Defending Papi?


The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
Pittsburgh, PA
So, with the Giants announcing that they'll retire Barry Bonds' number next year, chatter about steroids has kicked up. And one of the more frustrating things I endure as a Red Sox fan is having to hear barbs about David Ortiz, particularly the 2009 leak of the 2003 test results (or whatever the leaker alleges were those results).

I recall Ortiz on the Players Tribune talking about the subject. But I also recall some particularly able critique of the whole thing being posted around here (or maybe on the .com), which a neutral fan could accept as sufficient reason to ignore it. Does anyone remember that?

Regardless, I'm looking for the best summary of why people should regard that affair as bullshit. (I'll accept arguments for why it should actually be viewed as the equivalent of a positive test in 2004-to-present, but that's a minority view around here). For starters:
  • We don't know who leaked the list of 104 names, what their agenda might be, or whether they doctored the list. It came from "lawyers with knowledge of the list". Let's suppose for the sake of argument that it's authentic.
  • We don't know what anyone tested positive for, at what thresholds. As Papi says, not even he knows, and nobody will tell him.
  • We don't know whether separate A and B samples were tested to mitigate false positives
  • The tests were done so that MLB could design a testing regime; it was never meant to actually be a testing regime.
  • In the 2003 tests, a refusal to take a test was counted as a positive test for the sake of meeting the 5% threshold that triggered mandatory random testing in 2004 onward. We don't know which names were refusals and which were positive tests.
  • At least 8 of the 104 positive tests were for substances not yet banned by MLB in 2003, and (again) we don't know what or whom.
I feel like I'm missing something, what else is relevant?


will you be my friend?
SoSH Member
Nov 1, 2005
At the end of the day, it's about the difference between "innocent" and "not guilty". If someone can follow that logic with a court of law, they should be able to follow it regarding the pre-testing tests. If they can't, they can't, and if they won't, frankly just stop trying.

splendid splinter

SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
Greenville, SC
I always thought Ortiz was on a list of “inconclusives” where the A sample tested positive but the B sample didn’t? And without knowing what he tested positive for you a) don’t know how egregious any violation was, and b) can’t determine if he was actively taking something, or might have been using a supplement that contained what would be considered a banned ingredient; lots of players in the pre-testing days probably took stuff rather indiscriminately.


SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
Portland, ME
It's not all that different that the Patriots and their scandals. People will tell you that they deflated footballs and illegally taped/filmed signals. With Ortiz, he was on a list, so he was definitely taking steroids.

When his time comes, you'll have some media members that will write columns spilling out the facts that you laid out. But the majority of others will ignore that. He was on a list. And he also became a much better hitter the older he got, so......

Pablo's TB Lover

SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
Well Papi's career high HR numbers came after the start of the robust steroid testing program so there's also that. But you can't satisfy some people, knuckleheads will still be shouting "HGH! Testing was only for steroids."


oppresses WARmongers
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2008
Roanoke, VA

Hoodie Sleeves

SoSH Member
Nov 24, 2015
I always thought Ortiz was on a list of “inconclusives” where the A sample tested positive but the B sample didn’t? .
The B samples were never tested in the survey testing, and bad A samples were counted as positives - because they were supposed to be anonymous, and the goal was to get a general idea of overall use. We basically have no idea whether or not he was positive.


SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
There's also the fact that the list was never supposed to be released to anyone. The feds never should have received the list in the first place, and the fact that the feds also ignored multiple rulings from multiple judges to return the list is another fact that needs to be considered.

The whole thing is a sham and no player should be judged based on whether they were on that "list" or not. But folks like Joe Morgan and Shank don't think that way; to them, Ortiz is guilty, and that's all that matters.