Steroids: It’s more fun when they don’t admit it

August 08, 2009 | Drew Forrester

David Ortiz leafed through the book of steroid excuses and pulled out the easiest, simplest one for his explanation on how he tested positive back in 2003.

“I bought some over the counter supplements and vitamins,” he said today in New York.

Sure.  And I’m Brad Pitt’s stunt double in an upcoming film.

These guys crack me up. 

But, in all honesty, I kind of like it when these steroid users don’t actually admit to it – even when they’re caught.

If David Ortiz would have just told the truth today — “Yes, like a lot of other players in the early part of this decade, I gave into temptation and used steroids” — there’d be nothing left for us to wonder about HIM…we’d know the truth. 

This way, with his “over the counter” explanation, we can all continue to point at him and giggle.  Not only did he juice up, he got caught.  And then, when pressed for an answer, he sat there and squirmed his way through a ridiculous half-admission. 

Like the late, great Charley Eckman would say:  “It’s better than movies…”

I like Bronson Arroyo’s approach this week.  He got a head start on his flimsy excuse by pre-admitting he used an over-the-counter product back in 2002-2003 that MIGHT have contained small doses of Winstrol.  Winstrol, of course, is code word for: steroids.

I’m a Bronson Arroyo fan.  He sings “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots better than Scott Weiland. 

He’s also a guy who used steroids and, I’m assuming, is on “the list”.  Rather than wait for his name to be published and have to come up with something on the fly, Arroyo got a head start by letting everyone know there’s a CHANCE his name might be on the list because…blah, blah, blah.

Quick question:  When’s the last time any of you out there took something that might have had steroids in it?  Yeah, me neither. 

Watching these players squirm and come up with out-of-this-world stories about steroids and how they-might-be-linked-but-shouldn’t-be-because-they-never-did-them is far more entertaining than the games themselves.

I’m sure Ortiz got specific directions from the Player’s Union prior to making his plea today.  “Whatever you do, David, DO NOT admit to using steroids,” he was probably told.  And, right on cue, Ortiz conjured up some story about going to CVS or Walgreens and buying some work-out supplement in an attempt to hit more home runs. 

The Player’s Union can’t have Ortiz ‘fess up.  They just can’t.  We want to hear it, but it’s not going to happen. 

Here’s a funny twist to this whole steroids thing:  A bunch of guys have been caught recently, either by the government or through the testing process that was supposed to be under lock-and-seal.  A few years ago, it was Jason Giambi.  Two years ago, Roger Clemens was in the news for his wild ride on the juice.  Manny Ramirez tested positive THIS year and was suspended for 50 games.  So far, of all the big names who have been pin-pointed as cheaters, only one has stepped forward, when caught, and basically admitted it — “you got me”.

Guess who?  Alex Rodriguez.

Sure, he fumbled and stumbled his way through an interview with Peter Gammons, but at least A-Rod gave in when the evidence in front of him was too much to deny. 

How’s that for irony?  The one guy everyone thinks is a Hall-of-Fame-Scumbag didn’t give the old “I bought some vitamins” b.s. when his name was linked to a failed test. 

They’re all cheaters, of course, A-Rod included.  But there’s cheating, there’s being caught, and, there’s coming clean.  It’s a vicious triangle. 

Today, though, Ortiz moved ahead of Rodriguez on the laugh-list, as he couldn’t even look everyone in the eye and say, “OK, you got me…but that was 6 years ago folks.”  He could have used A-Rod’s “loosey-goosey” line, even.  That would have brought out a laugh or two, huh?

At this stage, I honestly don’t care who’s on that stupid list.  I really don’t.  I don’t even care that they run and hide when the evidence is laid out in front of them for everyone to evaluate.

They’re all steroid users.

Clemens: User.  Ramirez: User.  Ortiz:  User.  A-Rod: User.

The “list” goes on and on and on.

I’d rather they keep lying about it, frankly.  By fibbing, they only confirm what I’ve been thinking about baseball players all along.  A large percentage of them are scallywags.  They’ve perfected the art of baseball excellence by deciding to take the easy way out.  For years, the joke was on the fans and the media.

Not anymore.

The joke, now, is all on them.