Shaughnessy is too good to have to invent anything. He neither invented anything in this instance nor accused Ortiz of using steroids and their cousins. What he did was take his skepticism and his curiosity, good traits for a newspaperman to have, and ask Ortiz about steroids. Ortiz’s responses did not indicate anger of being accused of wrong doing.
I would compare the Ortiz column to the columns I have written about Mike Piazza and my suspicions about his possible use of steroids. I didn’t accuse him of using steroids, but I was and continue to be skeptical.
In the Ortiz case, a person more prominent than the pedestrian bloggers came to the player’s defense. Tom Werner, the Red Sox chairman, posted his own column on Redsox.com last Friday, and it quickly spread to other sites. [...]
We are also in a new sports world. When I started in this business more than 50 years ago, we didn’t have anything like steroids to deal with. Before we caught on to widespread use, we were criticized for not paying closer attention and asking relevant, probing questions.
Now we are being criticized for paying too much attention and asking relevant, probing questions.
The news media are not responsible for asking, in what may be some circumstances, questionable questions. The players created this era and this environment. If players get caught up in being accused with circumstantial evidence, let them complain to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. [...]
The questions Shaughnessy asked Ortiz were based on what we have learned from our belated entry into steroids coverage, certain types of injuries and improved production at an advanced age (see Bonds), for two examples.
Shaughnessy could have written his suspicions without talking to Ortiz, but what he did was far more acceptable and correct. When I tried to ask Piazza about his alleged use, he refused to talk about it. When I asked the editor of his recently published book and Piazza’s literary agent before publication if he would write about steroids, they refused to say.
“I’m not going to talk to you,” said David Black, the agent, whom I have known for years and who encouraged me to write a book so he could represent me.
Posted: May 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM | 13 comment(s)