Report: Upset Ortiz fires back after 'free pass' PED comment
JUL 08, 2014 7:25a ET
Ortiz reportedly tested positive for PEDs in 2003 -- those results were supposed to have been kept private because the current drug-testing system wasn't yet in place -- but has continued to proclaim his innocence. An MLB Network analyst apparently referenced that report Monday and said Ortiz gets a "free pass."
Ortiz heard about that remark and went on the defensive.
"What pisses me off is the whole thing about, why does my name got to be mentioned in that? What did I have to do with that? I saw on MLB the guys talking about it, and then they brought my name up, and one of the guys said that I got a free pass on that," Ortiz told WEEI.com on Monday night. "It was the Lackey and Showalter thing, going back and forth. Showalter didn't say anything about me."
Added Ortiz: "He wants to make it sound like I got a free pass because nobody can point fingers at me directly. But the reason why I got that fake [expletive] free pass that he's saying is because they pointed fingers at me with no proof. ... There's a reason why I've been drug-tested like eight times and we're not even at the break. Is that a free pass? There's a reason why I've been tested like 40 times since they approved the policy, the drug policy. Is that a free pass?"
The resurfacing of the issue can be traced back to the "Lackey and Showalter thing" that Ortiz referenced from this past weekend.
After the Baltimore Orioles beat him Saturday night, Lackey, an outspoken critic of those who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, was asked about Orioles DH Nelson Cruz going 5 for 5. One of those hits was a solo homer off Lackey.
"I'm not even going to comment on him," Lackey told reporters, according to MLB.com. "I've got nothing to say about him. There are some things that I would like to say, but I'm not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff."
Lackey was referring to the fact that Cruz was suspended 50 games during the 2013 season when Major League Baseball handed out discipline in its Biogenesis investigation.
That prompted Orioles manager Buck Showalter to chime in. Showalter implied that the Red Sox's clubhouse wasn't free of PED offenders by telling The Baltimore Sun, "We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else's."