Friday, July 31, 2009
Ortiz trying to 'find out what's going on'
BALTIMORE -- Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz fended off further questions Friday about his 2003 drug test, saying he needed more time to gather information.
"I am trying to find out what's going on. When I get my stuff together, I'll let you guys know," Ortiz said before the Red Sox faced the Baltimore Orioles.
The New York Times, citing unidentified lawyers with knowledge of the results, reported Thursday that Ortiz and former teammate Manny Ramirez were among the 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs six years ago. The list was supposed to be confidential.
Ortiz said Thursday he was "blindsided" by the disclosure, but acknowledged the players' union confirmed he tested positive.
"The process needs to play out," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "And that's hard, because there are probably going to be a lot of opinions the next few days about David's situation without the information that is needed."
"We need to get to the bottom of this. There does need to be answers, I agree, but they're not there yet, so we have to be patient."
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez, who played with Ortiz and Ramirez on the 2003 Red Sox, came to the defense of both players Friday night after a rehabilitative outing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in Allentown, Pa.
"As far as I know, I didn't know they were doing it," Martinez said. "It was something that was very common amongst the players. I was never told they were using anything. I never heard anything.
"I tell you one thing: They're good with or without. Both of them are really, really good."
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, said all players take at least two drug tests a year.
"It should be noted that the recent revelations about positive results during survey testing are six years old," he said.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, in Atlanta for his team's game against the Braves, criticized the timing and the fashion in which names from that 2003 test have been leaked.
"All this stuff is ancient history. They're talking about six years ago," Torre said. "It's something that obviously certain people have access to and they're choosing to systematically have fun with it."
Torre did, however, understand why the stories keep making news.
"You can't ignore this," he said.