David Ortiz: “Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me”

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It’s been quite a night for The Player’s Tribune. In addition to having Brady Aiken break the news about his Tommy John surgery, they also got this doozy of a first-person essay from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Amusingly enough, he’s the “editor at large” for The Player’s Tribune.

Anyway, there’s a lot to unpack in this piece and you should really go read it all, because it’s full of some great lines and interesting anecdotes. Referring to Dan Shaughnessy as “the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globe” was my favorite. However, what will likely get the most attention will be his steadfast denial of PED use.

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.

On the subject of the infamous leaked list of players who were flagged for PED use from 2003, Ortiz says he never knowingly took anything against the rules and didn’t even know that he tested positive until he saw the report on ESPN in 2009 like the rest of the public. He explained that the positive test was likely the result of an over-the-counter supplement:

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.

If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro.

As for getting in the Hall of Fame, Ortiz wrote that “hell yes” he deserves it, citing that he has been a contributor on three World Series championship teams since increased drug testing has gone into effect and that he continues to produce year in and year out.

This is obviously a one-sided piece and Ortiz has his own agenda, but at least he’s getting that opportunity now rather than have his quotes filtered through traditional media. The Player’s Tribune continues to change the game.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”