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"The Ugly Truth"

"The Ugly Truth"
By: Jeremy Garden

Here we go again. Another big name named. It’s to the point where the shock value is completely gone. Everyone is quick to judge and make fun of another star falling from grace. However, this time it has hit home. Red Sox DH David Ortiz is now linked to performance enhancing drugs. He is one of the 103 players linked to the 2003 confidential test conducted by Major League Baseball.

Please take a moment for it to truly sink in. Big Papi is the man who brought the Sox back from 0-3 down to beat the Yankees. He is the man who clubbed 54 homers in a season. For a period of time he was the most clutch hitter in baseball. Not to mention his loveable personality and leadership make him easy to cheer and adore.

The present day David Ortiz is a shell of his former self. The injuries have piled up. His stats have progressively gone down. Since 2006 where he hit mentioned 54 homers, Ortiz has hit 35, 23 and just 13 this season. In fact his first two months were so bad he did not have one homerun and hit 7th in the lineup. All of the warning signs were there.

Certainly, Boston fans are known as knowledgeable but tough on athletes. The question is how will the Fenway faithful handle the situation? Most likely they will support their man as long as he is truthful. Following the game yesterday against the A’s Ortiz said,”I will find out what I tested positive for ... based on whatever I learn; I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me -- I will not hide and I will not make excuses.” David it better be the truth.

The ignorance defense is a real tough play. Barry Bonds said it was flaxseed oil. Mark McGwire is not here to talk about the past. Sammy Sosa does not speak english. Roger Clemens best friend and trainer misremembered. If our culture is one thing it is forgiving. We hate liars and cheaters. But, if you throw yourself to the mercy of the court you will be forgiven. Of course you will be tarnished, but you will not be hated and be somebody’s punch line.

All of the facts aren’t out yet. But, the critics will be out in full force. Ortiz is gone from hero to zero just like that. Can he bounce back with a vengeance? Will this distraction kill the season for the Red Sox? Can he be brought back next season? All major problems both the Sox and Ortiz do not need right now. This is the time to make a run. Not a time to cover your tracks and play the public relations game. But, that’s what happens when you make life choices. Ortiz made his bed now he has to lay in it.

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