As expected, this afternoon’s press conference with David Ortiz was a big ol’ dud. If anything, it was an orchestrated performance by incoming union head Michael Weiner, propped up by a statement released by Major League Baseball this morning urging “the press and the public to use caution in reaching conclusions based on leaks of names, particularly from sources whose identities are not revealed.” As Weiner stated during the press conference, just because someone is included on the list doesn’t necessarily mean that the player used a banned substance. Wha wha?
Big Papi was legally bound from saying much, but he took the the opportunity to predictably deny his use of steroids while apologizing to the fans, his teammates and his manager:
“I definitely was a little bit careless. I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter ... but I never buy steroids or use steroids.”
“I’m not here to make excuses or anything. I want to apologize to the fans for the distraction, my teammates, my manager. We go into a situation now, it was a nightmare to me.”
Meanwhile, Weiner -- who looked like he fell out of bed and ran to the proceedings like Ferris Bueller -- sounded all lawyery and unioney:
“Substantial scientific questions exist as to the interpretation of some of the 2003 test results. The more definitive methods that are utilized by the lab that administers the current drug agreement were not utilized by the lab responsible for the anonymous testing program in 2003. The collective bargaining parties did not pursue definitive answers regarding these inconclusive results, since those answers were unnecessary to the administration of the 2003 program.”
Weiner named Androstenedione -- the supplement made famous by Mark McGwire -- as an example, pointing out that while it is a banned substance now, it wasn’t in 2003. He also reiterated MLB’s contention that eight players, and possibly more, of the 104 siezed by the government in 2004 did not test positive for PEDs. And of those 96 remaining names, 13 were inconclusive and possibly include multiple tests on the same player.
Well, if MLB’s intention was to make the whole controversy even more vague and confusing -- which I believe it was -- mission frickin’ accomplished, guys. Isn’t there a game on or something?