Why is David Ortiz holding a news conference?

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From the “if it makes you feel better” department:

Red Sox star David Ortiz may soon provide more details about his 2003 drug test. The Boston slugger and incoming players’ union head Michael Weiner plan a news conference Saturday at Yankee Stadium before the Red Sox play New York . . .

. . . “I’m going to let you guys know what I’ve got. Period,” Ortiz said after the Yankees beat the Red Sox 13-6.

I don’t know how this serves anyone’s interest.  Certainly not the public’s.  Unlike the case with A-Rod and Manny, there hasn’t been a big “he must come clean!” groundswell with respect to Big Papi.  Probably because everyone knows that whenever a ballplayer makes a statement about these things all we get are prepared remarks which were in all likelihood crafted by legal counsel.  The union’s general counsel and future president, Michael Weiner, will be at Ortiz’s side tomorrow, so it’s not as if we should expect anything candid or all that interesting here.

A statement is not really in Papi’s interests either.  It’s still early, but doesn’t it seem like people are willing to go a bit easier on Ortiz than on other PED-implicated players? Maybe that’s because everyone always liked him.  Maybe it’s because he probably wasn’t a Hall of Fame case anyway and holds no records, so no one is too worried about what his legacy means.  Maybe it’s because his career is obviously winding down and there’s no sense in piling on.  Whatever the case, I don’t know that his situation is crying out for a P.R. offensive.

The final reason I think this is a bad idea is that, as I’ve mentioned several times before, the whole reason Ortiz’s name is out in PED land is because of someone’s illegal, unethical act.  It’s quite likely that the reason this scumbag is releasing these names is because he wants to make a spectacle out of these players and would like nothing more than to see them make this media perp-walk.  Why give him the satisfaction?

Ortiz’s positive test is more than six years-old.  It’s troubling and regrettable and all of that for the reasons so many people have stated so often, but it certainly doesn’t call for a news conference. 

Let it go, Papi.

Piscotty returns to Cardinals lineup after concussion

Stephen Piscotty
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.

Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.

St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.

What to watch for on the final day of the regular season

Cole Hamels
AP Photo/LM Otero

Here we are, the final day of the regular season. And every game with playoff implications will start at the same time: 3:05 p.m. ET. What to watch …

American League Wild Card


This is where the most intrigue lies heading into the day. We have the Yankees currently in position for hosting duties, but they’re only one game up on Houston. And then Houston is only one game up on Anaheim. Also at play here is that the Astros are just one game back of the Rangers in the American League West standings. If the Yankees, Astros, and Rangers all win on Sunday the current postseason map stays the same — the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday will be at Yankee Stadium with the Astros visiting. And the Angels would obviously be out. But if the Angels win and the Astros lose, we’ll have a play-in game Monday. And if the Yankees lose, the location of the Wild Card Game on Tuesday could change.

American League West


As we touched on above, the Astros are still in a position to force a tiebreaker for the division if the Angels beat the Rangers again in Arlington. It’ll be Garrett Richards against Cole Hamels in that one. Houston is throwing Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray in Arizona.

American League Best Record


If the AL Central-champion Royals (94-67) beat the Twins on Saturday behind deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto, they’ll get the Wild Card Game winner in the ALDS and clinch homefield advantage throughout the postseason. But if they lose, the Blue Jays (93-68) could move into that top seed because they won their season series against Kansas City 4-3. Mark Buehrle is pitching for Toronto in what is supposed to be his final major league game.

National League Wild Card


Pittsburgh losing and Chicago winning on Saturday kept Wild Card Game hosting duties alive for Wrigley Field. If the Pirates fall again to the Reds and the Cubs win at Miller Park, the game Wild Card Game Wednesday will be in Chicago because the Cubs have the season-series edge (11-8) over the Bucs. Pittsburgh can wrap up clinching duties with a victory behind J.A. Happ.

Stay tuned. We’ll be covering all angles as the 2015 regular season comes to a close.