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David Ortiz induction highlights hypocrisy of Hall of Fame voters

Mar 3, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox former player David Ortiz (red hat) walks on the field prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox former player David Ortiz (red hat) walks on the field prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /
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David Ortiz received his rightful call for immortality on Tuesday. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first try, receiving 77.6% of the vote, the only player to reach that 75% threshold. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were second and third respectively, both seeing improvement on their previous totals, but it was not enough.

Bonds and Clemens will now be left to the Veteran’s Committee with those former players and executives left to decide their fate. Ortiz, meanwhile, will be feted and celebrated in July, the latest member of an exclusive fraternity.

David Ortiz induction highlights hypocrisy of voters

But he should not be the only one on the stage that had been voted in. Both Bonds and Clemens, at minimum, should be there as well, two of the greatest players to ever appear in the game. The problem is that both players are linked to PED usage, their inclusion in the Mitchell Report and PED allegations keeping them out of the Hall.

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And that is the elephant in the room. Ortiz also failed a PED test back in 2003 but was not named in the Mitchell Report. Not only did Ortiz fail to find out why he was named in the report after promising to, but Bud Selig also said to ignore his failed test because there were several that were due to substances that were not banned at the time.

Selig’s words are not the only reason why Ortiz was given a pass. He was the loveable Big Papi, someone whose smile and enjoyment of life shined through, brightening the dark clouds of PED suspicion. Bonds and Clemens, meanwhile, were surly and not nearly as friendly with the media, costing them in the popularity vote that is the BBWAA balloting.

It may also not be a coincidence that Ortiz’s career took off when he got to Boston and had that failed test. He was teammates with Manny Ramirez after all, and said that a part of his education with Boston was wanting to find out what made Ramirez an All Star. Considering that Ramirez was suspended twice for PED use, we can certainly guess that he may have had some help.

Ortiz was 27 years old when he joined the Red Sox. And he was coming off of the best season of his major league career when Minnesota released him. It is entirely possible that he just took the next step that was going to happen anyway.

But players have been kept out of the Hall for less. Jeff Bagwell had to wait because the likes of Murray Chass thought he looked like a PED user despite the fact that he never failed a test. Ivan Rodriguez claimed he gained 40 pounds of muscle through cutting out soda, eating salads, and going on walks with his wife. However, it all comes down to perception, and Ortiz wins on that end.

Does David Ortiz belong in the Hall of Fame? He absolutely does. But so do Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, amongst others on the ballot. Instead, the writers chose to ignore Ortiz’s failed PED test while citing their suspicion of others as the reason why they would not get a vote. It is a convenient excuse for the writers to get around how they just will not vote for those who may not have been as friendly to them as they may have liked, a final power trip under a guise of righteous outrage.

Next. Ortiz credits Red Sox stars for Hall of Fame path. dark

David Ortiz was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sadly, his induction has done more to highlight the hypocrisy of the voters than anything else.