As the blog's resident Red Sox fan, this sucks.
As someone who hates writing about steroids, this really sucks.
The latest leak accusing both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz of being among the 104 major leaguers testing positive for PEDs in 2003 didn't come as a huge surprise. I sort of made a case for Ramirez starting in early 2008 in this space when he was suspended in May, but there was always at least as much reason to believe he was a long-term cheater. The suspicions about Ortiz always made a lot of sense. If Ortiz wasn't such a personable guy, they probably would have been louder.
The outing of Ortiz is just another step on the road to, if not respectability, then at least tolerance for steroids. Dodger fans still love Ramirez. Yankees fans have played forgive and forget with every homer from Jason Giambi and now Alex Rodriguez. The Red Sox had been remarkably unstained by steroid talk, even to the point of having fewer minor leaguers suspended than any other franchise. But it was always a given that cheaters played a role in the 2004 championship and likely the one in 2007 as well. Red Sox fans have loved Ortiz too long to start hating him now. They'll cheer every homer just like they always have.
At this point, it certainly seems as though the writers are the ones with the biggest grudge against steroid users. In most cases, it's the same writers who were in better position than anyone to expose steroid use in the 1990s and failed miserably. The fans are largely sick of the topic and want to move on. MLB itself would certainly like to move on.
However, one thing that's going to have to happen before we can truly move on is the release of the 2003 list. It's disgusting that unethical lawyers are letting a name or two slip at a time. The whole list is going to eventually come out and the sooner the better.