Ortiz sounds off on steroids, batting seventh
|08.23.09 at 1:51 pm ET|
David Ortiz hasn’t exactly had the most easy-going summer. Between his name being leaked from a 2003 list that indicated he test positive for a PED, being moved down as far as seventh in the order, and making a triumphant return as Boston’s muscle, Mike Mutnansky, Rob Bradford, and Kirk Minihane had plenty to ask him today on “Mut and Bradford.”
The Red Sox’ designated hitter’s initial refusal to comment on a New York Times report that he had tested positive for a substance along with Manny Ramirez back in 2003 made him an easy target for the media, but on such a hot-button issue, Ortiz made sure he knew all the facts before diving into the controversy.
“I was dealing with something that I had no clue about what was happening,” Ortiz said. “At the same time, I’m starting to hit well, starting to recognize pitches and all that kind of stuff. Then out of nowhere I’ve got to deal with this situation I was dealing with, and it kind of got me off because I was trying to look for information and things like that. I remember I was talking to a lot of people, and it was not a good situation, but I’m the kind of guy that I know how to deal with tough situations. Sometimes, things get out of hand, and it got out of control.
“Somebody comes out of nowhere, naming you with something that nobody knows about, and next thing you know, you have fans screaming at you, calling you names that nobody knows. I’m not a perfect human being and I’m not the guy that will tell you I’ve never made any mistakes, but I try not to, you know. I’ve been here in Boston seven years, and I know there’s a lot of kids and a lot of fans looking [up to] us and you know, when somebody just comes out of nowhere and tries to get your reputation down, and nobody steps up and makes a difference from what everybody has seen through the years, it’s a little frustrating.”
Though he was affected on the field by the allegations, Ortiz said he was able to return to form following the August 8 press conference in New York in which he and incoming head of the MLBPA Michael Weiner addressed the urine sample.
“Let me tell you, I was trying to get some good sleep afterwards,” Ortiz said. “I [didn’t] have to see nobody else, I don’t have to deal with no one. We came home […] and everything started heading in the right direction.”
Ortiz also voiced his opinion on his movement up and down the lineup throughout the season. Normally a middle-of-the order hitter, he has batted as low as seventh as recently as August 14.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t really like [hitting] seventh, and I haven’t told that to no one,” Ortiz said. “It’s because the back of my jersey still says ‘ORTIZ.’
“If a pitcher sees me hitting seventh he says ‘you know what, just go to first base. I’m not going to make a mistake with you and you’re not going to change my game. Because you’re hitting seventh I don’t think you’re going to hit the ball out of the park or do any damage.’ But, on the other hand, you know, I’m the kind of guy that I don’t like controversy. If we’re playing good with me hitting nine, I’ve got no problem with it.
“I think Terry’s been doing a hell of a job trying to move things around and trying to give everybody the chance to win a ball game and trying to take pressure off of everyone. I’ve got to try to keep on swinging so I don’t hit seven anymore.”
As for the team as it’s currently constituted, Ortiz applauded the acquisitions of the high-energy Victor Martinez and Alex Gonzalez. After admitting that mentally he doesn’t “have much room” for thinking about things such as slumps and steroid allegations of the past, Ortiz expressed confidence in the Wild Card-leading club going forward.
“I really believe that we’re going to be fine,” Ortiz said. “We just need to be focused and go day-by-day. Make sure we get our pitching all set. Try to give our bullpen some days off, and we can move from there. I really believe if we can have our [starting pitching and offense consistent], we’re going to be just fine.”
For the complete interview, click here.
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