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Archive: Ortiz on A-Rod, steroids

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  July 30, 2009 01:14 PM

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Speaking in February at Red Sox spring training, David Ortiz went out of his way to defend himself in the face of declining statistics and spoke out about Alex Rodriguez and his performance-enhancing-drugs saga. Check out the video above or listen to this mp3 version.

Some excerpts from an Extra Bases entry entitled, "Deep thoughts from Ortiz", written by the Globe's Nick Cafardo:

"I think that the A-Rod situation, it was a little bit tough for the game," Ortiz said. "Talking about the best player all the way around. At the same time, people have to give the guy credit because he came out with what he said at the point of his career where he had done it all. On top of that, that was what? Six years ago? The guy has put up numbers his whole career. It was one thing that he said that caught my attention was that he was young and at the time. . . . sometimes you make the wrong decision like he did. He's been playing clean and he's still producing. He's still been the best player in the game. If I'm a fan and I had to judge the guy, I would put that in the past and move forward. The guy, he works hard, man. He's still doing his thing. He's still got nine more years on his contract where he's definitely gonna do some damage still.

"Like I said, this game has been hurt, a lot. This is not a players' game, this is not a team game, it's a family game. We have a lot of families that live for this game. We have a lot of families that enjoy these games and people who bring their kids to watch these games. And I don't think this game can take any more. More than 80 or 90 percent of the players [are] playing clean [now]. We're going through a tough situation all the way around, our soldiers fighting in Iraq, and this game is a distraction for people and the American family. I would like to see some changes and let us just play the game. Guys like myself, I will do what ever it takes to make this game get better. But not everybody's on the same page, you know what I mean? The game has changed a lot. Just play the game. The game is tough enough. These things we heard from Alex, that was the last thing you want to hear about the baseball game. The guy came out -- and he didn't wait until they took him to the Congress and all that. He was honest.

"I think you clean up the game by the testing. I test you, you test positive, you're going to be out. Period. If I test positive using any kind of banned substance I'm going to disrespect the game, my family, my fans and everybody. And I don't want to face the situation so I won't use it. I'm sure everybody is on the same page."

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The Globe's Amalie Benjamin commented afterwards in a Boston.com video about how adamant Ortiz seemed to be in clearing his own name. Check out the clip at left.

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