He began his Red Sox career with Dan Shaughnessy calling him “a giant sack of you-know-what” on multiple media outlets. (He’ll try to deny it, but it happened. I heard them myself.)

He looks to end his Red Sox career attempting to bring a fourth World Series championship to Boston since 2004.

Yet, when word trickled out yesterday that Ortiz would likely be retiring after the 2016 season, the contingent of Red Sox “fans” who claim to dislike Ortiz came crawling out of the woodwork.

Check the replies to this Tweet:

It makes no sense.

Here is a sampling of the media stories on the impending retirement tour of David Ortiz:

What you should know about David Ortiz’s retirement – Rob Bradford

Red Sox won’t be same with David Ortiz’s retirement looming – Michael Silverman

David Ortiz not hanging around too long – Peter Abraham

Here’s hoping for one more magical walk-off for David Ortiz – Chad Finn

David Ortiz’s origin story with the Boston Red Sox – Adam Kilgore

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60 thoughts on “David Ortiz Calling It A Career After 2016

    1. “Michael Felger was the guy that most guys just wanted … his hair was
      always perfect, he was a pretty boy thinking he was GQ with his cardigan
      sweaters on and stuff, argyle socks, and the penny loafers, and always
      just looking for that negative side of the player and ready to blast on
      somebody,” Brown recalled. “I think guys wanted to just punch him right
      in the face.”

      Crowdfunding time!

      Like

  1. It (disliking Ortiz) makes perfect sense when you realize that these people are bigger fans of Felger, Mazz, Adam Jones and the CHB than they are of our local teams and the players.

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  2. All the praise heaped on Ortiz is well deserved but I’m not looking forward to another Jeter-style retirement tour. Not at all.

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    1. I just joked with a friend that Werner, et al, will put together 81 different pre-game Jumbotron tribute videos to cover the entire home schedule next season. Home game #81 will be epic in its excesses, no doubt, especially when one considers the Fenway send-offs they gave opposing players like Mariano and Jeter the past couple of seasons. Who knows? Maybe, like the Celtics did with Larry Legend in ’93, the Sox will just create a separate “David Ortiz Night” after the season and sell tickets for that. His dramatic impact on the fortunes of the franchise, despite the controversies that sometimes followed him, is undeniable.

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    2. There won’t be a Jeter-style retirement tour because (a) I don’t think Ortiz is that type and (b) the Red Sox are not consumed with self-fellating themselves over What It Is To Be A True Red Sock.

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        1. LTD, I’ve lived in Boston for about 32 years. I lived in NYC for about 9 months.

          In those 32 years, I’ve never once heard even five seconds of a conversation involving whether Free Agent X truly understood what it takes to earn the privilege of wearing the red “B” on his baseball cap.

          In those 9 months, I heard the geographical equivalent of discussion about 5 times.

          On the all-consuming blind self-absorption/self-importance scale, the Red Sox are at about a 3, and the Yankees (and their fans) are at [(1×10^98,746,246)^974,447,124,424].

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          1. Yankees fans are the “Les Canadiens” fans of MLB; though, oddly enough, I find Yankees fans much less insufferable than fans who would actually call “911” on their cell phones after Zdeno Chara boarded Max Pacioretty during a game four years ago, hoping to have Chara arrested for assault. Sacre Bleu!

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      1. I don’t know whether or nor Ortiz would embrace a farewell tour but if he does I’m sure the Red Sox could be every bit as over the top as the Yankees. Also, one of Dave O’Brien’s few flaws as a broadcaster is a tendency to lay on the gush pretty heavily and a season long retirement party will be the perfect opportunity to indulge himself.

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    1. Made this post here 2 months ago (I think before the insider scandal), never figured I’d be so right so quick! 😛

      “The concussion situation is the obvious one, but the two potential areas
      I would have of concern for the success of the NFL would be the
      gambling matter and the inevitable decline of ESPN. Fantasy football is
      really where they are banking their growth on at this point, they have
      pretty much destroyed the defense in the game so as to benefit it. And
      it is more blatant and obvious than ever that much of the interest in
      fantasy football comes from gambling. The advertisements we have for
      companies like Draft King, Fan Duel and so on at this point is beyond
      the point of absurdity. Yes, at this point fantasy football is not
      gambling due to a technicality in the law. But the way they have made
      these leagues where it is now all so heavily focused on individual weeks
      and individual players rather than a season’s worth of activity, it is
      becoming more and more luck versus skill. Someone in politics will take a
      shot at it at some point.”

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      1. Well, the gambling sites are claiming they fall under the technicality but it’s not a skill game just like picking a horse to place in a race isn’t a skill. It’s gambling, period and they’re going to get slapped down hard in the courts.

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  3. Ortiz, and his career has been difficult for me to embrace over the last 10 years. On the one hand an argument can be made that he was the greatest Red Sox player since Babe Ruth. No offense to Ted Williams but Ortiz was the foundation piece for 3 championships. No offense to Carl Yastrzemski but Ortiz production stayed more consistent over more years. No offense to Jim Rice (my fav growing up) but Ortiz hit better, did it longer, and he did not alienate the media. I might have argued that Manny was the most important part of the Sox but when they won in 2013 without him the evidence says that Ortiz and his .455 BA over 59 appearances in the World series is the MAN. Baseball’s greatest stage and the guy time and time again produced. Its what players live for.

    At the same time for me his attachment to PED use, his handling of the PED situation (we are still waiting for his explanation of how his name got on the list and what exactly he took coming up in the Dominican…he told the world it would take a few days and he would get back and answer those questions way back when) coupled with his production into his late 30’s makes it hard to embrace him without reservation. Fool me once (Roger Clemons) shame on you, fool me twice (Manny Ramirez) shame on me…fool me a third time and I might as well be a Jets fan.

    There is no doubt Ortiz has been a stalwart in the Boston charitable community since getting here. He is affable, approachable and from what I understand generous with both his time and money. But there is something that makes fans have a visceral reaction to him. Is it the contract issues? Is it the seeming me first attitude when it comes to stats which surprises as he was considered as team first a baseball player as you can be? Is it the fact that he does not play the field so how great can he be? I am not sure. Maybe 10 years from now my attitude towards him will be all warm and fuzzy but today… I always seem to be on guard…waiting for the next shoe to drop and for him to be exposed. Is that fair…no…is it the way I and many others feel? Yes.

    the idea that there will now be an Ortiz farewell tour makes me cringe. I hated the Jeter tour. I do not know why it is so hard for a player to play his final season as best he can, at the end of his last game doff his cap to the fans and then walk off into the sunset…to a life of leisure the rest of us can only dream about if we too win a lottery. Its the same feeling I have over preplanned touchdown celebrations…give the ball to the ref…act like you have been there before and go on. The connived attention attraction is another problem I have with sports. I don’t need an “applause” sign in the theatre…when I am impressed I will clap…when something is funny I will laugh…when I am disappointed I will boo…when I am manipulated…then I will be apathetic.

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    1. The PED issue is troubling. Unlike some “younger” members of the media, I can’t just chalk it up to, “well, it was the era in which he played, so get over it.” The other stuff doesn’t bother me as much. The other Red Sox greats you mentioned in your post all had their issues with both the fans and the media, and Manny’s act was utterly despised by Francona (and probably disliked by Jimy Williams and Grady, too). In other words, the Sox have always had “Divas” who were sometimes difficult to deal with. However, the PED thing does create questions that likely will go unanswered. Maybe it was just Ephedra, and maybe he did it unwittingly, and maybe he never took anything after that. But, we’ll never know, will we? That cloud will always be there, especially given that he comes from the D.R., where HGH and other goodies are seemingly available at every corner convenience store. With that said, while PEDs increase your bat speed (and, by extension, your production numbers) and keep you playing better for longer, they probably don’t sell a pill that makes you focus and play better in the clutch than anyone else in team history. Ortiz will always be that guy — the one guy in Sox history the fans knew was going to come through almost all the time whenever the situation was critical. Yaz was a great clutch hitter, but he also made the final out in the team’s 1-run losses in both the 7th game of the ’75 Series and the ’78 Bucky Dent playoff game, and those two swings of the bat will always be what some, more cynical Sox fans will remember most about him. It’s not fair, but that’s the way things go. How many fans remember that Bill Buckner had like 2,700 career hits and was one of the best hitters of his era….and a gold glove first baseman before his ankles basically disintegrated on him?

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      1. Well, we don’t “know” that he took anything.

        His name was part of a leaked list of 103 names. The same article claimed 88 players had tested positive for various substances. So 15 of those names were merely counting error. Why couldn’t Ortiz be one of those fifteen?

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        1. I agree. The only problem is that we’ll probably never know, and therefore there will always be suspicions raised about him. Personally, I don’t buy the arguments of people like the CHB, who put their faith in Terry Ryan’s talent-evaluation skills being pretty much infallible, and therefore they believe he (Ortiz) was a complete bum and a bust in Minnesota; then, suddenly, he gets to Boston and becomes a superstar (“Hmmmmm….). I don’t buy that argument. GM’s, even the very good ones, make talent-evaluation errors all the time, and it’s very possible that Ryan made one with Ortiz. Besides, his real problem in Minnesota, I think, was that Tom Kelly wasn’t playing him full time, for whatever reason (Grady Little was platooning him with Giambi’s brother and Shea Hillenbrand for the first half of the 2003 season, too, before Ortiz pretty much forced his way into the everyday lineup with his performance). I’d like to believe that Ortiz is and always has been clean. Unfortunately, that “leaked” report is always going to be out there, and, fair or not, it’s always going to raise questions. However, one thing I would say is in his favor is the fact that since 2009, he HAS gone through some significant struggles at the plate before catching fire as the weather warmed up (not an uncommon thing, especially with players who come from places with warmer climates), and his overall numbers have declined as he’s aged (not his power numbers, but batting average, etc.). Guys like Bonds and Clemens put up BETTER numbers as they got older and older, and that simply doesn’t happen unless you’re “on” something.

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          1. Ortiz wasn’t a bust in Minnesota. The last year he was there, he hit .272 with 20 HR and 75 RBI and an OPS+ of 120. The issue in Minny is that they had a better option at 1B (Mientkiewicz), and also had Matt LeCroy, who (like Ortiz) projected more as a “minimize this guy’s time in the field” sort of guy. The Twins ditched Ortiz because they thought he was an unnecessary injury risk when taking into account what his production would have earned salary-wise in arbitration, and he was streaky to boot. LeCroy didn’t project to be as solid a hitter as Ortiz, but they were much more confident he’d be in the lineup for over 140 games a year, so he’s the one they kept.

            The “Ortiz was a bust” narrative is historical revisionism promulgated — to be blunt — by those who want to paint him as a blatant juicer. The truth is Ortiz was very promising, but perceived as too fragile for his cost by a budget-constrained franchise.

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          2. Spot on, which is why the CHB has always brought up the “Terry Ryan was one of the best in the business and he released this guy!!” mantra, over and over and over again. He wasn’t a bust in Minnesota. I distinctly remember him taking Pedro deep to win a game at the old Metrodome one year — that was vintage Pedro, before the labrum injury, I believe. Ortiz could always hit. He “put it all together” after getting to the Sox, for sure, but the talent always was there.

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        2. He could be. My issue with him was that press conference where he said “growing up in the Dominican we put god knows what in our bodies”. Then later he said he would investigate what the test said figure out what he might have put in his body and get back to the media with answers in a few days. 13 years later we are still waiting. I am way to cynical to believe he found nothing…had he found nothing he would have hired the goodyear blimp to drag a banner around Fenway that said…it was a false positive…I never did anything and I am clean. Instead silence. He played on teams with admitted users like Manny Ramirez and caught users like Manny Alexander. Its a stain because of the way he handled the situation…no transparency. It is why Andy Petite and Rodney Harrison get passes while Barry Bonds and A rod get crucified.

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          1. What do you mean by transparency? Harrison was definitely 100% caught taking PEDs. Ortiz’s name was on a vague leaked list and nobody really knows anything about it..

            I’m outraged at Gaylord Perry!

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          2. I mean if he took nothing come out and say….

            “I know I was on that leaked list years ago at the time I was advised to be quiet but over the years the whispers have persisted. I did not then take anything that should have resulted in a positive test or violated any rule, I have never done so in my career and for the life of me I do not know how my name got on that list.”

            Its been 14 years and that would be enough for me. He has never made such a statement leaving the speculation to continue. Either he was never bothered by the talk, he is tone deaf or he is guilty. Clear it up and this goes away. Never say anything and put up huge numbers after the age of 35 and the whispers happen…blame Bonds, McGuire and Sosa.

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          3. Maybe Ortiz should take the sage advice some gave Brady a few months back: just admit you did it and take your punishment so we can get this behind us! It doesn’t matter if you’re innocent!

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          4. I think if he is innocent say in an interview you are innocent. If you are not innocent…and I am one of those of think he did something because of the era he played in…keep quiet at this point and let there be whispers and no definitive proof.

            He is going to have a year of questions coughs and innuendos. I know if it was me I would want my name cleared if I was innocent.

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      2. I’m in my 40s so not sure if that means i’m younger or older, but personally the PED thing doesn’t mean much to me…Clemens, Bonds, Arod, Ortiz–to me they’re all clearly HOFers.

        For some reason people don’t like when athletes complain about contracts…Again, personally i couldn’t care less–if they perform then I’m a huge fan. And as far as running out grounders–other than Pete Rose maybe is there really ANY player who runs hard on every single grounder? No…look at the tapes..

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        1. The PED thing would affect my HOF vote, if I had one, in one circumstance, and that would be with guys like Clemens, who clearly — and I mean CLEARLY — were in decline in their early 30s; then, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, suddenly, in their mid-30s, become more dominant and productive than they ever were in their 20s. That’s exactly the career trajectory of Roger Clemens, who was a mediocre pitcher across-the-board during his last four years in Boston (ages 31 through 34). And it wasn’t just his won/lost record, as his defenders have argued (thus implying it was the poor quality of the teams he played on rather than his personal performance that caused his numbers to drop). ALL of his relevant stats were decidedly worse during those last four years in Boston than they were during his prime, and then during his “renaissance” after getting to Toronto (then New York and Houston after that). He left Boston with 192 career wins. To me, those are the only legitimate wins on his resume, and that’s not HOF-worthy. The other guys? I really don’t know. A-Rod could always hit. So could Bonds — and Bonds could do it all, too, not just hit. Their numbers never really declined as they aged, as Clemens’ did, so it’s harder to tell with those guys since we’ll never know when they started juicing. I’d probably be inclined to vote them into the HOF if I had a vote, but I’d wrestle with the decision, I can tell you that. With Clemens, never. He has 192 wins in the majors as far as I’m concerned, as it’s obvious that he started doing “something” after he left the Sox, which is when he met Mr. McNamee. Without PEDs, he perhaps could have hung on for another five years, post-Boston, and racked up another 60 wins while tarnishing his other stats (like ERA and walks-to-IP, etc.), which would have made him a borderline HOF candidate, at most.

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        2. The PED things drives me up a wall. It is a proven fact they give the player an advantage over a player not taking them. They were outlawed by the league for this exact reason. Players took them and masking agents…because they KNEW they were against the rules all so that they could cheat the system prolong their careers and put up better numbers there by guaranteeing lucrative long term contracts. There were two victims from the rampant PED use:

          1) The players who did not use them and then who were not given chances they would have otherwise received. Nomar uses steroids, increases his power numbers and is able to bounce back from his injuries faster…thereby never Utility Lou a real chance in the majors. Why Lou does not have an issue with Nomar is beyond me (yes I know they are best friends).

          2) The game itself. When golfers take a penalty stroke because their ball moves on their approach…they do so because it is honorable. When a player cheats using masking agents and deception.

          So go ahead and put all these guys into Cooperstown…there should be no consequences to their actions…according to your standards. According to mine…if it means no new additions to Cooperstown for the next 20 years…so be it.

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      3. On that 2003 test:

        (1) The list of substances that were tested for was never released, and 12 years later is still not known. As the 2003 test was a comprehensive test meant to gauge the DRUG problem — not just the PED problem — it’s completely possible that stuff like recreational drugs (marijuana, MDMA, etc) were on the screen, as well as potentially abuseable OTC drugs like pseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan.

        (2) Ortiz has repeatedly and vociferously stated that he asked the MLBPA to release the part of the 2003 test report relating to him, or at least tell him what the report found w/r/t him, and was denied any information whatsoever. [Side note: not an unreasonable stance by the union.]

        (3) Interesting that the leak came in the New York Times via, presumably, New York-based attorneys.

        Funny how the locals will (properly) nitpick the weakness of the Deflategate evidence to death on behalf of Tom Brady, but refuse to do the same for Ortiz. (Because, as CHB would say, if you do you’re just “sticking your head in the sand like Selig” to protect a “juicer”. Just like everyone KNOWS the Patriots cheat and deflate and taped those walkthroughs, right?)

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        1. 2003 MLB drug test = AFC Championship Game football air-check
          Ortiz joke/comment on what Dominicans put in bodies = McNally “deflator” joke

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          1. The joke was made at the press conference to explain why his name was on the list…not 8 months earlier out of context in a private sms conversation.

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        2. I totally understand. This is hardly an open-and-shut case, for sure. The fact that his name appeared on the list is “troubling,” as I put it earlier, but it’s certainly not solid evidence that he was guilty of using HGH or steroids. As you said….could have been weed, or another “recreational” drug just as easily as it could have been a PED. Or even Ephedra, which is basically a stimulant, mainly used for weight loss (metabolic rate, and all that), and wasn’t banned at the time (at least I don’t think it was).

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        3. Dave…when did he ever say he asked for the evidence? When has he ever stated he was innocent. All I can find is silence.

          I do not disagree the evidence is shoddy at best. My issue is with how Ortiz answered the questions, promised an explanation and then…. nothing. His success later in life is not helping the perception of how he achieved said success.

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          1. https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/03/26/david-ortiz-still-haunted-failed-drug-test/Cvcd1E7am8OybqLpNA6uKP/story.html

            “I called my agent and asked what was going on,’’ Ortiz wrote. “He didn’t have any answers for me. I called the MLB Players’ Association and they didn’t have any answers for me. To this day, nobody has any answers for me. Nobody can tell me what I supposedly tested positive for. They say they legally can’t, because the tests were never supposed to be public.”

            That has been his story consistently since 2009, as you can see from this contemporaneous ESPN report:

            http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4385699

            Note that Michael Weiner (the MLBPA general counsel) said at Ortiz’s press conference that the union couldn’t answer Ortiz’s questions, because they didn’t have the test records, which had been seized (as it turns out unlawfully) by the Justice Department as part of the BALCO investigation. But, Weiner said, they would “likely comply” with such player requests if the records were returned to them.

            Well…. the records were returned to them. And then the PA and MLB agreed on a new CBA. And that whole “would likely comply” went out the door. As noted, not a single detail of that 2003 test has been released — officially or unofficially; by request or by subterfuge — since the Ortiz leak and the return of the records to the MLBPA. And as I noted, there are good and valid reasons why the MLBPA wants it that way. Long story short, I think Weiner expected that a lot more names would leak, such that the agreed-upon confidentiality would be moot by the time those player requests came in. When, as it turned out, it was only Ortiz, Ramirez, and ARod who were named via leaks — note that it’s two Red Sox championship players and a guy whose contract the Yankees were looking to possibly void, quelle coincidence! — the calculus shifted, and it became legally prudent to steadfastly enforce the confidentiality of the report (basically to preclude potentially colorable claims from teams for names, etc.), so they did. Sorry, Papi.

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          2. Thank you Dave. I had never read that article or seen those quotes. It will make me think differently about this situation. I am not sure I accept completely the “I bought legal supplements and vitamins that caused a positive test result” because of all the B-12 and other masking agent talk that went around but at least he did make a statement directly about it that I had not previously known about. I do understand your issue that his name was leaked because of the NY connection. It still is problematic that he was on the list but at least he did address it in some fashion. I am not as inclined as you are to accept his explanation but I do give him credit for saying something.

            Even if I take out the 2003 test I still think he has 3 problems:
            1) His production past the age of 35 and how truly unique it is.
            2) The Achilles Injury and the speed and subsequent recovery from it at the age of 36.
            3) The amount of time spent with Manny Ramirez and how close the two reportedly were coupled with their off the charts production while Manny was definitely juicing.

            These may all be coincidental. I may be seeing Black Helicopters where non exist. But the list of guys and gals who fooled me is so long I take nothing for granted any more especially when there is some smoke.

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    2. Don’t speak for Sox fans and say we have a visceral reaction against him – that is you projecting your own opinion and wishing in vain that Sox fans felt the same way.

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      1. You are delusional if you read my words as referring to all fans or if you think I am the only person who has made this observation. I do not “wish” Sox fans felt anything. I made an honest and good observation. The fact you do not see his flaws is a problem with your perception not mine. If you want to believe he was a clean athlete, who achieved everything he did through hard work, perseverance and without controversy please say hello to Pollyanna for me at the next get together.

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        1. You said “fans have a visceral reaction to him,” and i thought it was implied that the reaction was negative.

          If you meant that Sox fans have a positive visceral reaction to him, than i agree and retract my comment. Otherwise, you are woefully out of touch with the fanbase and seem to have perverse priorities as a sports fan.

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          1. Viceral is both positive and negative. He elicits both emotions from people because he is an enigma. He has done things that are great and he has done things that make you sit up and question his actions, his morals and his ethics. He is human and as such he is different than Tom Brady who clearly is a robot.

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      2. LTD is on point. Ortiz, compared to Bird or Brady, is much more of a lighting rod among many fans. Too much talk about contract to the media. Too much holier than thou attitude over the years. MLB players with their guaranteed contracts are the most overpaid, whiney losers on the planet.

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        1. I think we might be talking about different sets of people. Among those who think baseball players are whiny losers, I’m sure Ortiz is a lightning rod. But those people aren’t generally Sox fans anymore.

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  4. I confess I change the channel immediately, so I’m not sure, but is Felger actually trying to make the case that the football inflation is affecting the fumble rate of the Pats? If so, does he realize that he is now expanding the conspiracy from just Brady to include all the ball carriers on the team? Really?

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    1. The ‘inflation levels help them fumble less’ came via Warren Sharp, a guy who publishes “locks” for money on gambling sites. He basically did a FiveThirtyEight and found enough numbers and data to infer this hypothesis. Given that he put it out during one of the heights of the Deflategate stuff, it went viral. That’s the only reason we know about it, and it not being some random guys crackpot theory that lasts less than an hour.

      We discussed it a bit here, and it’s been destroyed a number of times by various people (you can google if it’s of interest), identical to the original thing vis-a-vis the ideal gas law. So, same story as the guys still holding onto deflated footballs helping Brady.

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  5. From the Syracuse/Fine/ESPN lawsuit. It kinda makes you chuckle considering the recent year in Bristol:

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Shortly after ESPN broke the story about
    child-molesting allegations against Syracuse University assistant
    basketball coach Bernie Fine, a network executive criticized the
    decision to publish.

    Patrick Stiegman, then editor-in-chief at ESPN.com, said at an
    editorial board meeting in December 2011 that the reporting on the Fine
    case failed the network’s internal guidelines on when to publish
    allegations of crimes when no one’s been charged.

    “We really lowered the bar,” Stiegman said at the meeting, according
    to minutes disclosed today in federal court.
    Another executive, Jed
    Stark, asked, “Why did we lower the bar so much?”

    Ten days after ESPN broke the Bernie Fine story, the network
    published excerpts of a phone call between Davis and Laurie Fine. Davis
    secretly recorded the call in 2002.

    SU fired Bernie Fine after the recorded call was made public in
    November 2011. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

    Vince Doria, then ESPN’s director of news, was so concerned about
    publishing the recorded call that he suggested in an email that ESPN
    leak the story to another media, then follow that story, according to
    the court filing.

    Via: http://www.syracuse.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/11/espn_executive_said_in_2011_the_network_really_lowered_the_bar_in_bernie_fine_re.html

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    1. Interesting tangent to the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story: Do you know who SU hired to investigate their handling of the situation? Ted Wells. It probably won’t come as a surprise that Wells’ investigation came up with a result that the people who were paying him wanted to see. That is, that SU handled things appropriately.

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      1. I wonder if Jerry Thorton knows this…I did not and thank you for this very interesting did bit of knowledge. I can’t believe Wells has argued case in front of the supreme court and done so for conservative causes. The guy is an absolute joke.

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        1. Once you get into that ‘name’ club, unless you’re doing something really bad, it’s hard to get out. People bend over reading your resume and during the name drops. Sadly, it’s how many are impressed at ‘credentials’ these days.

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  6. In the least surprising news ever, Felger and Mazz think the GQ hit piece on Brady was excellent. And Fred Toucher hates fun and thinks everyone should be comatose on airplanes. You’re #1, Sports Hub! Bananas.

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  7. I don’t care about the PED thing. I really don’t. I wish I did. I wish I could get all fired up, clutch my pearls, and shout from the rooftop that someone should think about the impressionable children who walk through the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. May no child ever bear witness to one of these abusers of PEDs from the late 90s/early 00s! As for the racists and womanizers and gamblers and drunks of earlier generations, well that’s A-OK. And as long as you only took amphetamines in the ’60s and ’70s, that’s also A-OK.

    I guess the other component to the counter-argument, “well, by your train of thought, I guess we’re just going to let ALL THE JUICERS in the Hall of Fame!” Let’s be real, we’re only talking about a handful of players. No one is suggesting that Luis Gonzalez or Greg Vaughn or Andy Pettitte or Larry Walker or Vinnie Castilla are gonna get voted in. It’s the same handful of players. Clemens, Bonds, A-Rod and then maybe Bagwell and Piazza. They were the best of their era and would have been with or without PEDs. Honestly, I don’t know if what they did was so morally reprehensible that they should be denied entry into the hall of fame. Frankly, I don’t care.

    This is a Hall of Fame where guys who can vote, will vote against a clear-cut first-ballot guy because they shouldn’t get 100 percent of the vote. Nolan Ryan, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams .. none of these guys received 100 percent of the vote. What kind of logic is that?

    Maybe my disinterest in the whole controversy is rooted in the media’s first handing of the PED issue when it was ongoing. Not only did they not care, but when Steve Wilstein had the nerve to report on a bottle of andro in McGwire’s locker, the establishment wing of the BBWAA was quick to vilify him. It’s these same baseball media types who now lead the charge against “protecting the game.” It’s just too hypocritical for me to care.

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    1. I used to care a lot, but now I’m basically in the same mental frame as you; i.e. I don’t care and don’t know why this is still a thing.

      To me, it seems like sitting around looking at Michael Millken’s mansion and saying that he shouldn’t be called “rich” because a lot of his wealth was earned through insider trading. Does he have a ton of money? Yes. Then he’s rich. The rest is something for him to discuss with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

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      1. UGH!!!! You all are killing me. They cheated the game. They cheated other players who may have had opportunity had these juicers gotten hurt and not recovered as fast, or did not play as many years. But to me the most appalling part of the whole PED situation is that people seem to think there no longer is a line between right and wrong…instead they justify abhorrent behavior on the guise that everyone was doing it. Makes me sick.

        Judge Kenishaw Mountain Landis had the right idea…the Black Sox players took the game for granted and directly tried to threaten the integrity of the game by manipulating outcomes…he banned those 8 players for life…no mitigating circumstances, no explanations, no shade of gray. Had Peter Ueberroff lived I believe he would have dealt with the PED scandal far differently than ex owner Bud Selig. I have no pity for MLB …they brought it on themselves when the owners forced Fay Vincent out and put Bud Selig in. This is not like Mike Milken. Baseball players should have honor and integrity…capitalist not so much.

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    2. I always thought the reality of the PED-MLB-era is:

      Once you’ve got these elite, tenured dolts on the committee now (and, this assumes they’re being serious) they’ll sit down and appoint a number of guys, in their late 20s, 30s, now, who will just sift through the stats and make subjective (ZOMG NOT THAT) analysis on how these guys would have done if they never juiced.

      I’m not sure it’s that simple but I am also not sure how to approach it without boiling it down to being that simple, right?

      People will bitch and moan because guys will get in who should have never and others will be left out who people will think got snubs.

      The writers, who control this sacred, hollow access to their “heaven” have to accept the reality that they have to deal with the very mess they enabled. That’s it to me.

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  8. Anyone catch this nugget from Shank’s Twitter account today?

    “No doubt the Ideal Gas Law folks can explain why Patriots are fumbling more often, and dropping more passes at home this year. #Just sayin'”

    First of all, are they fumbling more at home this year? I remember Lewis putting the ball on the ground once or twice in the Steelers game (a rainy night), and Edelman getting stripped in the Washington game. When else did they fumble in a game in Foxboro? I honestly can’t remember because it’s happened so infrequently. Whatever the case, it’s hardly an epidemic. The dropped passes are easily explained by LaFell’s one bad game against the Jets, which happened to be his first live football action in about 9 months. Explanation #2 would be Edelman’s mangled finger suffered in the Indy game, which affected his ability to hold on to a few passes in the games which followed. Of course, Shank doesn’t bother to touch upon the fact that the guy who was allegedly behind the nefarious “ball deflation scheme” in the first place, the starting QB, is having one of his best years EVER playing with “properly inflated” footballs. That would spoil the narrative, so Shank left it out.

    But, hey, when you’ve got nothing better to do and nothing relevant to say, just make up sh*t in an attempt to troll Patriots fans, whom you continue to despise for some reason; right, Shank? And yes, I know: science is hard to understand, so it’s just easier to continue being the ignorant, flame-baiting douche you’ve always been. By the way, have you still not bothered to understand that the Pats play “a bunch of tomato cans” every year not because “Kraft’s buddy” in the league office dictates it, but because the NFL uses a set scheduling formula that dictates EVERY team’s opponents from year to year.

    Please. Go. Away. Your relevancy expiration date came and went right around the time Larry Bird retired. Haunt us no longer!

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    1. Tony-

      So well said. I’ve heard Felger pick up on this nonsense story and run with it and it’s embarrassing.

      It’s amazing to hear Shank and Felger desperately try to act like OBJECTIVE non-homers and criticize all the Homers out there that don’t pay attention to facts or cherry-pick facts. But they do the same exact thing. They CHERRY-PICK their own facts all the time and NEVER bother to do their own research or reporting.

      First, the original analysis by Sharp has been massively debunked by real statisticians. Second, their OWN research is wrong. They are claiming the Pats are fumbling more than they did last year. But the reality is the Pats have fumbled 9 times in 9 games. Last year the Pats fumbled 16 times in 16 games. It’s the EXACT SAME ratio. So the two of them are just lying now.

      One other point about Fumblegate … no one has bothered to do any analysis on how or why a small decrease in pressure leads to such wild statistics. In other words, no one has done a scientific analysis on how much benefit there is with a football that is 11.5psi or 12 psi (generally the amount of decreased pressure found in SOME of the Pats footballs following the Colts game).

      ESPN Sports Science, so far, is the only media outlet that did any analysis of this. Know what they found? That 1 psi less in a football gives players more ability to grip the ball … by 1/25th of an inch. About one millimeter, I thing. Incredibly small difference. So could that incredibly small difference really be behind the HUGE statistical advantage Sharp claims?

      Of course not. But for the people like Shank and Felger who toss this stuff out there as if they were posting on Reddit instead of using their media platforms to report this stuff as if they were actually reporters who had researched the story.

      They’re amazing. They criticize the rest of the media about not doing real reporting when they do zero reporting and zero research themselves. Felger and Mazz just sit there and read stories written by other people.

      Felger’s latest evidence that Brady is guilty in Deflategate is that EVERYONE he talks to off the air says the Pats did *something* with the footballs. Well, one, that is anecdotal and has zero meaning as “evidence.” And two, why the hell won’t ONE (just one) of these people Felger has talked to go on record with their thoughts?

      Felger also claims that the *science* is divided on the issue of footballs losing pressure. Another example of Felger’s laziness. Or bias. He refuses to go and do his own research. He likely doesn’t want to because he doesn’t want any information to mess with his “I’m cooler, more objective than thou” media persona. But the fact is … science doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t waffle. There’s no equivalency in science. And the fact is, the Ideal Gas Law works and the preponderance of experts and tests agrees … when air is cooled pressure decreases.

      Felger and Mazz sit on the texts as evidence as if they are a no-brainer. Who can read those texts and not KNOW that Brady is guilty? Well, Felger, it turns out that a JUDGE can do that. Along with a lot of other legal experts (including the Pats-hating lawyer who did the 60 Minutes Sports interview).

      Which means that Felger (supposedly a JOURNALIST) has to avoid the other issues of Deflategate. He has to repeat the lie that the science is divided. He has to avoid the fact that the NFL lied about the original numbers (regarding the deflation of Pats footballs). He has to avoid the fact that the Colts balls tested at halftime also showed to have suffered some amount of deflation. He has to avoid the fact that the pressure gauges gave different readings and that the NFL had to call Walt Anderson super COMPETENT and ACCURATE with a GREAT MEMORY and then had to call Walt Anderson simply WRONG when it came to being competent, accurate and with excellent memory.

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  9. I’m an older fan and the PED thing not only divides me — it divides most fans on a PLAYER TO PLAYER basis. On one hand, some players really bother me with their PED use … like Clemens and A-Rod. On the other hand, there are guys like Andy Pettitte.

    Pettitte admitted it and acted contrite. Most fans aren’t bothered by Andy’s use. But they will go ape over A-Rod or Ortiz.

    As a Sox fan, I don’t get upset over Ortiz’s possible use. Why?

    Start with Jason Giambi. Admitted use. Was roided up in the 2003 ALCS where he hit several KEY home runs to help defeat the Sox.

    Then move to Ortiz. His name shows up on the 2003 list … a list that tested for MANY substances beyond PED use. A test that was conducted when tests for steroids was shaky at best and there was ZERO tests to detect illegal HGH use.

    Also consider this was a court-sealed document. It’s leak to the NY media was criminal. SOMEONE was willing to break the law to release those names. Has the MLB ever gone after that person? Did the NY AG try to track down the illegal leak? No.

    Ortiz never failed a test beyond that one. Maybe he got smart. Maybe there was a fool-proof method for not testing positive. But considering how often Ortiz was tested and how much of a spotlight was on him all those years … the fact that Ortiz never failed a test … it seems like a big stretch to simply say that Ortiz found a foolproof way to avoid testing positive. Remember, when a player has to submit to a test is not known to the player. Unless we want to say that Ortiz had some INSIDER info and knew when MLB was going to test him, we are left with a difficult to believe scenario where Ortiz is consistently on PED and yet never failed a single test. I know some other players avoided positive tests … but really not that many. And that was early on in the testing era. As the years went on, the tests got better.

    Also consider the fact that Ortiz’s numbers are crazy consistent year in, year out. He had one year of elevated numbers (2005 I believe) but they were not beyond his abilities. And he remained amazingly consistent all other years.

    If fans want to call out Ortiz for his mouth, for complaining about contracts, for being a Diva … fine … that’s fair. But when it comes to the PED accusation … the evidence is so thin … it really comes down to whether you simply BELIEVE Ortiz is guilty.

    Please though … for the people who criticize Ortiz … tell us who has done more for the Red Sox in terms of winning than David Ortiz?

    One last thought … to the fans who have to always comment that MLB players are “the most overpaid bunch of whiners.” Remember, the sport is a pro sport. It has always been a pro sport. Baseball did NOT start as a “kid’s game.” As a pro sport, baseball generates billions in revenue. The owners make money. Lots of it. The players do NOT set their contracts. The owners willing to PAY THEM do.

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