Wednesday, August 30, 2006

All About David

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

Wednesday entries are usually reserved for a look back at some of the more "notable" newsmakers from the world of sports - if you have been here before you know all about Weird & Whacked Wednesdays. While we laugh or shake our heads at the trials and tribulations of some of today's most prominent sports figures - the events of the last few days make some sports fans seem even more moronic than the guys we love to laugh at.

Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz was admitted to hospital earlier this week - he has been having some trouble of late with an irregular heartbeat. While most fans were quick to pass along their well wishes to David and his family - it was only a matter of time before unfounded accusations and suspicions were brought to the fore. Over the last couple of days, there has been speculation that perhaps David's condition was brought about by use of steroids or performance enhancing substances.

It all started with a radio show in the U.S. (I won't publish the name) that wondered if prior substance abuse could have been a contributing factor in what Ortiz is going through right now. These accusations gave rise to a legion of moronic sports fanatics who have changed the focus of this situation from Ortiz' health - to whether or not he has taken steroids or other drugs. With no basis for this argument, legions of Red Sox haters (and members of Red Sox Nation) are hitting the message boards pointing to drug use as the reason for the irregular heartbeat. These angry, jaded, so-called fans are pointing to supposed rampant drug use in all sports to make a link to Ortiz. Some have gone to great lengths to post pictures of Ortiz taken over 7 years ago (in a Minnesota Twins uniform) - comparing them to his current pictures trying to draw a parallel between his weight gain and drug use. They have drawn Ortiz' fans into the discussion - with some pointing out that his head isn't any bigger (I'm serious...they are looking to the size of his head to defend him) - comparing him to before and after pics of Barry Bonds.

Ortiz' supporters have come out in full force to battle the meaningless accusations being made - some of the more "caring" members of Red Sox Nation were quick to wish him a speedy recovery, "because we are going to need you next year." I'm sure his wife is comforted by the fact that his army of fans seem more concerned with him being ready for spring training 2007 - than anything else.

Boston website are publishing editorials and commentaries on why it is unfathomable to think Ortiz has taken drugs - not that the arguments aren't convincing; but I am at a loss to understand why they believe they have to defend a man against accusations like this that aren't grounded in fact or backed up by evidence. Ortiz is one of the few superstars who has never been mentioned in the same sentence as the word "steroid" or "performance enhancer" - so why the need to defend him on this?

As an aside, I don't buy the "drugs" talk - coming from a family that was raised overseas, I have seen a generation of older Portuguese people being diagnosed with various heart ailments - a lot of them have to do with growing up in poverty and not having access to medicines for ailments they suffered through as children; scarlett fever that was untreated during childhood has led to a generation of people with heart murmurs and irregular heartbeats. In my opinion, Ortiz condition can be traced to genetics or lack of proper medical care when he was younger...I'm guessing he and his mom weren't exactly rich back in the Dominican Republic.

All this talk, all this conjecture, all this arguing without any definitive answers from trained medical staff on what Ortiz is suffering from. Lost in these arguments and discussions is that a man has a potentially serious condition that could impact on his life and the lives of his family and friends. His teammates say that incidents like this put everything in perspective - that good health and a happy family come above anything else - yes Red Sox Nation, even above a pennant race (that is pretty much over) and spring training 2007 .

There is so much more to write - but its been a long day and I'm worried that what started out as an objective piece is going to turn into preaching.

To David Ortiz, a favourite on "Thoughts of Hazel Mae" - I join 95% people (sports fans or not) who wish you well, who wish you a speedy recovery, and who pass along their good thoughts and prayers to you and your family - over and above anything you may or may not do at Fenway Park in the future. Because I don't speak or write Spanish, I will say "Nosso Senhor esteja com voce e a tua familia." I'm going back to the old country for a special rosary (Menino Jesus de Praga).

That's about it for tonight gang...not a usual Wednesday update - but you have heard all the news and I needed to vent a little. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world. The peeps got a great picture of you in the Herald today...if you read this, check it out - its the homepage pic.

Song of the day on Hazelspeeps - for Big Papi, the song that makes me think of him

Oye Mi Canto - N.O.R.E

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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