Assuming the Ney York Times is a reliable news source (which isnt alway a safe assumption), and assuming that the revelaer of this "partial" list from 2003 that includes David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez is also a viable source, it appears that Red Sox fans have a problem. I am not calling in to quesiton the report, if the Times was confident enough to publish it I will allow for its validity.
The idea that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez used Steriods is not new. Its more than clear that Manny has used performance enhancers based on his suspension this year, and now this partial list. David Ortiz, though accused unrelentingly on many a messageboard, has not until now been linked with a relaible and supportable source concerning steriod use. At this point its fair to say that both players used performance enhancers, and have cheated the game.
That they cheated is not a quesiton. The question becomes, "Alright, what do I do as a Red Sox fan?" and I have an answer for the question. It saddens me to see the headline on the main story of cbssportsline saying "Danny Knobler says Red Sox Nation looks no better than the Yankees did after the Mitchell Report." But there is a way we can be better.
Unlike the many Yankee fans who try to make excuses or point fingers at Red Sox players, we can acknowledge that Ortiz and Ramirez were cheating. Instead of becoming defensive, we can become dissapointed. With Ramirez it is easy for many Sox fans to see him with dissapointment, especially considering the terms by which he left the Red Sox. With Ortiz it will be more difficult. Ortiz has been the primary face and represenative of the Red Sox, our "Big Papi" had become a symbol and rolemodel to all. Yet, it is because he rose so high that at least I will experience a larger dissapointment with Ortiz. To think of what he has accomplished, all the while with a great big smile and freindly demeanor, it will be hard to paint Ortiz as a bad guy.
There is no excuse for cheating, regardless of the "era" in which they played. I hope that all Red Sox fans will recognize this, as well as other fans of the MLB. The 90s and early 00s may in time be seen as a dark age for baseball, or in time it may be accepted as a common sin of the times. For now all we can do is move on, and hold to the values that should truely define baseball. Values that should be higher than team preference, or player hatred.
To those disheartened, I say look to other players. Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek represent an older bread of Red Sox players whom we can be fairly confident didnt use performance enhancers, and Jacoby Ellisbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis are part of a new younger exciting generation. We can move on, not forgetting or forgiving the the wrongs of players past.