Perhaps sarcasm isn’t a noble trait, but we’re going to engage in it for a little while anyway. Apologies to those who thought we were better than that; we’re not. But now David Ortiz, after several days and close consult with MLBPA lead counsel Michael Weiner, has decided to tell us he actually never did steroids. Well, how about that! What a shocker! It must be true!
That was the gist of Ortiz’s press conference this afternoon, which was - as we predicted earlier - several hundred words of nothing. Well, technically that’s not true; there were unconfirmable denials and beaucoup excuses. Other than that, nada.
On one hand, you can hardly blame Ortiz for revealing as little as possible (and that may be giving him too much credit - more on that later). Why sell yourself out as a cheater if you don’t have to? It would be refreshing to have him stand up there and say “Hey, it was hit 15 homers a year and bounce around the waiver wire until I’m banished to some awful team like Cincinnati, or take this stuff that’s ‘banned’ but hardly enforced and turn into a hero. What was I supposed to do?”, but that’s not going to happen. Sorry, but it just doesn’t.
Indeed, the fact that he outright blames the positive test on careless use of supplements and denies any steroid use - but only after this amount of time and repeated “no comment”s - has Weiner’s fingerprints all over it. Such is the nature of plausible deniability.
And hey, why not? Considering that the leak was unethical to begin with - something that Weiner, as we also predicted, was all too happy to make a point of mentioning - if the lawyers leak it to the NYT that Ortiz indeed tested positive for more than just dirty supplements, then it’s time to put the heat on the MLB and NYT… and not on Ortiz.
So Ortiz, only with legal representation’s blessings, can confidently stride to the microphone and tell people he - basically - only barely failed the drug test and it’s no big deal. Maybe it’s smart, especially from the standpoint of protecting his career. It doesn’t smell genuine, though.