BOSTON (CBS) — David Ortiz took to Derek Jeter’s website on Thursday, and vehemently denied he ever “knowingly used steroids.”
Writing as an editor for The Players’ Tribune, Ortiz relayed a story of how he was tested at 7:30am at his home in the Dominican this past offseason. This is nothing new for the Red Sox’ slugger, who claims he’s been tested more than any other player in Major League Baseball.
But Ortiz is upset that such a fact does little to change the mind of those who consider him a “cheater”:
In some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s bulls***. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it’s really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It’s no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will.
But that doesn’t matter to some people. Some people still look at me like I’m a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003. Let me tell you something about that test. Most guys were taking over-the-counter supplements then. Most guys are still taking over-the-counter supplements. If it’s legal, ballplayers take it. Why? Because if you make it to the World Series, you play 180 games. Really think about that for a second. 180 games. Your kids could be sick, your wife could be yelling at you, your dad could be dying — nobody cares. Nobody cares if you have a bone bruise in your wrist or if you have a pulled groin. You’re an entertainer. The people want to see you hit a 95-mile-an-hour fastball over a damn 37-foot wall.
This all stems from the leak of 2003 tests that MLB conducted when trying to figure out what players were taking and what they could do about it. The results were supposed to remain sealed and the players anonymous, but the names were leaked in 2009. Ortiz’s name, along with then-teammate Manny Ramirez, were both on the list of players who tested positive, though it was never revealed what Ortiz tested positive for.
To this day, he still has not been told why his name showed up on the list.
In 2003, MLB wanted to measure what players were taking and figure out some kind of standard. We all got tested and MLB sealed the results. The next year, they said, “Okay, you can’t take any pills with this, this and this,” — all kinds of stuff that was previously in supplements that anybody could buy. They used our tests to figure out what should be considered a performance-enhancer. Okay. Fine. Great. Clean it up. I love it. S***, if you catch someone taking PEDs now that we all know the rules and have been educated about what’s in these supplements, forget 25, 50 games. Suspend them for an entire year. I don’t care, because I’m not doing it.
Ortiz maintains that whatever he took in 2003, it was all legal and over-the-counter:
But back in the early 2000s, you’d go into GNC and the guy working there would say, “Hey, take this stuff. It’s great. It builds muscle, helps with soreness, burns fat, whatever.”
Okay, sure, I’ll take that. I’m buying an over-the-f***ing-counter supplement in the United States of America. I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.
The Sox slugger is obviously still hurt from the release of the 2003 testing, and all the criticism that has followed. If you don’t believe him when he says he didn’t take PEDs, then he says, “There is nothing I can say to convince you different.”
He’s hoping his career numbers — the 466 home runs, .455 average in the World Series, three World Series rings — will be all the convincing the Hall of Fame voters need.
Hell yes I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. I’ve won three World Series since MLB introduced comprehensive drug testing. I’ve performed year after year after year. But if a bunch of writers who have never swung a bat want to tell me it’s all for nothing, OK. Why do they write my legacy?
…In 75 years, when I’m dead and gone, I won’t care if I’m in the Hall of Fame. I won’t care if a bunch of baseball writers know the truth about who I am in my soul and what I have done in this game. I care that my children know the truth.