Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is hurt by recent steroid reports questioning his hot start following an Achilles’ injury that resulted in him missing training camp and the first 15 games of the season. Ortiz, at the age of 37, is off to the best start of his career which is unusual and a reason questions about steroid use has arose. According to Yardbreaker.com on Friday, Ortiz is “hurt” by the accusations.
During an interview with ESPN’s Pedro Gomez on Wednesday, a usually upbeat Ortiz addressed the current questing raised by Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy.
“I have bad Aprils [and] they bury me, or some reporter buries me because of that. I have a good April [and] it’s bad, too. You’re going to make me look like that just because I’m hitting good through 15 games? I mean, it makes no sense.”
Ortiz’s frustration can definitely be understood but a player in his late 30’s is usually on a decline but Ortiz has been approving with age, especially after returning from an injury that was enough to keep him out from the end of the 2012 season through the beginning of the 2013 season. And this is also not the first time rumors of steroid use has surrounded Ortiz.
Shaughnessy brought up the steroid talk questioning the ease that Ortiz is hitting the ball and the fact that he is seemingly getting better with age.
“Ahletes do not get better as they mature into their late 30’s,” said Shaughnessy. “Baseball has been peppered with performance-enhancing drugs for he last 20 years. The cheaters are always ahead of the testers. A number of players from the Dominican Republic have tested positive for steroids. Injuries to the Achilles’ tendon are consistent with steroid use. It is not natural for a guy to hit .426 out of the gate without the benefit of any spring training.”
The questioning by Shaughnessy is not too farfetched, but it is also because of his hot start that this has become an issue. Ortiz doesn’t have to play the field and as a designated hitter only gets up to bat on an average of four times per game so it is highly possible the player known as Big Papi is just on a hot streak and seeing the ball better than he has in past seasons where he has gotten off to slow starts.
The 37-year-old Ortiz is denying steroid use and attributes his production to hard word.
“I don’t forget about hitting the damn fastball. I go up (to the weight room) and I bench press 400 pounds. Every other day. If I don’t do it, I’m not going to feel as strong as I am.”