Ortiz Versus Manny

This just sums up two guys:

The New York Times outs David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez as two of the players on the 2003 Steroids survey.
Ortiz – with some help in the phrasing, but this is doubtlessly him – issues a statement of confession: 

One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, 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.”

Meanwhile MLB.Com quotes Ramirez, before the Dodgers-Cards in St. Louis: 

“If you guys want to talk about the game and what happens now, I can sit and talk for two hours. But something happened six years ago, I don’t want to talk about that. If you want more information, you have the number for the union. Call them.”

Can we talk about what has now happened twice in six years? Can we talk about what happened this spring? Can we talk about how Dodger fans can look at themselves and the standings in the mirror?

Get lost, Manny.

Now you know why you will never see Manny Ramirez in Cooperstown. Unless he’s there with Clemens, signing in front of the CVS.


  1. winnie_harrington@yahoo.com

    And can we also talk about George Mitchell’s report that so carefully protected and shielded his Red Sox?

    I’ll admit it….I’m a Yankees fan…..and this has bugged me for years — that Clemons and Pettitte got very publicly shamed while not a single Red Sox player got publicly mentioned. The Yankees were made to look like the worst offenders in baseball, while the Red Sox were made to look like Boy Scouts.

    So finally, it’s revealed that the two biggest players on the 2004 championship team were also tainted by doping.

    I understand the point you are trying to make here, Keith, about the difference between Big Papi and Manny, but I just wanted to finally get it off my chest that the Mitchell report was leaked to the media in a way that glorified the Red Sox while disparaging the Yankees.

    Love your show, Keith….and I’m quickly becoming a fan of your baseball blog.

  2. hollowman777

    I’m all for unions….. until they enter the sports world. This whole steroids era is a by product of a union that cares more about self preservation than it does for the game. Now that I write it down it does sound similar to what is happening in Detroit. Over paid employees that can’t be fired, fined, or replaced despite the irreverisible damage done to the business.
    but underneath it all I start to have a haunting suspicion that the owners we also in on the sin. In their minds just another gimmick to put souls in over priced seats.

  3. 1948braves

    I’m assuming Bud Selig knew about the results of these tests. A man who now sits in judgment of Pete Rose? Everybody looked the other way – the owners, the unions, the Commissioner.

  4. judithlgregory@comcast.net


    Once again, it is a persons words and actions that commend them to others.

    Last night watching the NYY on mlb.com the commentary on the leakage of this was interesting. If you were not listening, see if you can get to it.

    Summary, publish the report in its entirely. Let us get it all done with now and move on, one way or another. Learn and teach.

    BTW, another gripe of mine. Since when did slamming your bat into the ground become good gamesmanship? There are kids watching.

  5. tcunnion

    Now that this has come out, I really hope we can quit with the Manny fetish the baseball media seems to have. During the second game he played after his suspension, Fox cut away from the games they were broadcasting to bring us every single at-bat from Manny. Besides the fact that they were interrupting the game I tuned in to watch, it was sickening to see the amount of attention thrown on a known cheater who is completely unrepentant about it. The commentators (who spent more time talking about Manny than about the game they were calling) seemed more interested in how his swing would look after 50 games off; I’m not even sure whether they ever even mentioned the reason why he’d taken his little vacation.

  6. slfriend79

    I’m tired of the drip, drip, drip of these names coming out from this list.

    I am wondering which big name players name will be leaked next?

  7. blackhawks8819

    Can we talk about how Dodger fans can look at themselves and the standings in the mirror?

    Wow, seriously? I think Dodger fans will enjoy the reflection of their teams’ postseason figure just as Yankees fans enjoyed their dynasty championships and Boston fans were ecstatic when the ‘curse’ was defeated with the help of Manny & Ortiz in 2004 and 2007 and just as an entire generation enjoyed watching baseball again in 1998 due to the resurgence of the long ball.

    I’m more curious how you will enjoy looking at your blog in hindsight. Posting this scathing commentary about Manny Ramirez while almost praising David Ortiz after you were disgusted (http://keitholbermann.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/07/it_disgusts_me.html) by the contrast of Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez?

    Do you remember posting this:

    Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez and the others of the PED era did not belong in baseball today, and that they did not show the requisite awareness of their own shame, only makes it worse. Lord, send us a ‘roider who has the presence of mind to say: “On this day I do my penance; I don’t yet belong on the field even with just the memory of this man, I hope you’ll forgive me and I can again earn your trust.”

    How has David Ortiz shown more shame than A-Rod? Didn’t they both come out and apologize AFTER their names were released by others? Or do you expect Ortiz’s press conference to be filled with more sackcloth and ashes than A-Rod’s?


  8. dagodess@aol.com

    Being one of the faithful Red Sox Nation, it pains me to hear about Big Papi. Manny? I’m SOOOO over him and his Manny-being-Manny silliness. My bigger issue is why leak one name here, one name there? Publish the whole damned report, get it all out there, let the public and press do what we’ll do and be done with it.

    This report is about as secret as who shot Lincoln.

  9. solbro

    Look- not all Dodger fans are happy about Manny. He has little to do with our standings. We can’t help this all happened since he came here. But, its time to release the whole 104…. and its time they test all playeres as often as the French test Lance Armstrong. Once a week.

  10. hbremmer@sbcglobal.net

    In all this a milestone goes unnoticed: the July 29th Dodgers-Cards game was the 2001st game played between the two franchises. The two franchises have been playing against each other since 1892. St. Louis has won 955 games to the Dodgers 930.

  11. historymike

    Keith, not because I am a Dodger fan–more on that below–I have to disagree in part. If Ortiz did something wrong that led to a positive test, he is as guilty as anyone else, and however he responds to the inevitable inquiry does not alter what he did. Ortiz’s reaction was classier, but that ultimately isn’t the issue. It’s like saying Barry Bonds is the worst offender. If so, he isn’t the only–and I will continue to insist that he would have received less criticism over this if he were a pleasant human being whom the media liked.

    As to the steroid era, unfortunately, we have to live with it. We already have guys in the Hall of Fame who have admitted to drug use, or come from a generation in which some drugs were used (uppers, etc.). The players certainly bear considerable blame, but to blame it on their union, as one commenter did, just won’t cut it. The owners didn’t object. The media left it pretty much alone for a long time (remember the reporter being discouraged from telling what he knew about Mark McGwire a decade ago?). The thoughtful fan could figure out something was up.

    A great line from an umpire in Bruce Weber’s new book. He said he couldn’t exactly go to the manager and say, did you know your third baseman is on steroids? But he also noted that this may explain some of what the fans considered questionable behavior by umpires. Maybe, just maybe, they were having to deal with ballplayers who were a bit off-center.

  12. tusculum_22@yahoo.com

    As a proud Los Angeles Dodgers fan I take umbrage to the reference of Manny. Sure the fans love him and he gets rousing ovations every time he is at home. Just as he did in Boston in the not too distant past.

    But I don’t think we would approve at all with his suspension and these new revelations. We want what every other fan and team wants, to win.

    And how many players were found to be using illegal substances? It seems like it was so many that in addition to the Manny’s, Big Papi’s, and A-Rod’s of the world there will be more names revealed. Even players who we love and will never look at the same way again after their name is revealed.

  13. natalier

    This is a tough issue I think. It is totally understandable as to why they would want to take those drugs. Look at what they do. It is SO obvious the change in an aging ballplayer who looks better aging then he did in his youth. It gives an otherwise rather sometimes tedious and boring game some zip. Who does not like the homerun ball?

    On the other hand this is a game where kids look up to players. Do we want kids emulating the players and then saying its all about the money. EVEN WORSE is the physical risk of steroids. No question it increases the risk of some cancers AND it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke which when a player is young he does not think about one iota until he has a heart attack or worse a stroke…both could kill him but a stroke could make living a hell.

    Further, there was something fantastic in days of old when a Carl Yastremski or Ted Williams or Mantle, Maris really WERE good in and of themselves. There is something to be said for that. I do not know how you can keep these drugs out except to test every player ALL the time … maybe even every game. Now some drugs are hard to detect like hormones. Still I’m sure some test they could come up with would show it.

    It’s just a shame because these men i.e. Clemens, Bonds, Petit, Rameriz now Ortiz and probably so many more have such talent..the question is is the talent the same with the drugs as without? Probably not.

    So enough already with baseball. Who cares? It puts no money in MY bank account whether they doped or not..yeah yeah I know it’s the kids….okay I still don’t care. WHAT I DO CARE ABOUT is HEALTH CARE that WILL affect my bank account.

    Keith we need you. This week has been drudgery and I am shamed to say it but I turned it off until Rachel. Thank god for her. This is the worst possible time for you to be away Keith in my opinion. No offense to your substitutes but man have no fear they did not surpass you. Maybe someone could try Nor Man Gold Man who fills in for Ed Schultz on his radio show. This guy is TERRIFIC…don’t worry Keith though NO ONE could take your place. For once I found someone irreplaceable!

  14. historymike

    In the “for what it’s worth” department, in the early 1960s, Mickey Mantle wound up on the DL with an abscess. He got it when Mel Allen took him to a “Dr. Feelgood”–it might even have been THE Dr. Feelgood–and the shot didn’t work too well. Jim Bouton wrote a bit about “greenies” and the like. I suspect a lot of players we haven’t thought of have used that stuff.

    Keith, I took less umbrage than my fellow Dodger fan, but when you are on the same side of an issue as Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, you need to stop and think. Granted, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Plaschke is right about Vin Scully’s greatness–but who would disagree with that?

  15. grk9

    I wonder if it isn’t that there’s so much money involved in professional sports that a player’s greed overtakes and surpasses his pride. He is so determined to succeed — to provide for himself and his family — that he doesn’t care how he does it.

    But I don’t see athletes as any better or worse than anyone else who cheats or lies to succeed whether it’s in sports or not. That includes the owners of ball clubs who look the other way just so long as the team wins and they can up the ticket and parking prices, the reporters who hide the facts so they can still be buddies with the players and the elected officials who take bribes (that’s what they no matter what you call ’em) to vote against the public good.

    I’d like to see the same light shine on the politicians that’s being shined on athletes.

  16. natalier

    grk9 makes GREAT points. The pressure in this culture to succeed especially for people with immense talent is HUGE. Money in this culture for ANYONE really rules. Ask all those out of a job now how bad it is without it. The desperateness of some to do anything necessary legal or otherwise to get money is overwhelming like a drug in and of itself. Ask people in entertainment the pressure they feel and why so many are on drugs and why so many marriages fail. How about the lengths some go to maintain their beauty. That is the case in film and it is the case with sports. Youth with bodies of steel and great beauty is so fleeting and the need for money continuous. Youth’s vibrancy is its own drug too. What does one do to maintain it without resorting to artificial props?

    I do not know WHAT the answer is. Perhaps it is our need to survive and to have our progeny survive as well. Whatever is the rationale in almost ANY high powered big money field it’s there. I bet its even in the news business too. Drugs though take a toll and the problem is the young simply do not see it until it’s too late and their bodies just simply give out or their minds give out way before their time.

    A culture OBSESSED with money is like a heroin addict obsessed with his next fix. He will do whatever is needed to get it until one day it kills him.

    Perhaps an interview with someone who is or was GREAT in sport but who we KNOW used nothing but his own skill without drugs would be in order. Find out what his secret is. There must be a few to ask.

  17. lreed@niu.edu

    I really despise the “Manny being Manny” phrase. It’s a cop out.
    Manny is a selfish A-hole, period, end of story.

  18. mikestachowiak25@yahoo.com

    Hurry back-I think even O’Reilly misses you.
    Regarding this issue, I’m in agreement with your reader “1948braves” from yesterday’s comments that everyone from the commish down (or is it up?) to the asst. traveling teams’ batboy is complicit in this scandal. Selig should have been ousted from the beginning (nobody could be that out of touch and not know or say something like stating that the newer bandbox ballparks and juiced baseballs were the reason for the increase in homer runs in the mid to late 1990s). Framing his original excuses, someone ‘roided up in Colorado should have hit 100 home runs in a single season by now. But now we know why nary a soul complained about the scandal about “those” players stealing money from us “honest” guys. Roy Oswalt’s false reasoning that Alex Rodriguez and other opposing cheats were hurting his ability to earn more money is specious. If anything the cheaters raised the salary level for all players – simply by the sheer number of them. It should be indignation from the POV that cheating is wrong, period. It’s against the rules for a reason.
    Do not confuse Manny’s hubris with Manny’s stupidity. I still think if Jose Canseco hadn’t gone insane late in his own career there would have been plenty of teams’ GMs who would have hired him as a player/’roid-HGH consultant in a heartbeat. It took Mike Schmidt, in probably one of the most openly honest comments by anyone of Hall of Fame rep (retired or non), to state he would have most likely tried PEDs himself if that extra edge was proven. But he was immediately chastised by Bob Costas and other media reps and thus “cleared up” the misunderstanding of his words. You cannot just blame the players – they were enabled and in some cases intentionally so. If all of the media (including Mr. Costas) had not been so apeshit in love with the seemingly “Dudley Doright” Mark Maguire – Sammy Sosa home run hitting contests until being ickily turned off by the whole “Snidely Whiplash” Barry Bonds home run chase, they would have done some honest journalism at least 5 years prior. The players are always going to be looking for an edge. The recent “fantastic” steroid test results that Bud is now always crowing about is an insult to all of us who know the guys are either HGHing or are taking the latest ‘invisible to the naked test’ designer PED.
    And a lot of ESPiN commentators are saying the fans sure don’t seem to care so what’s the big deal? They are also saying that Congress should keep their big, fat noses out of baseball’s affairs. They do not seem to remember that the only time anything was done about this scandal was when they hauled MLB’s collective ***** up to the hill and insisted that MLB police themselves or risk oversight of their government. Thus, the cherry-fart testing baseball now has today. The players are laughing at these tests. Case in point – Manny’s success before, during and after his suspension. Not one hint of remorse or personal responsibility – not that for even a second did we expect that to happen. All we expected was his goofy smile, his easy-going demeanor and his beautiful swing – and he delivered – easy as tying a dreadlock. Barry Bonds is spinning in his baseball grave. I remember when the BALCO scandal broke and the recently-retired, recently-hired and smilingly obese John Kruk (employed for his baseball knowledge and inroads to the mind of today’s players – if today’s players are all fry-cooks) told the nation there is absolutely no way steroids could improve a professional ballplayers ability. I remember laughing out loud at that. Simply because Krukky could not answer the question of “if it doesn’t help your performance then why do it”? I remember when Peter Gammons was a journalist not so long ago. Watching his soft glow “blockbuster” interview of Mr. Rodriguez days after he was outed was appalling. But I did not laugh the day of Mr. Rodriguez’ press conference. After reading so many columns of so many journalists in the days prior to the presser stating, with sound and fury, the types of steroids he used , the sophistication of the “cocktail” mixture of testosterone and steroids that he took for three years and his reasoning for stopping their use, I was aghast that each and every one of the reporters in that tent allowed Mr. Rodriguez to tell lie after lie without anyone calling him out then and there. It was like a prosecuting attorney listening to a witness lie knowingly and not stopping him immediately with prepared, contrary known facts. It was disgusting.
    Can anyone honestly say that today’s kids are afraid to take any and all PEDs after seeing the “heroic” results that the best players in the game (who have taken PEDs and are still taking them) have displayed? I mean, name me one current player whom you would trust to be THE anti-PED spokesman. David Ortiz?
    Nobody has their head in the sand now but the sad truth is that nobody in baseball really ever did.

  19. sxp195


    Seriously?! You’re that ok with Ortiz, and that down on Manny? You were great on Sports Center, but your views on baseball are as polarizing as your views on politics- and just about everything else, for that matter!

    A few things you neglect in your analysis-

    1) There is no “Ortiz versus Manny”- they are bestest of buddies, and you can judge someone by the company they keep, at least to a point. In other words, either Manny is not the demon you perceive, or Ortiz is not such a super guy. Your attitude towards them reminds me of the whole “Beatles versus the Rolling Stones” thing- ie. the good guys versus the bad guys, when in reality, there was no discernible difference, other than the way that they were marketed. (Though looking back, “good guy” Beatle John Lennon was probably badder than the rest of them put together.)

    2) Yeah, I’m a Dodger fan, but from what I’ve seen SO far, I think you can make a case that Manny’s approach has been MORE authentic. He basically said that he’s embarrassed that he let everyone down by getting caught and suspended, but shrugged it off otherwise. Not the most contrite attitude, but I’d rather he do that than pretend he thinks he did something so horrible, when he really doesn’t care a whole lot (besides the fact that he got busted). By contrast, Ortiz has denied, denied, and denied for YEARS, only to find out that his name was on the list all along! To compound the problem, Ortiz had previously said that they should EXTEND punishment for anyone who uses steroids, whereas Manny never said a word about it before getting busted himself! As someone who I’d guess is not too fond of right-wing preachers that scream about homosexuality while practicing it, I’m sure you can appreciate the magnitude of his hypocrisy.

    3) I don’t like the idea that ANY of these guys- even those that I root against- are cheaters, but the fact is, many, if not most, athletes always seem to be looking for an edge, no matter what the cost. I think they deserve as much blame as a teenager who stays out and parties all night. In other words, they should be held accountable, but most don’t seem to know better, and need some serious supervision to protect them from themselves. Where were the grownups- in this case, Bud Selig? It seems he was too busy figuring out how to make the All-Star game “count” to deal with such small issues as steroids and PEDs.

    4) “Can we talk about how Dodger fans can look at themselves and the standings in the mirror?”

    There’s the KO we all know and love- so dramatic about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! It’s not like we SOLD him the drugs, Keith! Taking steroids doesn’t automatically make ANYONE a superstar multimillionaire home-run machine (oh, how I wish it did, though), and their incredible season so far has given people around here something to cheer about in otherwise troubled times. But the MAIN reason we look at ourselves in the mirror is because we’re obsessed with our appearance- you know how Californians are.

    Getting back to Ortiz, I think the jury is still out on his response. He says he’ll talk about it when he finds out more, and I’m on the edge of my seat to find out.

    Enjoy the rest of the season,

  20. matty2379

    just to tell u those were just 2 poeple and if they sat would it matter???????? there is still what 23 more poeple there not the whole team

  21. medpacind@aol.com

    Im new here – forgive me if this has been discussed before ( I know it hasn’t been acted on)



  22. patricia.resnick@gmail.com

    Keith, I’ve loved you since you were local sports in SoCal, and I never miss Countdown, but your logic is flawed. If Manny is so not perfect then don’t you also make the mistake of so many by thinking he is all the Dodgers have. Your blanket condemnation of Dodger fans is resting on the shoulders of a flawed premise.
    I’m coming to this late, but I’m a Dodger fan who is quite comfortable with that mirror. Make it a magic mirror and I look in and see Pierre, Blake, Kemp, Loney, Martin…take your pick. We have a team. Manny is a member, but we still have a top-of-the-line team, with and without Manny.
    Why, you ask? Perhaps it’s because we have Joe Torre? Just a thought.
    Also, no player exists in a vacuum. They are all products of the culture within which they exist. These days, we would all look askance at any player caught with a cigarette, let alone a hypo. Not so much so forty years ago. Things change, the culture learns and grows.

    The only thing that remains the same for a big league ball player is the pressure for a gifted human being to consistently produce in a super-human fashion. Why are we still surprised when the ethically shaky find ways to put a thumb on the scale? And do we really think steroids will be the last thing of this sort that we will come to see as reprehensible? Would that it were so.

    Meanwhile, GO DODGERS AND JOE TORRE! You’re actually making Ned Colletti look like he knows what he’s doing.

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