Enough with the Outrage over Ortiz & Ramirez
The current topic du jour in the news cycle is the revelation that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz both flunked drug tests in 2003, a result that was subsequently buried by the MLB.
It’s been interesting to see the reactions thus far. Perhaps most interesting are the ones coming from fans who somehow feel that this not only negates the credibility of the Red Sox World Series win in 2004, but also forever tarnishes the sense of pride felt in “Red Sox Nation.”
Let’s be honest. Ortiz and Ramirez were far from the only two guys in baseball that year that played on performance enhancers. Hell, they weren’t even the only guys on that field that were doping. There’s a reason doping lists were buried up until a few years ago. Those are just two of the names that would “shock” people who otherwise would prefer to either look the other way or pretend the problem wasn’t/isn’t rampant throughout baseball and sports in general.
I’d like to think that doping was that isolated and that Ortiz and Ramirez deserve to be singled out, but I can’t operate under such naivety.
Also, anybody who thinks Baseball is the one professional sport where steroids provide the biggest advantage and/or are the biggest problem, you’re operating under another false assumption. Not that it makes them a bad person or an idiot. After all, they must have almost an entire nation of sports fans operating under a constant state of self-delusion. How else can we explain all the rage and bile directed towards baseball players who fail doping tests while NFL ratings continue to climb?
I’m not saying cheating is okay, nor am I saying that steroids are okay. I am saying that considering the circumstances of the time and the tacid endorsement of doping and steroid use in sports culture from the late 1970s right up through the early part of the 21st century, you can’t really demonize every single person who ever provided a dirty urine sample, nor should you think it somehow gave them a greater advantage over other players who were doing the exact same thing and (also) getting away with it.