What David Ortiz has accomplished through the first five games of the 2013 World Series is nothing shy of incredible. The 37-year-old slugger has carried the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals by going 11-for-15 from the plate (a .733 average), belting two homers and driving in six runs. He has reached base 15 out of 20 times he has strolled to the plate.
The Cardinals have not been able to get Big Papi out, and ESPN’s Colin Cowherd thinks he knows why. During the opening segment of his show on Wednesday, Cowherd basically said he believes Ortiz is currently using performance-enhancing drugs.
“David Ortiz, who was shot two years ago, is now Babe Ruth,” Cowherd said. “That’s a great story. And I don’t want to get in the way of that great story because it will make people really, really mad. … Last time I saw a guy like this it was Barry Bonds. But sports is about storytelling and hero worship and cool nicknames and fanaticism. Fans get mad when you derail that.”
Ortiz’s power numbers have remained relatively consistent throughout his career with the Red Sox, but his .309 average this season was tied for the second-highest of his career for any season in which he appeared in at least 100 games. A historically slow starter, Ortiz came out of the gate red hot in 2013. In fact, a local sports writer insinuated back in May that Papi must be juicing.
“When it’s too good to be true, it is,” Cowherd continued. “Here was a guy in May of 2009, batting .222 with a slugging percentage of .300, no injuries, couldn’t hit. The Red Sox as a team are hitting about .190 (in the World Series). He’s hitting .800 against pitchers he didn’t face all year. … Significantly better today than several years ago. Interesting story. The story of David Ortiz hitting .733 — about as believable as Big Foot.”
We all know Ortiz’s name appeared on a list of players who allegedly tested positive for PEDs back in 2003. His excuse for what caused his name to appear on that list was lame. That was also 10 years ago.
Could Ortiz be using some sort of banned substance? Of course he could. The Ryan Brauns and Nelson Cruzs of the world have taught us we can never be certain. He could also be clean (at least now) and simply having one of the best hot streaks of his career at the perfect time. As baseball fans, we want to believe Ortiz would have been caught like everyone else earlier this year if he was cheating. I agree with Cowherd on that front. I don’t want to agree with him on the rest. Maybe I’m naive.Google+