If no one else wants to say it, then I will. David Ortiz in not a first-ballot Hall of Fame player. I respect what he has done throughout his career in the majors but let’s not forget what he HAS done as well.
In 2003, Ortiz failed a drug test, but this was before the league had cracked down on illegal substance but the stench was still there. Prior to that season, the most home runs Ortiz hit was 20, but after that failed test he went on to hit 483 more homers in his career. He has not failed another one but the suspicions are still there. How could a player with such little strength, suddenly become one of the game’s power hitters after said test came back positive?
In all fairness, Barry Bonds never tested positive but he gets flack as if he did. Ortiz may have just beat the system but his legacy is still tarnished the same if not worse than Bonds. Bonds, prior to his sudden power surge was still an All-Star player but you could tell a difference in his stature. Ortiz was the same. Not saying that he didn’t get stronger as he got older but this is the same argument given when Bonds name is brought up.
But Ortiz, being as transparent as ever has said things that make you wonder:
“I was taking whatever supplements were good at the time, stuff that everybody was using that would sustain me in my workouts,’’ he said.
This is not how you clear your name of any wrongdoing but Ortiz being himself never gave a damn and why should he? He was caught but since it was before MLB decided to crack down, his transgressions were swept under the rug. But here is the thing with baseball and their fans. They are loyal while you still have that uniform on, but once you take it off for that final time, that rug has to be cleaned and everything under it.
Here is what Ortiz, himself had to say about his chances at the Hall:
“If one day I’m up for the Hall of Fame and there are guys who don’t vote for me because of that, I will call it unfair,’’ he said in a lengthy interview in the Red Sox clubhouse in Fort Myers, Fla.
But why would he call it unfair? Let’s be real here, he was caught, then the following years he never tested positive again. Did he smarten up and never take them again, or did he smarten up and find a way around the system? He was a struggling ballplayer who found a way to get better, much like all the others who were either caught or accused of doing the same.
But why should Ortiz get a pass when the others didn’t?