Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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David Ortiz is a hypocrite

I'm not remotely surprised that David Ortiz's name is on the list of 104 people who tested positive for so-called "PEDs" in 2003. At this point, it's impossible to be surprised. Athletes are conditioned from the git-go to be the best they absolutely can be. That's why they train, lift weights, run, take vitamin supplements, drink Gatorade, and so on. Until 2004, MLB didn't have a policy on steroids and such, so of course ballplayers were going to try anything they thought might give them an edge if it wouldn't get them in trouble.

This isn't any different from players in the 1950s taking greenies or the legion of pitchers who have admitted to scuffing the ball or using a spitball. For that matter, this entire story is following the exact same narrative as the cocaine scandal in the 1980s.

Oh, and the reason why I put the abbreviation for performance-enhancing drugs in quotes and used the phrase so-called is because there is NO evidence that these drugs do actually enhance performance. For starters, strength is only a minor component of being a baseball player. Guys like Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are able to succeed at the major-league level, not because they're big and strong, but because they're smart hitters who know how to recognize good pitches versus bad pitches. At best, strength enhancers have turned a few flyouts into homers. But there's tons more to being a baseball player than strength. (For that matter, Giambi's performance declined during the period that he admits to using....)

Of course, there's also the endurance factor, which is why so many of those who've tested positive have been mid-level relievers who are trying to get over the hump....

What's interesting to me about this particular story are two items:

1. These tests were supposed to be anonymous. Yet "lawyers with knowledge of the results" are able to control the news cycle by releasing confidential documents, something that, bluntly, should get them disbarred. The fact that this shit keeps getting leaked is appalling and violates any number of civil-rights laws -- and yes, those apply to ballplayers as well. They're members of a workforce, too. How would you feel if your job asked you to pee in a cup on a promise of anonymity, and had the results revealed publicly six years later?

2. David Ortiz got all smug and sanctimonious in February, shortly after it was revealed that Alex Rodriguez took steroids during his time with the Texas Rangers. "I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I'm going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don't want to be facing that situation." Of course, Ortiz also drew a distinction between using after MLB's drug-testing policy was in effect and before -- now we know why.....
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