David Ortiz Cheating in the World Series?

H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Cowherd appeared on SportsCenter and talked about the hitting efficiency and dominance of David Ortiz during the World Series.  Then he talked about a word that is very taboo for baseball players.  Cowherd mentioned steroids and how Ortiz could be questioned for his outstanding World Series play.

There are two issues here – Ortiz’s alleged use of a banned substance and Ortiz’s past playoff performances.  In 2003, Big Papi failed a drug test administered by Major League Baseball that was supposed to have remained anonymous.  After the Steroid Era escapades, those results were leaked and Ortiz’s name was one of the 100 or so players who had tested positive for a banned substance.

MLB never said what Ortiz tested positive for, and Ortiz never gave insight into what he might have unknowingly taken.  It’s not like he was going to post his doctor’s prescriptions online or open up his medicine cabinet for MTV Cribs.  The fact is that his name was on a piece of paper.  The post season he supposedly took PEDs or a banned substance, Ortiz hit a measly .191 with 15 strikeouts.  This was over 47 at-bats so those stats are statistically relevant.

Fast forward to the next 5 Red Sox playoff appearances.  Ortiz hit .400 in 2004 (55 AB), .333 in 2005 (12 AB), .370 in 2007 (46 AB), .186 in 2008 (43 AB), and .083 in 2009 (12 AB).  He’s had mostly great success with some poor performances mixed in.  There is nothing to suggest that he is hitting any better than he did in playoffs before, but there is a difference in the level Ortiz is hitting at versus that of his teammates.

The comments by Cowherd are only warranted because of the controversy that surrounded Ortiz after the 2003 test results were made public.  That was 10 years ago.  Ortiz is a likeable player, which helps his case for people to believe he doesn’t take anything illegal.  However, the bigger problem I have is that this World Series is one for the ages and Cowherd has already discredited the best player in it.

I understand that there have been players even as recently as this season that have been caught and suspended for using banned substances, but don’t take away from the validity of the World Series pitting the two best teams in baseball.  Yes there are great pitchers.  Yes there are great hitters.  And there is Big Papi.

He is displaying amazing baseball ability in clutch situations and should not be subject to the likes of a non-baseball expert.  Enjoy the game and the Series, and let Major League Baseball deal with any accusations after the fact.  There is nothing that can be done now even if it were true that Ortiz was cheating.  I though like to believe that he is becoming a World Series story to tell your kids about.

Topics: Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, World Series

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  • Roberts

    Not sure I understand this article. You present zero evidence to refute the suggestion and all you have done is promote the issue. Also poor reporting in your lead when? did Cower make his comments?

  • Tim Daly

    What a weak debating response and selective memory of facts. Ortiz has more than just a positive steroids test. He also had entanglements with Jared Remy, albeit through his personal assistant, but that is how you stay an arms length away. When Remy got nailed in 2008, Big Papi’s stats slid big time in 2008 and 2009, to the point retirement was imminent. Bring forward all the facts, Cowherd’s concerns deserve discussion by the media. Ortiz traded in his presumption of innocence when he got cheating in 2003.

    • Aaron Somers

      There was never actually any proof that connected Ortiz to Remy, just rumblings, and to suggest that his fall off in 2008/2009 is directly related is a bit of a stretch.

      Furthermore, when Ortiz allegedly failed that test in 2003 there are a couple of factors to consider: a) There are numerous supplements that are banned now that were not then. b) It was never public what he’d allegedly failed the test for. c) Ortiz spoke about the situation, adamantly denying that he’d ever taken anything illegal. d) No punishments were ever handed down for these “failed tests” because the league was still experimenting with their procedures. The results were never supposed to be made public because there was no true certainty to how valid they all were.

      Tim, Ortiz might be guilty in your eyes (and yes, the eyes of others) and that is fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. There are no facts that prove he is guilty of using them, however. Not then and not now. Cowherd’s concerns don’t deserve discussion because his “concerns” were just as unsubstantiated as you’re suggesting that Travis’ article above was.

      • Tim Daly

        There is bonafide proof that Ortiz’s assistant had involvement with Jared Remy. MLB and Boston police both spoke with the assistant. You can live in denial all you like, Ortiz has had multiple brushes with PEDs. You can find these details in the Boston Globe, just do the search yourself. And shockingly, after Remy’s arrest, Big Papi’s stats went into free fall. Just like they did at the end of 2003 when he failed his piss test.

        Ortiz failed a test, period, It’s not debatable. Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Braun have never failed a legitimate test. Ortiz failed a legitimate test and the MLBPA oversaw the policy guidelines regarding that failure. You can make up as many excuses and justifications as you like, it doesn’t change that fact or the fact that Big Papi’s assistant was questioned regarding the sale of PEDs. Ortiz is filth and is getting a free pass from most of the media.

        • Aaron Somers

          Tim, I’m happy to have a discussion with you on this but if you’re going to continue to take offense to every little piece of information then there’s no point. There’s a clear separation of fact and emotion here, which you can’t seem to accept.

          • Tim Daly

            Take your team fan hat off, respect the game. Ortiz failed a test that was organized by and under the guidelines set forth by the MLBPA. MLB and Boston police questioned his personal assistant in regards to the Jared Remy cases. There is no debating this. These are facts. Accept them and absorb them. Perhaps you should heed your own advice and separate your personal fanship and emotion from the facts. Baseball used to be my favorite sport and today it ranks at the bottom for me due to players like David Ortiz.

          • Aaron Somers

            I’m not even a Red Sox fan, so that argument fails as well here Tim.

          • Steve

            He failed the drug test- Players at 38 dont keep getting better. Sorry hes dirty, but that IMO. If he is then he will get snagged soon. These stories are money and he is a target now.

  • John Cate

    “The post season he supposedly took PEDs or a banned substance, Ortiz hit a measly .191 with 15 strikeouts. This was over 47 at-bats so those stats are statistically relevant.”

    Sure they are. In the best season, OPS-wise, of Babe Ruth’s career (1920), he hit .210/.290/.371 in his first 18 games of the season, over 62 at-bats so those stats are statistically relevant. Then, starting on May 11, he hit .403/.564/.924 over the final 122 games of the season, hitting 52 home runs and even stealing a dozen bases.

    The Babe had a day off on May 10, 1920. We need to research his whereabouts that day. Because it seems pretty obvious to me that he must have met up with some nefarious steroids dealer to help him out of his slump. After all, no great hitter can possibly hit that badly in a few dozen at-bats unless he’s in PED withdrawal, correct?

  • Brian Longenecker

    Colin Cowherd failed to mention Ortiz hit .091 in the ALCS… Plus he’s a douchebag.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Cardinal fans are really something.