At a time when Red Sox fans should be proud of the recent Hall of Fame induction of Jim Rice, we get a black cloud over Fenway Park today. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for PEDs in 2003. At this point Manny doesn't surprise me with anything anymore, but Oritz? I really should be less shocked. I really should. It makes sense. Ortiz is a prime example of a steroid player. His career was average at best before his free agent signing with the Sox in 2003. His career then escalated into stuff of legend. His performance in the 2004 playoffs needs no explanation. If he didn't step up in the ALCS, the curse might not have been broken. He had two walk-off hits in games 4 and 5.
Ortiz was never a hall of famer, but he was still a star. Where does it end? Who will be next? At this point, they should just publish that list from 2003. Who really cares now? This era has been tarnished. I still think one of the major culprits of this whole debacle is Bud Selig. He wants credit for being the commissioner who saved baseball, but did he really save it? Rather his actions of letting steroids go by the wayside, ruined it. I simply shake my head in disappointment.
I do want to end this post on a positive note. It's nice to see Jim Rice inducted into the Hall of Fame. At a time when baseball is a sport that makes fans question the legitimacy of the game, it's nice to see one of the great sluggers of his era, get his due respect. He did it the right way (take note David and Manny). His season in '78 when he won MVP was one of the best. He led the led in league in homers, RBI, hits, triples, and slugging percentage. His 406 total bases were the most since Joe DiMaggio with 418 in 1937. That's amazing.
Rice in his first year of eligibility garnered only 29 percent of the vote. In his final year, he made the 75 percent to get elected. His stats stayed the same, but the game changed. And it changed for the worst.