Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal retweeted this article on Sunday morning with regard to Boston’s David Ortiz and the issue of PED’s. Let me preface this by saying a couple of things. First off, I firmly believe that all athletes are innocent until proven guilty when it comes to PED’s. So I do agree with the premise in Rosenthal’s article. Secondly the article was written back in May, so it’s not exactly recent per se. Having said that, let me again state that I agree with the premise; David Ortiz or anyone else is innocent until proven guilty.
So with that in mind, I also find it interesting that the national media was fairly mum all summer long on some of the claims that Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles was on PED’s. To be clear, to my knowledge not one national pundit ever added fuel to the fire with Davis. But nobody ever moved to defend him (outside of Baltimore circles that is) either. Again, I can’t stress enough that I’m not going to believe that Ortiz or anyone else was a juicer unless it’s proven or he admits to it. But the fact remains that there have been “rumors” about Ortiz for some time; and the above-referenced piece by Rosenthal (and numerous others like it) is designed to debunk those rumors.
But for most of the summer people were talking about Davis having to be on PED’s. I’m not exactly sure when it started, but at some point people started saying that there was no way Davis was doing what he was doing by himself. However I don’t recall anyone on the level of Rosenthal ever speaking up about how the (opposing) fan-driven comments about Davis were unfounded.
Am I saying that there’s a bias for or against certain teams in the national media? Is this to say that there’s either a pro-Boston or anti-Baltimore agenda on certain networks or in the national press? I suppose that’s a decision that each person has to make for themselves. In fairness, Ortiz has been a fixture in baseball for a long time. Davis is fairly new on the scene. But does that make Davis unworthy of someone stepping up and saying that people should be fair to him?
Fans are understandably a bit skeptical about anyone who hits balls the way that Davis did this year. I even heard a few people wonder if Brian Roberts wasn’t hitting the juice with his power output in the final days of the season. But as fair-minded people, we owe it to the likes of Chris Davis AND David Ortiz to assume their innocence until proven otherwise. Home runs alone don’t convict. But what I’m also saying is that I just find it interesting that national pundits see fit to use someone like David Ortiz as a piece fit to defend, but that Chris Davis was allowed to flail in the wind all summer. Is it worth discussing? Maybe, maybe not. But is it right or fair that one guy has people taking up for him and others do not? Probably not.