Hank, here’s a start: Ramirez, Ortiz exposed

Ramirez: "Psst. Big Papi, you think they'll ever catch us?" Ortiz: "No, Manny. It's all good."

Ramirez: "Big Papi, you think they'll ever catch us?" Ortiz: "No, Manny. It's all good."

The greatest clean home run hitter in baseball history said last week he wanted the entire list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 exposed. I don’t know how much Henry Aaron’s comments weighed on authorities but we can scratch two more names off the secret list.

The New York Times reported that Manny Ramirez — who already has sat out a 50-game suspension this season — and his former Boston Red Sox teammate, David Ortiz, tested positive in 2003. And for those deluded fans who still believe performance-enhancing drugs do not hugely impact the game, Ramirez and Ortiz were big reasons the Red Sox won World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. So Ramirez and Ortiz join previously outed druggies Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa. I guess this thing is being released piecemeal.

Attention Braves fans: If you’re interesting in venting on this subject in some place other than in the commenting section below — which we always encourage — the Braves would love for you to attend Friday’s series opener against Ramirez and his current team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Turner Field. I believe it’s souvenir syringe night.

Baseball screened players for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. The results were expected to remain confidential. But for some reason the list of 104 players who tested positive was not immediately destroyed and it soon ended up in the hands of the federal government as part of its investigation into BALCO, which provided PEDs to several high-profile athletes. The investigation led to Barry Bonds’ indictment for perjury. (You might’ve heard rumors that Bonds also took something on the way to breaking Aaron’s home run record.) The Major League Baseball Players Association has been fighting to keep the list confidential and obviously wants it destroyed. Legally, the union probably has a point. But the prevailing anti-drug sentiment in sports currently might trump that position.

In my conversation with Aaron last Sunday, he said, “If there’s another 102 players on that list, that would be my position — bring it all to light now and get it over with. The game has come through things before. It needs to come through this. If there are a hundred and some names on the list, let’s just get them out and get this over with so we can get on with the game.”

Angels center fielder Torii Hunter seems to agree with Aaron — to a point. He told ESPN: “Whoever got that list is just playing with Major League Baseball right now. Either put [the list] away, or just put it out. It was anonymous and now the names are leaking out and it’s a joke.”

Yes. But let’s not forget how this “joke” was made possible.

76 comments Add your comment

Pete Orr

July 30th, 2009
3:16 pm

Next big names from the list of 2003…
Darren Bragg and Matt Franco

SEC

July 30th, 2009
3:27 pm

they wait until the player does something spectacular or is now a high profile player to release it that way it draws more media attention

Knuckle Sandwich

July 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

wjones

July 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

Yes, let’s not let the law or an agreement between two negotiating parties interfere with our insatiable thirst for knowledge/blood. Jeff, how about you and Hank submitting your finances and medical records for us on the old blog? Let’s get them out in the open. This will not help the next collective bargaining agreement in the least.

[...] PED report affect Manny, Big Papi down stretch? USA Today Say it ain’t so Globe and Mail Hank, it’s a start: Ramirez, Ortiz exposed Atlanta Journal Constitution A big blow to Big Papi’s legacy Boston Herald Ortiz suspicions [...]

allenlaw

July 30th, 2009
3:53 pm

We can jawbone about this all we want, but a federal court (as I understand it) has ordered the list sealed. Period. No amount of whining or begging will change that fact. The “leaks” have been the result of someone who saw the list “remembering” someone’s name and telling someone else who tells a reporter. It is not “baseball” who is hiding the list, it is a court.

Herschel Talker

July 30th, 2009
4:06 pm

Big Papi likes men
Manny Ramirez likes men
They all like men!

jimmya

July 30th, 2009
4:08 pm

Dan Hernandez

July 30th, 2009
4:08 pm

be careful what you wish for… you can bet that andruw and a few other current & former braves are on that list, too.

A Voice of Reason

July 30th, 2009
4:11 pm

The baseball cheats need to be exposed so the fans can really understand the true damage done to the sport by the cheats themselves, their managers and coaches, baseball executives, the office of the commissioner, and the players union who all essentially conspired to create this abomination that will forever be known as the steroid era. To hell with their legacies and records.

Ben

July 30th, 2009
4:13 pm

Welcome to the Hall of Fame! Please enjoy our new section, The Steroid Wing presented by Bud Selig.

Seriously, how is Selig still Commissioner at this point?

Keeping It Real

July 30th, 2009
4:14 pm

What’s next..the banning of baseball? Everyone in baseball knew about drug enhancements. Hank and the rest of the do-gooders should let this go so that we the fan can once again enjoy the the game of baseball. Put Pete and all the players who used drug enhancements and excelled over all those who did not into the Hall. They would have qualified in any event. Expose the list or just shut up.

yeah right

July 30th, 2009
4:18 pm

Race card played in 3…..2…..1

Bravedawg

July 30th, 2009
4:21 pm

Andruw, Javy, Sheffield, Rocker, Castilla…It’s probably easier to name the guys that DIDN’T do steroids than the guys that did.

Chuckles

July 30th, 2009
4:24 pm

Man, MLB is dumb. D-U-M-B. They keep allowing this blight on the game into slow news cycles, and it keeps eating away at the branding & $$$ of the league.

Let’s say that by happy accident, The Commish has to retire, and they name me as his successor.
What would I do, as King of Baseball?

1) Call a prime time news conference (heck, Obama can do it, why not me?)
2) At this conference, have the national championship Little Leagers sit behind me, on bleachers.
3) Announce that this game’s greatness is about history, tradition, and how we pass down this tradition to our kids (point at cute 12 yr. old: yeah, it’s a cheap pop, but I am The Commish, after all)
4) Point out that one great traditional value in America is our ability to forgive.
5) On that note – reinstate ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson to baseball’s good graces, recommend his induction to Cooperstown by the Old Farts Committee.
6) (Pause for effect)
7) Forgiveness should also be given to those players that deserve by means of their contribution to the game – and reinstate Pete Rose. (Have him walk out, hug a kid, wave to the camera). Suggest his consideration into the Hall of Fame.
8) Lastly, mention the ‘Steroid Era”. Comment on how it wasn’t illegal in the Major Leagues as soon as it should have been. How even after it was made illegal, that MLB wasn’t diligent enough, and in some ways, may have ACCIDENTALLY encouraged it by promoting players who’s results on the field were influenced by these illicit practices (for shame!).
9) Declare a MLB policy that all stats from, say, 1980 thru 2009 and all players thru that era are excused from all question and future eligibility to the Hall be based on results on the field, regardless of how they did it. Our Bad. Sorry about that. We can’t pick & choose whose records are legit without solid evidence that they cheated, so we say they all cheated to one degree or another
(Quote Gene Mauch – “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t trying!). Amnesty, etc.
10) Trot out Jose Canseco – (again, hi-five kids, fist bump, etc) Jose – you were right. We were wrong. Thanks for what you did for our sport.
11) God Bless America. God Bless America’s Pastime.

25 share for sure. Writers will be verklempt – especially the old farts. But modern folks will say “Good for them. The traditionalists can shut up now. Baseball is fixed.”

12) Cross fingers behind back. “Chicks dig the long ball”.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 30th, 2009
4:29 pm

if you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, which ever dog you hit will hollar.

old gold engineer

July 30th, 2009
4:30 pm

How old was Hank Aaron when he broke Ruth’s record? I’m too young too remember much about the Braves in those days, but I don’t remember Aaron having the health problems some of Atlanta’s current older players.

The Big Maru

July 30th, 2009
4:30 pm

During his last few years in Atlanta, it looked like Andruw was taking something but he wasn’t working out like some of the other guys, and all it did was make his head swell up like Barry Bonds.

Herschel Talker

July 30th, 2009
4:33 pm

They’re just going after the black guys. Roger Clemens was secretly black. MLB is run by a bunch of racists. Fight the power. Free Mike Vick. Free Mandela.

rhynster

July 30th, 2009
4:35 pm

I’m past the point of caring now.

Forget who did or didn’t juice.

Just consider anything from the late-70s on as The Enhancement Era and recognize the statistical variances as we do comparing the 50s to The Dead Ball Era.

Steroids have played a role in making stats obsolete, yes.

But so have shrinking ballparks, expansion, amphetamines, sports psychologists, easier schedules, and rapid advancements in trainer knowledge, nutritional awareness and training technologies.

Steve

July 30th, 2009
4:38 pm

I don’t need to be careful what I wish for.

I want all the tests made public. I want monthly tests at the least, and they also need to be public. I don’t care who was on it, whether or not I like them.

The reality is, many people on many levels look up to these guys. The fact they are taking steroids and lying about it makes younger players want to take them. This type of leadership can cause imbalances in sports on levels starting in the mid teens. It needs to be completely stopped and the best way to do it is have it open to the public.

It’s very sad that I respect Jose Canseo more than most active major leaguers, but at least he admits he took them and it was wrong. The rest of these idiots always come up with lame stories.

Nativebird

July 30th, 2009
4:40 pm

I hate to point this out but…Chipper’s power numbers and HR totals sure have fallen off recently. (????).

Maxwell Snark

July 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

Phil Neikro used PEDs. Camel’s, I think they were, or maybe it was Marlboros.

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 30th, 2009
4:49 pm

If Bud Selig were smart, (just play along) he’d release the whole list, let it hit the fan and then blow over. But no, in the infinite wisdom of the Lords of Baseball, let’s drag it out over several years.

Release the list, the whole list. Maybe we’d even be pleasantly surprised at a name or two that didn’t make the list. And Manny and Big Papi? Is this really any surprise?

safari

July 30th, 2009
4:51 pm

@Nativebird… Look at Chippers career stats, for one he is 37 and obviously still not in his power prime. And notice the last few years the amount of games he played and the corresponding HR totals for these years. Chipper is one of the few power guys who you can be safe to say didn’t need the juice to perform.

james

July 30th, 2009
4:52 pm

no way chipper is not on that list. Andruw might have taken them, but he was too lazy and just got fat.

The only thing i am afraid of is if any of the big three took them, though smoltz would be the least surprising.

james

July 30th, 2009
4:54 pm

can smoltz’ sports psychologist be labeled a PED? Yea, chipper roided out

Maxwell Snark

July 30th, 2009
4:55 pm

Greg Maddux took PEDs. Peanut M&Ms, I think they were.

Chris

July 30th, 2009
4:59 pm

Jeff:

I’m all the way in Johnson City, Tennessee, so I can’t be there to heckle the Manny and his menstrual meds.

Interview him, and nail him in a column.

clyde

July 30th, 2009
5:07 pm

I understand that they didn’t really take steroids,they got them from a chocolate mlk they drank when they were kids.Unknown to each of them,of course.

EMG

July 30th, 2009
5:08 pm

Nativebird –

You just made the best case possible for the Chipper was not on steriods argument. He’s 37 and his power numbers have declined.. LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO.

athensdawg

July 30th, 2009
5:10 pm

the hammer is right. and, for once, he needs to quit being mister nice guy and start raising some hell about this. if anybody could get away with it, it would be him. afterall, his legacy as the greatest offensive baseball player is being threatened by a bunch of drug addicts….

it’s bad enough that the freaking stadium isn’t named after him….now MLB is going to keep giving away records to people who are juiced.

Rufus

July 30th, 2009
5:14 pm

All those pot head clowns, are still making big bucks, fans are still looking up to them, and saying what good example to their kids they are, they want their kids grow up, to be like a pot head like M.Ramirez., D.Ortiz., A.Rodriguez., and S. Sosa, and lets not forget old Mc and Barry, and the many others, who are hiding under home plate.
The only with any B___s is Jose Canseco

MatthewH

July 30th, 2009
5:16 pm

I would like to nominate Chuckles as MLB Commissioner

Jeff Schultz

July 30th, 2009
5:20 pm

Knuckle Sandwich – Gee, ya think?

WJones – I think I’ve written that I understand the legal part of it. But I still don’t feel sorry for the players because they’ve been dishonest from the outset.

Yeah Right – Funny. Very funny.

Old Gold Engineer — He was 40.

Snyder

July 30th, 2009
5:22 pm

Jose admitted to taking them, he never said he was sorry but you know what was worse his loser brother also took them and could not crack AA ball !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Atl sports fan

July 30th, 2009
5:38 pm

Hey Jeff,

What are the chances Andrew Jones and Marcus Giles are on that list?

Chuckles

July 30th, 2009
5:46 pm

MatthewH – I will gladly accept your nomination.

Second Prime Time Conference

1) ‘Shoeless’ Joe’s family, Rose Family, Canseco family in attendance
2) Announce the 25 share we got for the last conference (hey – panning ones self on the back is in The Commish’s contract – p4, paragraph 2b)
3) Announce the overwhelming approval rating our poll by CNN/Time/Etc. showed for our actions in last conference
4) We may have started something with this ‘fix the game’ movement. So, in that spirit, we announce: Red Sox and A’s get 2 extra compensatory picks in this year’s draft for the Bowie Kuhn’s nixing the Joe Rudi & Catfish Hunter deal in 1978.
5) We also announce that Charley Findley had a good idea – yellow baseballs for better visibility, and put a gismo in the center so we can use the same BAM effect Fox did for hockey.
6) Two words – seven innings.
7) MANDITORY at least 2 day games scheduled for each playoff series, including world series.
8) All Star game reverts back to not mattering (not that it really does), home team advantage determined by results of interleague play – ties broken by best record of team of either league.
9) Hall of Fame vote every year for at least one player inductee BY FANS – via ticket at game (only, no online shenanigans).
10) The Commish announces he’ll tie his salary into the attendance average for the sport – 5 bucks for every fan.
11) Lastly – we dedicate a new wing in the Hall – Name it the Buck O’Neill wing (and induct him as first honoree) and bring all the Negro League HoF members from Kansas City in. Announce the Kansas City HoF as an associate HoF museum, transfer appropriate items there.

Jeff Schultz

July 30th, 2009
5:47 pm

Atl sports fan — Not sure it would be right for me to publicly speculate.

Atl sports fan

July 30th, 2009
5:51 pm

I would put money on it. Both careers tanked when they started testing.

Dawgdad

July 30th, 2009
5:56 pm

We need to get the players off the juice and maybe introduce the umpires to some performance enhancing pharmaceuticals, lord knows they could use some.

james

July 30th, 2009
5:57 pm

watch out braves fans chipper home runs and hitting is off this season.chipper must not be chewing sun flower seeds.

Atl sports fan

July 30th, 2009
5:59 pm

Speaking of umps, what was with the one that threw Bobby out yesterday? That mustache was on steriods.

Bushwacker

July 30th, 2009
6:06 pm

WE now know why big poppy can’t hit anymore.

sidslid

July 30th, 2009
6:06 pm

We paid to see these players play under the false premise of talent. We are part of the bargain. That trumps “privacy concerns” which is.a euphimism for hiding behind lawyers

Jeff Schultz

July 30th, 2009
6:07 pm

Atl — Baseball stiffened it’s drug policy before 2005 season. Andruw hit 92 HRs and drove in 257 runs in 2005 and 2006. He didn’t slide until 2007 and, personally, I think there issues others than what you’re referring to.

Conversely, Giles went from 2004 (.311) to 2005 (.291) to 2006 (.262) to 2007 (.229).

I’m just giving you the numbers.

Art Vandelay

July 30th, 2009
6:10 pm

Chuckles, I’m gonna guess you work in PR.

Atl sports fan

July 30th, 2009
6:12 pm

Good analysis Jeff. I thought the drug policy went to effect later than 2005. I’ll guess we’ll find out soon enough if any Braves were on the list. I hope not, but those two did fall off the map pretty quickly.

Herschel Talker

July 30th, 2009
6:33 pm

Chuckles likes men

playmeortrademe

July 30th, 2009
6:45 pm

MR and DO are two more reasons why Dale Murphy should be in the Hall of Fame, ahead of guys like these who have inflated numbers because the game sold its soul after the strike.

Kids who grew up on the Braves in the 80’s (like me) were fortunate to watch one of the best players of his time play with heart and integrity. Imagine if Murph had juiced…he’d have 500+ homers and be a lock. Instead, his numbers don’t seem to be good enough for the baseball writers (the guys who vote). To me, the guy is the essence of a Hall of Famer and it seems like as time passes, the Hall needs Murphy more and more.