BOSTON (CBS) — On Thursday’s show, Michael Felger discussed a recent report from Outside The Lines which stated that multiple MLB players have failed steroid tests, and the names will be announced soon. With Chris Colabello and Dee Gordon already getting caught this year, and with MLB testing catching up on a previously difficult-to-trace drug (Turinabol), Felger wondered if David Ortiz might be one of the yet-to-be-announced players to fail a test. That’s just par for the course in a sport like baseball whenever a player performs as well as Ortiz has performed at age 40. He’s hitting .311 with six homers and 22 RBIs.
But then, Felger realized that considering it’s most likely not Ortiz with the failed test, it means the Red Sox’ DH is more than likely doing it clean.
Here’s what Felger had to say, edited down for clarity and conciseness:
Gold clap to Major League Baseball. You’re efforting. You are legitimately efforting to catch these guys and trying to improve the testing to catch a steroid that was previously undetectable. I get the sense that in football, if the NFL came across this steroid and this popped up, they’d say, ‘Great, now we can’t catch these guys. They can all take it a week before training camps open, we’ll test them, it’ll clear their system, and we don’t have to bust anybody.’
Because I don’t think the NFL is really interested in busting the steroid guys. I think Major League Baseball is.
So I find that interesting.
And so now, there’s a round of failed tests that’s about to be announced and suspensions doled out, and don’t you instinctively think, ‘Did they get Ortiz?’ Don’t you? Certainly — and I’m not saying he’s the only guy. You say, ‘Oh, did they finally get those guys up in Toronto?’ Or, ‘Did they catch up to Jake Arrieta?’ There are guys that you think of and just instinctively go, ‘Oh, did they get him?’
And Ortiz is one of them. Be honest — Ortiz is of course one of them. How does a guy at his age maintain that bat speed and that power, and he’s failed a steroids test before, his trainer has been banned from Major League Baseball before for dealing steroids, he comes from a country where steroid use unfortunately is prevalent, and so why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t you suspect David Ortiz?
But do you know what I’m beginning to just start having to accept?
I wonder if he’s actually clean.
And this ties into the first thing I said. Major League Baseball is trying to catch these guys. They’re trying. They’re tightening up the tests. They are going to the labs and the labs are improving their methods. They’re now busting guys for using steroids that previously were passing tests. They’re taking down good players — NL MVP Ryan Braun, the reigning All-Star second baseman in the National League in Dee Gordon. They will take down good players. You know David Ortiz has a big target on his back. They have to be paying extra attention to him. Please. Of course they do.
So they’re testing the crap out of him, they’re improving the testing, they’re not shying away from busting good players … and David Ortiz keeps passing these tests. I’m going to assume he’s not on the list, I’m going to assume he’s passing his tests, and these tests are now more real than they’ve ever been.
If I’m just being fair — and I’m a steroid skeptic, I think everyone’s on something — at what point do I sit there and say, ‘Well maybe Ortiz is the one guy who’s clean.’ He’s passing all these tests, and there’s a lot of failures everywhere else.
Scoreboard. I’m a slave to the scoreboard. Scoreboard. He keeps passing the tests. I believe everyone’s on something in pro sports, so he’s no exception. But if I’m going to be fair, I’m just telling you that I’m starting to think about this.
MLB wants to catch them. They’re making more of an effort than any other league in pro sports, and I don’t think it’s even close. So, I think baseball is more willing and likely to catch these guys, go after these guys, and take down big names. And Ortiz keeps passing all of his tests. So what am I supposed to do there?
I think everyone in pro sports is on something, and I would not exclude anyone from that thought. But, however, if I’m being fair, there’s a scoreboard there for a reason. I’m a slave to the scoreboard.