Friday, July 31, 2009

Papi and Victor

Two big news items over the last several days for the Red Sox. Today's news is the trade for Victor Martinez. The David Ortiz 2003 PED story is probably the bigger news and I feel obliged to acknowledge it, much as it pains me to do so.

The trade for Martinez first: I don't think this is as a big deal as it's been made out to be. The bat looks like an upgrade when he's taking Varitek's time but I don't know if he's near as a good a game caller as 'Tek? I imagine he'll take time from Lowell, too. His OPS has been dropping month by month. At 30, it's not like he's a long term solution at catcher, and the Sox have plenty of first basemen and DHs. The offense needs some punch. If he brings that like he's supposed to, it certainly won't hurt, but I wonder if he's really all that much help.

Now Papi. I've seen people, predictably, call for the Sox to have the 2004 World Series title stripped. I think everyone who isn't an adult bedwetter at this point realizes if you start penalizing teams for (leaked, in violation of contract and trust) reports of positive tests, then the record books are going to be full of asterisks, or strikethroughs, and we're going to have to basically wipe away the last 25 years of baseball stats and records. What we have is an era with a taint, but I don't think tossing it out is the answer. That said, I stand by my past statements that use of HGH, steroids, or any controlled substance by any player is cheating and, if caught, the cheaters should be suspended. I've been very critical of Barry Bonds and won't suddenly forget that I've called PED use cheating. This, for me, tarnishes Big Papi's reputation, as the revelation about Manny tarnish my memory of his 500th HR. But, y'know, it doesn't take anything away from what I felt in '04. Maybe it should, but it doesn't. And I guess that's partly why steroid era isn't really over.

Writing this makes me miss commenting on this blog (a little). I'm sure some folks are itching to tear into me and the Sox to rub it in and it would probably be fun to mix it up. I mean, it's not like the Yankees haven't employed their fair share of cheaters as well. (Any Mets for DubeMonkey? ) And I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on who active top players are they think will never get linked to PEDs. Morneau? Pujols? Thome? Wright? There's AddaTweet and Reframeit if the urge is overwhelming.
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