SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
The Curse Still Exists!
It was announced that future Hall of Famer and current L.A.
Dodger Manny Ramirez and his former teammate and current Boston Red Sox David “Big Papi” Ortiz, tested positive in 2003 for performance enhancing drugs or “PED’S” giving the game another black eye on a face already filled with marks and scars.
Sure, these are two prominent players so the buzz surrounding this story was appropriate and anticipated, but the real story is yet to be told and discussed; although these are two Latino being players called out for PEDs – and yet very few white players have suffered the same fate. (A topic for a later article).
If reports are accurate and factual that Ramirez and Ortiz tested positive in 2003, then the two World Championships for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 were tainted.
It also means that the “Curse of the Bambino” (A curse that was supposedly inflicted on the team when the team traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919) still exists.
How dare I say the titles of ’04 and ’07 were tainted based on two players cheating?
Consider these facts:
In 2004, Ramirez batted .308, led the American League in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.613) and OPS (1.009). He also finished third in the American league in RBI’S, sixth in on base percentage, eighth in walks and tenth in runs scored and was the MVP of the World Series.
In 2004, Ortiz hit .301 with 41 home runs and 139 RBI’S. In the playoffs that season he hit .400 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI’S. He finished fourth in voting for the AL MVP and was voted MVP in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).
That same season, Ramirez and Ortiz became the first American league teammates to hit at least 40 home runs, drive in at least 100 runs and bat at least .300 since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig accomplished the feat in 1931.
They also hit back-to-back home runs six times that season, tying a Major league single-season mark set by Hank Greenberg and Rudy York of the Detroit Tigers – and later matched by Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez of the Chicago White Sox.
What About 2007?
Due to injuries in 2007, Ramirez didn’t play the entire season, but still managed to hit 20 home runs and compile 88 runs batted in. Even more impressive was his play in post season, when he hit a walk-off 3-run home run in Game Two of the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
He also hit the first of back-to-back home runs along with Ortiz in the fourth inning of the final game of the series against the Angels. In the World Series, Manny continued to hit well, finishing the series hitting .348 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI’s – leading to a four game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
In 2007, like Ramirez, “Big Papi” did not play the entire season; but was just as impressive and productive as Ramirez. Ortiz hit 35 home runs and had 117 runs batted in.
He also finished the regular season with a .621 slugging percentage and OPS of 1.066. In the post season, Ortiz helped lead the Red Sox to “tainted title two” with 6 doubles, 3 home runs and 10 runs batted in.
Ortiz was also named the AL’s Silver Slugger award winner as a DH.
These are just some of the stats Ramirez and Ortiz have compiled over the two seasons when Boston won World Series championships. Not to mention the leadership, passion, enthusiasm and professionalism they provided for the team and gave to their fans.
Just ask teams like the Yankees, Angels, Cardinals and Rockies about the Ramirez-Ortiz combo and they will all agree the pair were clutch and are the reason all four of the previously mentioned teams came up short to the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
It was Ramirez and Ortiz that led the miracle comeback against the Yankees in 2004. It was Ramirez and Ortiz that destroyed the Angels easily in 2007.
And it was Ramirez and Ortiz that overwhelmed the pitching of St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies in 2004 and 2007 respectively that led to two World Championships for the Red Sox and the Red Sox Nation.
So why does the curse still exist?
We’ve heard the term “good things happen to good people”. Well in the case of the Red Sox, the term “bad things happen to bad people” so appropriately applies.
The state of Massachusetts, in particular the city of Boston, and their past mistreatment of minority people and athletes is as deep and dark as Major League Baseball.
Look at how the people of Boston treated such great and honorable men like Bill Russell. They would cheer him on the court, but call him a nigger off the court. They sought his autograph after games, but worked to stop him from moving into many of their own neighborhoods.
Look at the negative propaganda bestowed upon Manny after he was traded to the Dodgers. They attacked his character, tried to suggest he was stupid based on his broken English, and made him out to be some kind of malcontent or disgruntled player that was the biggest cancer on the team.
The same could be said for David Ortiz, whose fans questioned his heart and devotion to the team and how the team alleged there were guys on the team he didn’t get along with.
They also tried to say he and Manny weren’t friends at all.
Currently, Red Sox management is displeased with Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsusaka, a pitcher from Japan who won 18 games for them last season, for having his own way of working out and preparing for games.
Yet the Red Sox basically told him “do our way or take your ass back to Japan!” and the end result was their way — which landed him on the disabled list.
The racism is not limited to athletes in the “GOOD” state of Massachusetts.
In Cambridge, Mass, a prominent professor (Henry Louis Gates) at Harvard was questioned INSIDE his house after showing proper identification to this Klan-like police officer (Sergeant James Crowley) which led to the Professor being arrested.
An arrest the officer and his racist department continue to refuse to apologize for and deny any malpractice, misbehavior or iniquity — in spite of later evidence proving Gates did nothing but yell at the police — not a reason for arrest in the state of Massachusetts.
So the more things change, the more they stay the same and in the case of Massachusetts, nothing has changed and the same could be said about the Red Sox.
You don’t have to believe in “the curse” from “God is punishing the Red Sox for evil” stand point, karma or even the “what goes around comes around” theory.
What you should realize is the facts speak the truth and never lie and in this case the incredible and unbelievable statistical numbers Ramirez and Ortiz assembled and accumulated in the championship years for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 after taking PED’S in 2003 had a direct affect on the success of the team and their first titles since 1918.
Some want to denounce the two players, and their accomplishments for cheating to get an edge in the game and I say get ready to denounce a lot of players both past and present because Major League Baseball has had some form of deceiving, defrauding, deception and dishonesty since the league’s inception.
Baseball has no morality because they’ve always had players, teams and beat writers that were immoral.
All parties have always known about the dishonesty, turned their heads, put the pen down and kept their mouth shut all “for the good of the game.”
So when you go back and think about the 2004 and 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox, think back to Ramirez and Ortiz and the titles that were not meant to be because they cheated to enhance their performance and help their team win.
Think back to all the teams and the fans of those teams the Red Sox beat in the playoffs and World Series because they were the victims who were “CHEATED.”