PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — David Ortiz was reportedly one of 104 Major League baseball players to appear on a list of individuals that had tested for performance enhancing drug use in 2003. Now over a decade later, Ortiz’s name has come up once again in connection to PED use and ‘Big Papi,’ appears sick and tired of it.
On Saturday night, the Boston Red Sox took on their division rival, the Baltimore Orioles. John Lackey took the mound for the Red Sox and went just five and 2/3 innings allowing five runs and 10 hits.
Lackey, like many pitchers this year, was roughed up by Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz who registered five hits in as many at bats including a homer off Lackey in the 5th inning. Lackey had some interesting remarks about Cruz following the game.
“I’m not even going to comment on him,” Lackey said, according to WEEI.com. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
Lackey did not want to say much, but he ended up speaking volumes. He was referencing Cruz’s Biogenesis suspension from last season.
The calling out of Cruz prompted his manager, Buck Showalter, to come to his defense. “We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s,” Showalter responded.
That statement left a little to the imagination. Was Showalter just speaking in generalities, or was his “backyard,” reference a shot at Lackey’s teammate, Ortiz?
On Monday, Ortiz claimed that while watching MLB Network, commentators brought up his name while discussing the Lackey, Cruz incident and said that the Boston slugger received a bit of a “free pass,” because of the fact that he tested positive in 2003. Steroid scandals brought down the career and reputations of other players like Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez who also appeared on the 2003 list, but Ortiz has remained somewhat unscathed and continues to be a face of the Red Sox organization.
Ortiz was livid to hear his name brought up, and he believes he has in no way received a “free pass.”
“He wants to make it sound like I got a free pass because nobody can point fingers at me directly. But the reason why I got that fake [expletive] free pass that he’s saying is because they pointed fingers at me with no proof,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “It’s easier to do it that way than having something that they can say, ‘Yes, you did this, you did that.’ My [expletive], I call straight-up bull. Let me tell you. You don’t get no free pass here, especially a guy like me. I don’t get no free pass. That free-pass B.S. that they want to talk about over there, they can shove it up their [expletive].”
Ortiz went on to add that he has no clue why his name would even come up when the issue was between Lackey, Cruz and Showalter.
PED scandals have proven to be enough to bring down the career and reputation of some of the game’s brightest stars. Ortiz appears set on making sure that his legacy continues and that his name does not get dragged through the mud.
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