Tampa Bay Sports Day

Is Big Papi Another Palmeiro?

The best place to hide a tree is in the forest, right? Raphael Palmeiro tried that on March 17, 2005 and accentuated it with a pointed finger. The former Texas Ranger made every attempt to deflect the attention away from him as far as steroids were concerned. Boy, did that blow up in his face.

Now we have David Ortiz standing up and making a bold statement, not about anything concerning his own steroid use, but baseball players in general. Speaking at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida, Big Papi told reporters that if a player tests positive for steroids even once, “Ban ‘em for the whole year.”

Not exactly what you would call a physical specimen, Ortiz does possess great power and some of the names that have come out over the years as steroid users wouldn’t be mistaken for bodybuilders, either. Case in point, Mo Vaughn, who could pass for Ortiz with their similar girth and Boston uniform. Big Mo was named in the Mitchell Report and was also spoken about in Kirk Radomski’s new book, “Bases Loaded.”

Vaughn was the caliber of player that thought merely using performance-enhancing drug was all it takes to benefit. He did not exercise and was inconsistent with using the substances, which Radomski described as the reason why Vaughn looked the way he did.

Hypothetically, let’s say Ortiz realized that he needed to make a decision to save his career after being cut by the Minnesota Twins in December of 2002. Although he had decent numbers that year (.272, 20, 75), his numbers went way up his first year at Fenway, with not only his batting average being higher, but his home runs and RBI jumped to 31 and 101, respectively.

He then became a legitimate superstar and hit a career-high 54 bombs in 2006. His numbers have declined since, and he also missed some time last summer due to injury.

It isn’t impossible that Ortiz dabbled into the use of steroids at one time and may now be clean, so it’s easy to step up and make a statement like he did. He was going yard and in a big way during the period that has been proven to be the so-called ’steroid era.’

By stepping up and saying,”Hey, come and test all of us and throw us out if we’re stupid enough to do it,’ Ortiz deflects any doubt that may have been lingering over him.

Similar to what Pameiro did. Get my drift?