|David Ortiz talks Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, MLB testing policy||08.23.12 at 8:14 pm ET|
David Ortiz considers Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon friends. But still, the Red Sox designated hitter isn’t about to defend the players’ latest actions.
Prior to the Red Sox’ game against the Angels Thursday night at Fenway Park, Ortiz was pointed in his analysis of the decisions made by both Cabrera and Colon, each of whom have been handed down 50-game suspensions due to violations of Major League Baseball’s substance abuse policy.
“I see it this way, I’m not going to diss anyone. Whatever you do, you do and you have a reason to do it. But, bottom line is, you have to be ready for the results,” Ortiz said. “I guarantee you the way those guys have been living, what they’ve been into the last couple of weeks, is something that has to be a nightmare for them, their family, their career, everything. They have to start making better decisions when it comes down to that.
“Our drug program is legit. It’s legit. You don’t get away with [expletive]. If you see the way they test you, just the impression of the way they do it, it tells you a lot. It’s bad when you have a friend, and those two guys are really good friends of mine, you don’t want to see a friend struggle, and I know they’re struggling big-time right now, but it is what it is. You have to pay for your responsibility and making decisions. Hopefully they learn their lessons and move on.”
Ortiz said that while MLB’s drug policy has gone a long way to altering how players view performance-enhancing drugs, the latest incidents suggests there is still work to do.
“It’s not in past it because every time some thing like that comes out it just puts doubt in people’s mind once again,” said Ortiz, who said he gets tested 2-3 times a season on the average. “he good thing about the whole situation is not all of us is guilty because somebody fell. The poor decisions we make, we have to pay for. I heard some of the guys talk about the penalty of 50 games is not enough. Fifty games, dude, out of 162? Some of the guys that have said that realize what 50 games mean. Fifty games is a lot of games. I’ve been out of the game for almost five weeks and my situation is not even close to that and I feel like [expletive] because I’ve been missed 30 games being injured. There’s not too much you can do about it except wait for the injury to heal up so you can go back and play. Think about 50 games suspended because you make the wrong decision. That would kill me.
“Bartolo was an ace of his team [Oakland] and that team is playing really well, so don’t you think he’s at home scratching his head right now. ‘I let teammates down. I let my friends down. I let my family down.’ He’s not going to be able to play no more this year. He might be the reason they don’t make it to the playoffs. If they don’t make it to the playoffs the way they’re playing right now … They’re in the wild card right now, right there. He’s going to miss at least 4-5 starts. That makes a big difference. Melky, same boat. Same situation.
“Trust me, those guys right now they’re feeling the heat. People are saying about the 50 games, but 50 games is 50 games. Guys are making poor decisions? Yes. But they’re going to feel the heat out of those 50 games. They will. That’s more than a quarter of the season. Fifty games, I’ve seen guys put good seasons together in 50 games. Fifty games is 50 games, I don’t care what anybody says.”
In 2009, Ortiz was listed as one of a group of 100 major league players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in what was supposed to be confidential survey test in 2003. After it was revealed he was part of the group, Ortiz explained the positive test was likely due to a careless use of supplements or vitamins.
Thursday, the DH explained how such mistakes are being avoided thanks to an understanding that everything ingested by a big league players must run through the MLB testing system.
“Everything you use you have to go through MLB. Period. There are no excuses,” he said. “I live out of the country for a long period of time, I train, I do all my stuff, and if I want to get supplements or vitamins or whatever, I’ve got to let them know. You’ve got to be careful. There’s not excuses. … You can’t be running the risk, because once they catch you with something in your system you’re guilty. They let you know. And the other thing they do is as long as you’re a part of Major League Baseball they can show up at your house in the offseason and say, ‘Pee right here.’ You have to give them the location where you’re going to be at the offseason, and if they holler at you and you’re not there, you’re guilty. That’s why I’m saying this is legit. That’s the reason I’m telling you that everybody needs to be careful.
“I absolutely understand. I don’t think it’s unfair at all. I’m a huge believer of the drug program. No doubt about it. These guys that do the tests for us, they want to make sure you watch everything you do. They want to make sure your hands our clean, that everything is clean. They want to make sure everything goes the right way. I can tell you that because I’ve been tested more than 20 times. Me, personally, I don’t have no doubt about our drug program.”
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