Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has come to the defence of Alex Rodriguez by telling Jorge L. Ortiz of USAToday.com that he did not approve of Ryan Dempster hitting Rodriguez during a recent game.
“I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was the right thing to do.”
Ortiz went on to say that he didn’t agree with the move because of the playoff implications, something we have outlined previously. But in addition to that, Ortiz has two other very good reasons why he would be against hitting A-Rod.
First of all, Ortiz has his own checkered history when it comes to using performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Times reported in 2009 that Ortiz tested positive for PEDs during a survey of MLB players in 2003. As a result, Ortiz may feel some empathy towards A-Rod and may also not want to appear to be a hypocrite.
More importantly, Ortiz probably knows that if the Yankees do exact some revenge on the Red Sox in the future, it will most likely be his uniform that has a giant target on the back.
Hitting A-Rod was the wrong thing to do on several levels. But if a Red Sox player is going to defend A-Rod, the words will carry more weight if they come from somebody that doesn’t have a personal stake in taking the Yankees’ side.
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