- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON – With Major League Baseball expected to announce, maybe as soon as this weekend, the suspensions of players implicated in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal, Red Sox DH David Ortiz weighed in on the situation, saying Friday that the ongoing PED problems continue to hurt the game of baseball.
“I don’t like to see anybody dealing with that kind of stuff because it puts a lot of different thoughts in your head, especially with the way Major League Baseball is planning to execute [suspensions] related to this. It’s not a comfortable thing for baseball players in general,” Ortiz said.
According to ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn, the suspension of New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and eight other major league players could come in the next few days. Quinn and ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand report that most of the eight players are expected to accept 50-game suspensions without appealing.
Also in the report, one source tells Quinn that if Rodriguez does not agree to a lengthy suspension without appealing, MLB has threatened to suspend him for life.
Ortiz said he feels for his friend Rodriguez, but added that he does not condone any player cheating the game.
“Of course, man,” Ortiz said. “This guy is dealing with getting healthy and these things that we’re hearing, but we don’t know for sure what’s going to end up happening. I don’t wish anybody to have to deal with any of this, but at some point we have to be reasonable with the things that we do and whatever we get involved with. Our [drug] policy is very strict. It’s a risk that as a player you take dealing with that kind of stuff, so I hope everything goes well for all of them. Hopefully what is out there is more talking than anything else or the game is going to suffer.”
Ortiz said he is glad that no Red Sox players are being linked to the possible suspensions.
“The good thing is nobody on this ballclub has been mentioned in this situation, so we know we’re going to stay together as a group,” Ortiz said. “At least that gives us the opportunity to just focus on baseball. We’re not going to have to deal with any of those questions around here because, thank God, no one on our ballclub is related to that. That means we’re going to keep the same group, even if MLB starts suspending people.”
Ortiz said he wishes the escalating PED scandal was all just a bad dream. But he understands the severity of the situation.
“Hopefully things are more just comments than reality because I don’t think it would do any good for baseball,” he said. “When you’ve got to come out and suspend a lot of superstars from a ballclub at this stage [of the season], it’s like shutting down the thoughts that the fans of those teams have for their ballclub. You don’t really want to see anything like that going down.”