maybe they are more focused on trading for a big bat, including in their package not only big prospects and young pitchers, but also a superstar slugger.
There is your final question, Big Papi.
Where do you see yourself this October?