David Ortiz is not happy about being dragged through the mud again in the latest PED brouhaha.
In a conversation with WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford before last night’s 4-0 Red Sox loss to the White Sox, Ortiz spoke about being involved in media commentary following Red Sox starter John Lackey’s no-comment-comments about Orioles DH and Red Sox killer Nelson Cruz, who received a 50-game suspension last season for using performance-enhancing drugs via his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
“I’m not even going to comment on [Cruz],” Lackey said after getting hammered by the O’s in Saturday night’s start. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are some things that I would like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was than asked about Lackey’s comments, which led to the initial pointing back to the Red Sox roster. “We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s,” Showalter said.
Ortiz was then apparently irked when he saw coverage of the verbal sparring on MLB Network Monday afternoon. Ortiz told Bradford that the host of the show featuring the Lackey-Cruz-Showalter discussion said Ortiz had received a “free pass” regarding performance-enhancing drug use in the past.
Ortiz could not identify the host of the MLB Network program he was watching when the Lackey-Cruz-Showalter discussion came up. Former major league pitcher and MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane is reportedly the commentator that made the “free pass” comments about Ortiz.
“What pisses me off is the whole thing about, why does my name got to be mentioned in that?,” Ortiz said to Bradford. “What did I have to do with that? I saw on MLB the guys talking about it, and then they brought my name up, and one of the guys said that I got a free pass on that. It was the Lackey and Showalter thing, going back and forth. Showalter didn’t say anything about me.”
Ortiz continued to lash out about the “free pass” comment, saying he was an easy target and there was “no proof” against PED charges levied against him in 2003.
“I call it straight up bull@#&! ‘Cause let me tell you, you don’t get no free pass here, especially a guy like me,” Ortiz told Bradford. I don’t get no free pass. So that free pass bull@#&! that they want to talk about over there, they can shove it up their ass. [Bradford: “I’m taping.”] I don’t care. I don’t care. That’s reality. You don’t use the words that I get a free pass. You don’t get a free pass on this. MLB don’t play that bull@#&! MLB don’t play that… There’s a reason why I’ve been drug tested already like eight times and we’re not even at the break yet. Is that a free pass? There’s a reason why I’ve been tested like 40 times since they approved the policy, the drug policy. Is that a free pass? So, they can get that free pass and shove it up their [expletive]. They can put it on [the air] just like that.”
In July 2009, Ortiz – along with Manny Ramirez – was among the roughly 100 major league players who were named as alleged drug users in 2003 in what was supposed to be an anonymous test, according to a New York Times report. Ortiz said at the time of the report that he believed then-legal supplements and vitamins likely caused him to be named on the list.
“I definitely was a little bit careless back in those days when I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter — legal supplements, legal vitamins over the counter — but I never buy steroids or use steroids,” Ortiz said during a 2009 news conference at Yankee Stadium with then players union lawyer Michael Weiner. “I never thought that buying supplements and vitamins, it was going to hurt anybody’s feelings.”