David Ortiz was one of the hundred or so ballplayers who tested positive for PEDs during the 2003 survey testing which was designed to determine whether or not baseball’s drug problem was significant enough to warrant full-blown testing the following year. His and everyone else’s name was supposed to remain confidential, but his, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa’s names were leaked.
At the time his name was leaked, Ortiz said a lot of things about how surprised he was and how he wanted to get to the bottom of it all. Most took this as a deflection and didn’t buy Ortiz’s confusion as genuine. He got busted, most figured, and now he’s acting surprised. How rich.
Well, he’s still surprised about it and is still wondering. From WEEI:
“No. Nobody. Not MLB. Not the Players Association. Nobody,” said Ortiz when asked if anyone had revealed what he had reportedly tested positive for. “They just threw it out there that I tested positive on this one list and that was it. Nothing. So I have to deal with that, and your mind is all over the place. And I’ve lived with it … It is something that is still in the dark because nobody ever had the [guts] to come to me and say, ‘This is what was happening.’ You damaged my image at the time, and it has always stayed like that. No explanation. No nothing.”
Take that for what it’s worth. But ask yourself why Ortiz — along with Andy Pettitte and many others who have had PED associations — don’t get one-tenth the crap thrown on them that Alex Rodriguez does.
And no, this is not a call to throw crap on Ortiz and Pettitte.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.