Wanna Talk Papi and PEDs? Game On!


Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz (34) singles during the eighth inning of game five of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes there’s a guy who simply feels the over arching need to be the turd in the punch bowl, the Debbie Downer to everyone’s Polyanna. Witness the recent steaming pile foisted upon the Red Sox sports continuum by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd (coward?) during a recent radio broadcast in which he accused David Ortiz of juicing.

“David Ortiz, who was shot two years ago, is now Babe Ruth,” Cowherd said. “Last time I saw a guy like this it was Barry Bonds. But sports is about storytelling and hero worship and cool nicknames and fanaticism. Fans get mad when you derail that … The story of David Ortiz hitting .733 — about as believable as Big Foot.”

Here’s the difference. Babe Ruth destroyed himself with tobacco, booze, food and women in his last years in the bigs. Papi figured it out and took care of himself.

Colin, take a freakin’ pill. Did it ever occur to you that serendipity, skill and Ortiz taking great care of himself over the past couple of years as evidenced by his precipitous weight drop – which actually flies in the face of steroid abuse – had anything to do with his performance? That’s like saying that if Cowherd had a great week of really well turned phrases  – admittedly a stretch – it would be clear evidence that he was taking some sort of magic speaking potion.

"Look, the bottom line about the World Series is that you only have to get really hot for a short period of time in order to make history and that’s exactly what Ortiz did."

I get it.  Cowherd’s got a product to sell. The louder and more controversial you are the more a lot of sports morons will listen to you.

Jon Lester, in defense of his teammate, made this insightful comment: “You couldn’t be more wrong,” Lester said about Ortiz. “You really haven’t seen the power numbers spike up. He’s really just become a more complete hitter. It’s not like he’s all of a sudden hitting 50 homers and driving in 140. He’s done it the right way for a long time.”

Lester said it. I couldn’t have said it better. Colin, move on. It’s football season.