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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ortiz did steroids; and this is a surprise?

You gotta love baseball and its never-ending witch hunt involving steroids.

The latest chapter hit home yesterday as David Ortiz's name (along with Manny Ramirez) was supposedly on the list of 104 players who failed PED tests in 2003.

This whole saga is too frustrating to put into words but I'll leave it at this: the fact that Ortiz was implicated is completely predictable and it's further proof that baseball can't have it both ways. They rode the popularity of sluggers in the late 90s and early millennium but now old sports writers and MLB get all self-righteous and start questioning the integrity of a game that they completely turned a blind eye to.

The average fan doesn't care what happened six years ago. We live in the moment. If they test positive today that's a different story but can't we all accept that most of the big stars have used at some point and move on? The endless leaking of names is a joke.

Of course on such a big day, Ortiz stepped up in Boston's game as he smacked a three-run homer in the seventh that put the Red Sox up 6-5 en route to an 8-5 win in the series finale vs. the Oakland Athletics.

As I said yesterday, it was almost a must-win and given the result, it could be one of the turning points of the season.

Jon Lester cruised through the first five innings with Boston (59-42) nursing a 1-0 lead but he ran into trouble in the sixth as Oakland (43-58) scored four runs.

Jason Varitek (3 hits, 3 RBIs, run) had singled home the Sox' first run in the second inning. Mike Lowell's lucky RBI double (a pop-up that fell in between first and right field and then bounced into the stands) and another Varitek RBI single cut the A's lead to 4-3.

Tommy Everidge gave Oakland a 5-3 lead in the seventh with an RBI single but that just set the stage for Ortiz's heroic moment.

In the eighth, Boston tacked on two insurance runs as Varitek knocked in J.D. Drew with a double and Jacoby Ellsbury added a sacrifice fly.

Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 26th save in the ninth.

Today is one of the most interesting days in baseball every year, the trade deadline. The Sox have made a big splash in 2004 (trading Nomar) and last year (trading Manny for Jason Bay) and this year, there's rumors of Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez or Roy Halladay coming to Boston.

The Red Sox have the young prospects to make a blockbuster deal and as they've shown, they're not afraid to pull the trigger.

Boston opens up a weekend series in Baltimore tonight before heading off for Tampa Bay and finally New York. The Ortiz steroid saga is only beginning and he will face much different treatment away from the pink hats and homers of Red Sox Nation.

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