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What They’re Saying About Manny and Ortiz

The news has only been out a couple of hours, but the blogosphere, she already rumbles:

Tom Tango at The Book Blog: Redsox Nation will defend him, the others who want to fight will villify him, and even those Redsox fans who are bothered by it will simply hold their noses as they cling to the dream of a clean ring. The rest of us who don’t cling to the idea that baseball is a virgin to be protected at all costs will shake our heads for a second and move on in peace, while leaving the battlefield to those too holy for us.

It’s About the Money: There’s a part of me that should really be happy that another player from the RedSox has been outted, but really, it’s just another gut-punch to baseball. Sure, there might be some of you (myself included), that might jump up and say: “See, THAT explains it all!” Except it doesn’t. Every team was dirty. Some more than others. But to think assume that your favorite player(s) are clean is just folly.

Bronx Banter: Nothing shocking here.

Over the Monster: If this is true about Ortiz, it is a real shocker. I’m not surprised about Manny, but with Ortiz it goes back to everything he was saying. He said he was clean, he said he never did anything illegal. I think we all believed him. Of course with his struggles this season, it may have said, “hey, I’m off the juice,” but how are we supposed to know? If this is true, this is quite sad.

The Big Lead: Wonder if Ortiz wishes he could take back this quote from February: “I think you clean up the game by the testing. I test you, you test positive, you’re going to be out. Period.” What a fraud. Nobody should be surprised that Ortiz and Ramirez tested positive.

Rob Neyer: When Ortiz said players who fail drug tests should be suspended for a whole season, he actually meant, “Anybody who gets caught now should be severely punished not for using drugs, but for being stupid enough to get caught.”

Fire Brand of the American League: In my experiences watching baseball, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were of shady character enough that it was easy enough to see and believe they had taken steroids illegally and knowingly. I don’t have that sense about Ortiz. It’s possible he’s crafted an outstanding, fake public image and he’s not the person we all thought he was, but I’m not cynical enough for that. I think right now, David Ortiz deserves my not rushing to judgment. Not based on all these home runs he’s hit for the Sox, but for what he says and what he stands for.

Bugs & Cranks: I’m not going to pretend otherwise: I believe this report. Deep down, I knew this day would probably come. Too many stars on too many teams were taken down with the Red Sox managing to dodge most of the bullets. Then when Manny tested positive, I knew it was probably when not if. But I didn’t want to believe it. I still don’t. Ortiz? On steroids? F*CK.

Mike Herz, It’s time people accepted just how pervasive performance enhancing use has been in the game (going back to amphetamine use starting in the ‘60s), to the point of defining the game over much of the last two decades. With each new big name that comes out, it becomes harder to chastise, because it’s more of an indictment of an entire era rather than an individual. It’s becoming exceedingly clear that juicing was not isolated to a small group of “cheaters,” but something that was commonly practiced and accepted throughout baseball as part of the job.

Obviously a ton more out there, but this covers the bases of the immediate reaction. Sox fans are sad and surprised, Yankees fans are not surprised, but are withholding the “ha-has!”, and smart people everywhere are starting to acknowledge that steroids is way too complicated and pervasive a problem to allow us to live in a fantasy land in which there are “cheaters” and “clean people.”