Ortiz Tested Positive, Too; Who’s Shocked?

David (Big Papi) Ortiz recently said that every baseball player who tests positive for a performance enhancing drug should be banned for a year instead of suspended 50 games, which is the current penalty.

Wonder if the Boston slugger will take a year off after a report in the New York Times said Ortiz and former teammate Manny Ramirez were both on the list of players who tested postive for PEDs in 2003. That’s supposed to be an annonymous list, but somebody’s leaking names. Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa were also on the list. Remember, there was no punishment for testing positive at that time.

By now, nobody should be shocked by these reports. For all of you naive baseball fans out there, I urge you to get a copy of Kirk Radomski’s book: “Bases Loaded.” It’s truly the inside story of of the steroid era in baseball. Radomski, the former Mets’ clubhouse boy who advised several major leaguers — stars and average players alike — on how to stake anabolic steroids and human growth hormone — and how to get around drug testing. The book, which I just read last week while on vacation, is a fascinating inside look into major league baseball. Here’s an exerpt:

“Jack Armstrong, who pitched for the Reds, admitted that at least 30 percent of all players were using large doses of steroids by 1994 and a significant number of players were using lower doses  to maintain. When pitcher Kenny Rogers saw a list of players known to have used them, he just about starting laughing. There are hundreds of players missing from that list, he said. Ken Caminiti guessed publicly that half of all major leaguers were using anabolics. Privately, a lot of people thought that number was low.”

Radomski, who escaped prison time by cooperating with the feds, said he had at least one client on every major league roster at the time he was busted.

So while Boston’s Big Papi will be the big story for the next week or so, don’t forget all the other guys who haven’t been named. Don’t forget that baseball’s leaders — Bud Selig and all of the owners — buried their heads in the sand for years when it came to steroids. They could have — should have — policed this years ago.

Once again, baseball will ride this latest story out, hoping fans forget about it. And they will. We’ll still go to the games and cheer on our favorites players and teams.

In his book, Radmonski makes it clear that he does not think all of the records that were established during the steroid era were broken because players were using steroids or growth hormones.

The biggest impact, he wrote, “was that they enabled players to perform at the peak of their ability on a regular basis and helped them to keep their stamina during the second half of the season. Those changes along led many players to end up with better stats.”

Hall of Famer Henry Aaron recently said he’d be OK with players on the PED list going into the Hall of Fame, but only if there was an asterisk by their names.

If I’m one of those players whose name has not been released, I certainly wouldn’t want the complete list to come out. But if the rest of those names come out — and I think they will — it’ll be interesting to see who’s on it.

Like a lot of you, I’ll be especially interested if any ex-Mariners are on it. David Segui, a former client of Radomski’s who played in Seattle, has admitted using steroids. Radomski writes about it in his book and he also commends Segui for being upfront about it. He’s not so kind to Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and others who claimed they never used steroids.

You can’t help but wonder who else was on the juice. What do you think? Has your opinion of major league baseball been altered?

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