On Saturday August,8th at 12:30 PM, David Ortiz held a press conference at Yankee Stadium to address the fact of his name being on the list of positive results from the “Sample Survey” taken in 2003. As you know, this testing was to see if the 5% threshold of Major League ballplayers tested positive for substances to aid in performance, known as PED's.
Ortiz was accompanied by the future Executive Director of the MLBPA Michael Weiner to clarify as to why “Big Papi's” name was leaked. I'm not going to elaborate on what Mr. Weiner said, just what Ortiz said and my opinion of his statement.
Ortiz appeared confident as he made his opening statement in which he said he was “a little bit careless” in buying over the counter supplements and vitamins from both the U.S. and from his home country of the Dominican Republic. He apologized to the fans and the Red Sox for the distraction and not being more careful and, in effect, uneducated of what he took.
He then quite emphatically claimed that he never purchased or used steroids. He then said he thinks of the fans every day and again apologized to them for the distraction.
During the Q & A period, Red Sox beat writer Sean McAdam asked Ortiz if he regretted not mentioning about taking supplements and vitamins prior to Saturday, Ortiz said he was busy trying to get information on how his name was on the list.
My thoughts ---
I was struck by that statement that Ortiz was “a little bit careless” in buying supplements and vitamins over the counter. Didn't he know what he was taking? I mean my God, did he just ask a friend or the person behind the counter what would be good to maintain stamina or add strength? That's not a little careless, that's either not caring at all or just plain stupid! As far as I'm concerned, Big Papi was not paying any attention to what he was taking... Looking out for #1.
His claim about thinking of the fans every day may be true NOW, but how about in 2003? I doubt he was thinking about anybody but himself. He had struggled with Minnesota before signing on with Boston. No way was he thinking of fans that he didn't have.
As far as not answering Sean McAdam's question directly, what information could Ortiz have gotten? All he had to say was that he hadn't thought about mentioning it because he was upset and perhaps bewildered. That would have sufficed, in my opinion.
My assessment of the David Ortiz presser is no different than others --- he skirted the issue of taking over the counter supplements by claiming he didn't know what he was taking, and sidestepped as to why he didn't say anything about taking these supplements days before the presser. I know he was given council not to, but I find that to be no excuse not to say anything. All in all, I was very disappointed with the process as I expected much more from such a “stand up” individual.
David Ortiz, you are no different than the rest.
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