As someone who loves baseball and is tired of the attention given to PEDs by the media, I was truly disappointed (yet not surprised) to see David Ortiz being linked to steroids heading into Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday night. On his radio show on Wednesday morning, Colin Cowherd went after Ortiz, seemingly for the sole reason that "hey, he wasn't playing too well a few years ago, and now he is!"
“David Ortiz, who was shot two years ago, is now Babe Ruth,” Cowherd said. “That’s a great story. And I don’t want to get in the way of that great story because it will make people really, really mad. … Last time I saw a guy like this it was Barry Bonds. But sports is about storytelling and hero worship and cool nicknames and fanaticism. Fans get mad when you derail that.”
“When it’s too good to be true, it is,” Cowherd continued. “Here was a guy in May of 2009, batting .222 with a slugging percentage of .300, no injuries, couldn’t hit. The Red Sox as a team are hitting about .190 (in the World Series). He’s hitting .800 against pitchers he didn’t face all year. … Significantly better today than several years ago. Interesting story. The story of David Ortiz hitting .733 — about as believable as Bigfoot.”
I'm not going to bore you with statistical analysis of Ortiz's struggles in the past, but I will note that despite Ortiz hitting .733 in the World Series, he hit a sterling .091 in the ALCS against the Tigers. It's almost like looking at a five game sample size isn't too smart because things balance out over time. If Cowherd's logic is to be believed, Ortiz wasn't on PEDs against the Tigers - but he is against the Cardinals!
Also, don't we all like to tie monstrous home runs to steroid use? In the World Series, seven of Ortiz's 11 hits are singles. This isn't a 2002 Barry Bonds World Series performance, where four of his eight hits left the park and he was walked a mind-numbing 13 times in seven games by the Angels.
There's another, non-Cowherd mentality that's been popping up in this series at all - the idea that Ortiz being named in a random New York Times report in 2009 saying that he was on a "doping list" from 2003 means that everything he does is tainted and that the World Series has a black cloud hanging over it because of it.
Would there be a black cloud if Jhonny Peralta or Nelson Cruz, both of whom were suspended as part of MLB's Biogenesis investigation this year, were playing in the World Series? How about Bartolo Colon or Marlon Byrd, both of whom actually failed tests last year? There wasn't a peep about either of them a couple of weeks ago when the A's and Pirates were still active. Would there be a black cloud if Mitchell Report star and admitted PED user Andy Pettitte was playing this October? What about if admitted PED user Brian Roberts and his Orioles were in the Postseason, would there be a black cloud then?
Oh, and that 2003 "doping list"? An MLBPA statement from 2009 indicates that the number of players on the list exceeds the number of positive tests from 2003 and that legal supplements could trigger a positive result due to flaws in the testing process. Saying Ortiz has a link to PEDs because of that NY Times report is shoddy journalism considering how few specifics are known about the "doping list". Besides, if Ortiz was a PED abuser, wouldn't he have been caught in the previous decade like Manny Ramirez, also mentioned as being on that list?
It's silly that the most exciting part of the year for baseball is getting sullied by accusations with no basis aside from an anonymous ten-year old list and the fact that he's playing good baseball. Just out of curiosity, when are the accusations going to be lobbed at Torii Hunter, who's hit .300 for the first time in his career over the last two years at ages 37 and 38? Are we going to throw stones at Michael Cuddyer, who had the best year of his career this season at age 34? Maybe we can attack Brandon Moss, who went from minor league journeyman to hitting 51 homers in the majors over the last two years.
Wait, we wouldn't do that at all, because everyone realizes how baseless and without merit it would be.
[Quotes via Larry Brown Sports]
In the past, fans have repeatedly been let down by stars who have cheated the game through the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and when watching a 37-year-old Ortiz in the World Series, it’s hard to not think you are watching another cheat. Not just because of his age and output, but because of repeated indications that the slugger has used illegal substances in the past, only to wiggle out of trouble each time.
I'm a Red Sox fan, but I'm not oblivious to the fact that Ortiz could have possibly used steroids at some point. The interesting thing in this instance unlike let's say the A-Rod situation is that we do not have definitive evidence as to what Ortiz actually tested positive for or if he was positive at all. I am not saying he is guilty or innocent. We just do not have enough info to make a judgement.
So why does Sammy Sosa get flack for appearing on the same list yet never failing a test? Or Clemens or Bonds???
The Ortiz question stirs the most passion because Red Sox fans are so defensive about it. They will not consider the possibility at all. It would be interesting to see what they would think if Ortiz played for the Yankees, Rays, Orioles, etc.
You can buy Steroids in the Dominican Republic when you go shopping for mangos. They're everywhere. Of course Big Fat Popi was on the juice. That doesn't forgive the dumb St. Louis hurlers and manager who keep challenging him, while the Angels were smart enough to watch Bonds stroll to first. Popi just had a better supplier than A-Rod.
Here's my take on this whole thing...this conversation is LOOOOOONG overdue. So the timing of this is bs--but NOT the commentary. Let's face it, Ortiz & Manny took steroids for years. Ortiz is most likely still taking steroids. The sad thing is that MLB's drug testing policy is a farce. You can take steroids so long as you have a doctor's note. This enables MLB to have a testing policy in place but still allow players to use. The whole thing about ARod is because his doctor's notes were fictitious since Bosch was not a real doctor. They're going after ARod because they feel they can prove he knowingly submitted doctor's notes from a fake doctor.
Now we can all hate/bash ARod BUT we can't deny he's the only guy that the media has bashed for the 2003 list--which had 103 other names on it, of which Ortiz was one. MLB conveniently protected Ortiz & Manny--until Manny was a Dodger that is--and the media followed suit. So while I don't embrace the timing of this conversation, about Ortiz on steroids, the fact is it's a long overdue conversation that needs to take place. Let's see what medical exemptions he has out there, let's go into the history. That would not only be the right thing to do, it would be the fair thing to do.
I don't like the Red Sox (congrats to them , I hope their fans are enjoying the championship), but this is bs. Cowherd is one of the dumbest people in sports broadcasting, I hear his voice I change the station.
Remember, Cowherd is the guy who said Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo are "basically the same guy". That should've been enough to drum him out of the industry right there. Instead he gets a new tv show.
Ortiz can barely run the bases or take the field. With all of the saved energy from actually playing baseball, it seems reasonable that he can hit the heck out of the ball at his advanced age and declined fitness.
He definitely did steroids. There are a number of people who were on the list that were "allegedly" linked to peds. Why does Ortiz get a pass? Haha oh right... because red sox fans have nothing better to do in their pathetic lives than to watch their team play an extremely boring sport. God for bid one of their players got caught doing steroids, it would ruin their poser rugged blue collar reputation. Haha the bigger the sports town, the more pathetic the people.
Cowheard is a moron. Hasn't he heard of the Theory of Evolution? So what if all the players in over a century of baseball history before the steroid era got worse in their late 30s? Ortiz and all the others wrongly accused of steroids are just visible proof that the evolution of man is happening. Hell, he might hit 400 at the age of 40 at this rate. Atheists, I present to you your Man-God, David Ortiz be-eth His name.
Colin Cowherd is a walking ego, always trying to sell you his book and he claims he's right about everything he blabs about. Not ONE person was talking about Ortiz and PED's until Cowturd opened his big mouth.
Where was Cowherd in the Tigers series? Where was Cowherd during the regular season? The guy shows up when Ortiz gets on a hot streak and is hitting a lot of SINGLES and makes bold claims that he and NO ONE ELSE HERE can back up.
Ortiz was on a list of 100 players that tested positive for something, but no one will ever know what it was. People say "STEROIDS" like they know it to be true. But they DON'T. Ortiz has not put up Barry Bonds like home runs over the past decade, he's averaged around 30+ a year, not 73.
Where is this "LIST"? Show me the names of all 100 players then. Show me the doping list, show me the proof that it was "STEROIDS". The reason Ortiz has gotten a "PASS" is because he's never been caught for steroids. Was Ortiz linked to Biogenesis? NO. But other Dominicans were so Cowherd just makes the assumption that Ortiz must be juicing because he's Dominican.
For those of you making Minnesota Twins comparisons:
Look at the amount of games Ortiz played with the Twins compared to the Sox, he had really only 2 full seasons with the Twins. Those two seasons? yeah he had 117 hits in 2000, and 112 hits in 2002 which is not far off from the Sox numbers. He also had 32 and 36 doubles those years as well. He hit 10 home runs in 2000 and then in only 89 games he hit 18. Then in 2002 he hit 20 home runs and was RELEASED by the Twins. His first year with Boston in 2003 he hit 31 home runs with the most plate appearances of his career.
Cowherd says Ortiz was "SHOT" a few years ago? Really? stats say otherwise:
2007 - average: .332 - 35 HR, 25 2B, Hits 182 - RBI - 117
2008 - average: .264 - 23 HR, 30 2B, Hits 110 - RBI - 89
2009 - average: .238 - 28 HR, 35 2B, Hits 129 - RBI - 99
2010 - average: .270 - 32 HR, 36 2B, Hits 140 - RBI - 102
2011 - average: .309 - 29 HR, 40 2B, Hits 162 - RBI - 96
2012 - average: .318 - 23 HR, 26 2B, Hits 103 - RBI - 60 (injured part of season)
2013 - average: .309 - 30 HR, 38 2B, Hits 160 - RBI - 103
uh, where was David Ortiz "SHOT" again? Cowherd brings up one month of May where he was slumping and thinks he has a valid argument?
not even close.
Ortiz had his best years from 2004-2007 where he hit over 40 home runs and 54 in 2006. He lead the league in RBI in 2005 and 2006, those were his two best years. Other than that he has averaged around 30 home runs a year, that is not STEROID eye popping home run numbers.
Ortiz got hot in the playoffs at the right time. He's been clutch his career in the post season. He has the most walk off or game winning home runs in Red Sox history.
Colin Cowherd is an idiot.
If you didn't hear Cowherd's rant, you probably should just stfu. He had zero evidence to support his claim and on top of that used the situation to plug his book about 5 times. "Oh, I just think differently about sports than most fans...you can read it in my book about the experience I had at 8 years old". It was a shameful stunt for publicity and sales. There's a reason the guy also defends Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh...I'm sure it's just coincidence that those guys ALSO say outrageous and incendiary things to garner attention and gain sales of products.
the comparison is wrong. barry bonds was never bad. he went from great to astronomical.
cowherd is a punk. but i have to agree with him, i was wondering why no one was bringing up his steroid past. the reason is obvious, the media likes BIG PAPI. if it was a less likeable player like a-rod. they would be mentioning it every 5 minutes.
MLB will have this stigma for a long time. Get over it, maybe they shouldn't have let it happen for so long. I 'd be testing everyone in and around the playoff for sure, to at least have the illusion they're clean. The MLB has nothing to gain by catching users, it only makes them look bad. Its much better to put in some lame system and throw out people here and there to preserve the illusion. Plus the high end drugs probably aren't detectable anyhow. Ignorance is bliss, I get it. Just ignore it and it's not there.
A shameful publicity stunt by Colon Cowhead to try and throw himself into the WS narrative. I have more respect for Jerry Springer than alarmists who puke out meritless innuendo. I say to Cowhead; PROVE IT and if you can't STFU! The League has caught lots of guys the past couple of years who were dirty but Ortiz isn't one of them so Colon has no concrete proof to make that assumption. There is a reason why this fool does goofy TV skits and isn't considered a serious sports analyst.
I'm not a fan of the Sox, but I did hear Cowherd's rant and thought it was downright pathetic. To totally derail a legitimate baseball discussion into steroids because you're "suspicious" is just wrong. I wonder what Cowherd was saying when Ortiz was hitting .091 in the ALCS?? Did David start juicing right before game 1?
Colin Cowherd is a vicious gossip, nothing more. Were he more, he wouldn't have felt the need to stoop so low, so as to gin up his ratings. The man's tongue should be torn from his mouth and fed to pigs.
I cannot understand why- in the face of all the evidence we know from guys like Braun, Lance Armstrong, Arod- people just won't accept the facts: PED use in baseball and all sports today is rampant and people (Armstrong? Braun?) can fool the drug tests for years.
One person had a higher World Series batting avg than Ortiz: Billy Hatcher in in 1990 at .750. Sounds good eh? Except Hatcher hit a whopping .276 that year during the regular season with 5 home runs and 25 RBIs!! His lifetime avg was 264 and he never even hit 300 once. Also, he had been suspended during his career for corking his bat, so he wasn't above cheating. Hitting .750 was so far out of his normal range of performance that it is fair to speculate that something besides natural talent was responsible. Hatcher was 30.
Ortiz at 37 hit .733 in the series. That's 108 points or roughly 20% higher than the single best World series season for the greatest hitter of all time, Babe Ruth, who hit .625 in 1928 at age 33. Ruth's lifetime avg over 21 SEASONS was .342. In 1921 when Ruth was 26 he hit 378! Ortiz' lifetime avg after 16 seasons is 292.
The problem is that you just don't see players ever improve with age after 35. Bonds did. Macguire did. Other PED users did. And somehow Ortiz did too. He improved his season avg 71 points in 5 years! He tested positive for steroids in 2003.
We found out this year that 12 proven PED users never failed a test for years, so...
Of course it should be talked about, and not only is there a black cloud over Ortiz and this world series but the entire sport. MLB is a corrupt, boring farce consisting of juiced players, juiced balls, bandbox parks, a strike zone the size of a cantaloupe, 4 and a half hour games and .214 hitters who make 5 million dollars and employ their own nutritionists.
Get paid alot of money? By whom??!! His last year with the Twins he hit under .275 with 20 HRs. C'mon. He absolutely cheated
I think he juiced for one last run. He is old and hit a huge decline in numbers and suddenly is on a historical run...nothing suspicious there.
I hope you are not consisting Ortiz is even half the player Bonds was, not on Steriod. You do have to have skills before steriods to put up Bonds numbers on steriods.
I'm just not sure which one is the bigger idiot here.
Great Response. Cowherd is a babbling idiot in this case..Of course he didn't mention the .091 average Ortiz had in the ALCS.. The Red Sox won and Ortiz MVP so Blowhard Cowherd needed to feel important and stir things up.
@BrettRadcliffe You don't think going from hitting .332 to .264 to .238 over the course of 3 years (2007-2009) is an indicator of decline? Then he's a .300 hitter again. Um, yeah, forgive us if we're a little suspicious...
@BrettRadcliffe Thank you for taking the time to post all that. I'm in total agreement with you and others that Cowherd's reasoning on this issue is suspect. Normally I find myself concurring with a lot of his ideas, but all Colin did in this case, was cast aspersions on a player with no credible evidence to back up his claims. Ortiz got hot for a week and that's it. If he hit well above his career numbers for a whole season, I think most people would be willing to listen to claims that he was cheating. Was Koji Uehara cheating too?
@JamesBizzo Of course not...he started juicing a dozen years ago.
I assume you're a huge Football Fan... The Sport that really needs cleaned up, but always gets a pass.
@Mike Fallopian I sure hope you don't like football then
@Drew Slentz Ahhhh so he juiced right before the series and magically hit the baseball different than he did against the Tigers (hit .091). That makes a TON of sense.
@BentNeck76 It's funny how you, and others, point to that argument in favor of Ortiz NOT doing steroids and yet you, and others like you, are the first ones to bash ARod for steroids even though he hasn't been good for years. You can't have it both ways. Ortiz was and IS a juicer. He's not alone, and that's the sad thing.
@Zales @BrettRadcliffe what? there are TONS of major leaguers who have bad years and then rebound. Get a clue, read a baseball card and look at other players stats. I pointed out the OBIVOUS stats - Home Runs, Doubles, Hits, RBI, and average and yeah his average may have dropped a couple times but the rest of his stats did not.
@Mike Fallopian You obviously missed Colin's rant. His main premise was that he must be juicing because of his record World Series numbers, while totally ignoring that the prior week he was AWFUL against the Tigers. It was a terrible argument.
@Mike Fallopian @JamesBizzo Based on what? Age?Performance? Because he is 38 and had a great World Series he is using steroids? He failed a drug test 10 years ago? What did he test positive for? Does anyone even know? Cowherd's logic is ludicrous. Ortiz had a great week and now that's reason for suspicion. He also said St. Louis was pitching around him as a silent protest. Is he kidding? It had nothing to do with trying to win the game?
@BentNeck76 Feel free to assume I'm a pro wresling fan f it makes you feel better about MLB.
@BrettRadcliffe Actually you're wrong. ARod was never "caught" at all. He was confirmed to have been on the list of tested players in 2003. Ortiz was also confirmed to be on that list. FACT: Both ARod and Ortiz failed a PED test BEFORE the league policy was enforced.
ARod NEVER failed a test, ever. Curt Schilling said it himself, the only difference between Ortiz & ARod is that Ortiz is much more likable. Both are PED users, whether you like it or not.
I never mentioned A-Rod, but now that you have I will say this. A-Rod has been caught TWICE, he went on national TV and admitted he was a steroid user. Then he was connected to Biogenesis more recently.
Ortiz has never been caught or admitted to using PED's unlike A-Rod.
you guys are CLINGING on to that 2003 list because it's all you can bring up and yet NONE OF US have ever actually seen it.
ARod, for example, isn't being suspended for steroid use--as is being reported. He's being suspended for submitting doctor's notes from a guy who was not a doctor in order to keep taking steroids. Basically MLB is saying that ARod has been taking steroids from the date of the first doctor note he submitted from Bosch.
Now apply this to Ortiz, or others. Any of them an get a doctor to "prescribe" steroids which would then make it okay to use. Because it's prescription, MLB gives them a pass. It's the loophole that keeps steroids in baseball.
Look at Tejada who was suspended for adderall. For all intents & purposes adderall is much more of a PED than any steroid. It's prescribed to people with ADD/ADHD to improve their focus & concentration--which is essential to any baseball player. How did Tejada get suspended? His 5 year prescription expired and he didn't get a renewed one from his doctor. There's no way he should even have that prescription.
I digress, the whole thing is a scam. Ortiz, and a whole slew of other players, are all taking something and they're getting it prescribed from somewhere--effectively taking advantage that loophole. The whole thing is a farce.
I'm not talking about any particular fan, my comment was directed at the media--which is the subject of this whole thing.
Ortiz is a steroid user. Manny was a steroid user. While Manny was a Red Sox player his use was swept under the rug. He goes to LA and all of a sudden tests positive. That's not suspicious? What he just started using when he got to LA?
Ortiz was on the list of players who tested positive in 2003. But he doesn't know what he was taking and MLB sweeps it under the rug.
There's no animosity towards any particular fan or team, to be honest. It's a commentary about the media. Ortiz is a steroid user and they praise him, ARod and Bonds get bashed. The difference? One is likable and the other two aren't. That's just not right. Cowherd was right to call his steroid use into question and highlight. While I may not like the timing of it, he's still right.
@yankeefan077777 @BrettRadcliffe @Zales Ortiz never hit more home runs than Roger Maris hit in a season. Ortiz only hit over 50 home runs 1 time in his career. He hit over 40 home runs only 2 times in his career. He's averaged around 30 per year, that does not say STEROIDS to me.
Bonds hit 73 home runs.
What has Ortiz had to "figure out"?
the guy has the most walk off hits in Red Sox history in regular and post season play.
This line right here:
"If this were any other team....."
sounds to me like some Red Sox fans jumped all over you in an argument in the past and called your team out for Steroids and you simply haven't gotten over it yet and want that sweet "REVENGE" - yeah sound about right.
The FACT is that he tested positive for an unknown substance. It's not listed on that 2003 report and some of those positive tests were for supplements. You can assume that it's steroids, but no one knows for sure. Now, I don't have a problem with fans being cynical and arguing amongst themselves abut who is clean and who is dirty. But I have a major with problem with a sports journalist going on the air and accusing someone of cheating with absolutely no evidence other than a hunch. No one was crying foul when Ortiz hit under .100 for the ALCS. No one questioned Jhonny Peralta, who had a great post season after being suspended for 50 games. Should they investigate Ortiz and others? Yes. But until there is definitive evidence of what he used and when he used it, a journalist cannot claim that he did it for certain when they do not know that for certain. It's all speculation.
@BrettRadcliffe @BOSFred The only problem with your argument is that Ortiz IS a known steroid user. He's not suspected of taking PED's, it's a FACT that he was a user. So what's more likely, that he juices and continues juicing with a Doctor note to this day or he somehow miraculously "figured it out" and that now, at the age of 37 or so, he's Babe Ruth?
If this were any other player, on any other team, "Red Sox Nation" would be screaming bloody murder/steroid use etc, etc, etc.
@BOSFred The fact that Ortiz hit 18 home runs in 2001 with Minnesota in just 89 games should tell you something. If he had played a full season he would have been on pace for at least 30-35 home runs. Nobody ever wants to talk about this, they all see 20 home runs in his last season and think that was his ceiling with Minnesota.
Ortiz was just starting out back then also, he obviously got better as he got older and played more games. 31 home runs was how much he hit with Boston in his first season. That is around his average every year with Boston except for his two best years in 2005 & 2006. If he had played that full season in 2001 he would have had more than those 31 home runs.
So the whole "he got better once he left Minnesota" argument is not as clear cut as people make it out to be.
Saying his stats are suspicious is not a such horrible thing to say. It's hard to believe that the same years that Manny was taking substances, Papi's HR totals climbed from 20 in Min to 31/41/47/54 in BOS. Sure he had more plate appearances. And these numbers alone are not suggesting that he took anything. Just the association with his teammate who had similar success in the same time was proven that he did something illegal is enough to raise an eyebrow and wonder. It just so happened also that when the news came out that Ortiz took steroids that his BA dropped to .238. He had some below average seasons and is now back to normal. Sure many players go thru the same up and down.
I don't think he took anything. He is a nasty hitter and has consistently been a threat at the plate even when he batted .238. Just saying that you shouldn't jump down people's throats for having the thought that he took something. You gotta admit, it "seems" too good to be true that he grew into the player he has after being let go by MIN.
@JamesBizzo Of course I missed it....I'd have to be paid pretty well to watch MLB. But if someone tells me the correct time I'm not going to be concerned with how their watch works...ie how they came to the correct conclusion.