David Ortiz still seems bitter about his failed drug test getting leaked to the New York Times eight years ago.

David Ortiz continues to insist he didn't test positive for performance enhancung-drugs in 2003. : (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz continues to insist he didn’t test positive for performance enhancing-drugs in 2003.  (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

David Ortiz still seems bitter about his failed drug test getting leaked to the New York Times eight years ago.

In 2009, the Times identified Ortiz as one of 104 players who tested positive for performance enhancing-drugs during a preliminary round of testing in Spring Training 2003. The results were supposed to remain anonymous, but they were never destroyed.

Since then, Ortiz has been a crusade to dispute the results. He claims to not know what he tested positive for, saying nobody has helped him identify the substance. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred backed up those questions during a visit to Fenway Park last October, when he said it’s “entirely possible” Ortiz didn’t test positive for steroids in 2003.

During an interview with WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Keefe Friday, when the conversation turned to the infamous failed test, Ortiz accused the Yankees of leaking his name to the press.

“What was the reason for them to come out with something like that?” he asked. “The only thing that I can think of, to be honest with you, a lot of big guys from the Yankees were being caught. And no one from Boston. This was just something that leaked out of New York, and they had zero explanation about it.”

While Alex Rodriguez was the only Yankee whose name on the 2009 test was revealed –– though he was playing for the Rangers at the time –– a number of Bronx Bombers were on the 2007 Mitchell Report, a study on steroid use in MLB that was spearheaded by former Sen. George Mitchell. Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch were all on the list. (Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield were both tied to BALCO, the Bay Area-based company that supplied Barry Bonds and other athletes with PEDs.)

Gene Orza, the former MLB Players Associating Chief Operating Officer, told the New York Daily News there’s no way the Yankees unmasked Ortiz’s name, since clubs didn’t have access to the list. Manny Ramirez, who wound up getting suspended twice for failed drug tests, was also named in the bombshell Times report.

In a 2015 Players’ Tribune essay, Ortiz said he passed more than 80 drug tests from 2004 until his penultimate season. But as NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra pointed out at the time, Ortiz may have inadvertently admitted to a positive drug test –– if he was being truthful. Only players who have previously tested positive for PEDs are checked that frequently. When the program was implemented, players weren’t suspended for first-time offenses or amphetamines.

Regardless, Ortiz continues to insist he’s innocent of any wrongdoing.

Nobody came to me after, nobody came to me before, nobody came to me ever to tell me that I test positive for any kind of steroids,” he told Dale & Holley with Keefe. “This was just something that leaked out of New York. They have still no explanation about it. It was just, ‘You’re name was there.’ I was like, ‘Oh, ok. See how that works.’ It’s not up to me anymore, about the Hall of Fame. I think I did what I was supposed to. I worked extremely hard to represent (Boston) the way I did.”

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (16-23): L, 2-1 at Buffalo

Brock Holt

Brock Holt

Here is what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (16-23): L, 2-1 at Buffalo

— Playing in left field, Brock Holt blasted a solo shot in the fourth inning, which was his second since beginning a rehab assignment with Pawtucket for vertigo on April 21. He went 1-for-4 in the game.

— Henry Owens (3-3) took the loss on the mound as he tossed six innings and allowed two runs (both earned) on six hits, while striking out seven and walking three. His ERA is now 3.19 this season.

— Blaine Boyer pitched two innings out of the bullpen and allowed two hits and struck out two.

At the plate, center fielder Rusney Castillo, right fielder Steve Selsky and shortstop Ryan Court all hit safely in the loss.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (20-18): W, 1-0 at Trenton

Teddy Stankiewicz (2-1) allowed just five hits in seven innings to earn a shutout win. It was the seventh shutout from Portland’s pitching staff this season. Stankiewicz struck out three and walked two.

— Yankory Pimentel pitched the final two innings to earn the save. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two.

First baseman Nick Longhi had the lone RBI for the Sea Dogs, while center fielder Tzu-Wei Lin, shortstop Deiner Lopez, and catcher Jake Depew each added hits.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (27-16): L, 5-1 vs. Myrtle Beach

Starter Shaun Anderson pitched six shutout innings, walking just one batter, striking out four and allowing just two hits.

Out of the bullpen, reliever Austin Glorius struggled as he allowed five earned runs in just one inning of work, while Mitchell Osnowitz pitched the final two innings.

At the plate, shortstop Chad De La Guerra homered in the fourth inning off of Myrtle Beach’s Adbert Alzolay for Salem’s only run.

Left fielder Mike Myers had the only other hit in the game.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (27-14): Postponed due to rain.

Blog Author: 
Brooks Sutherland

After scoring eight runs in the first three games of the series, the Red Sox bats came alive for 12 runs in the series finale against the Athletics for a much needed 12-3 win on Sunday to avoid a sweep.

It was a 6-3 game until the Red Sox combined for six runs in the last two innings to turn a relatively close game into a blow out win.

Mitch Moreland homered for the third straight game. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

Mitch Moreland homered for the third straight game. (Neville E. Guard/USA Today Sports)

After scoring eight runs in the first three games of the series, the Red Sox bats came alive for 12 runs in the series finale against the Athletics for a much needed 12-3 win on Sunday to avoid a sweep.

It was a 6-3 game until the Red Sox combined for six runs in the last two innings to turn a relatively close game into a blow out win.

Even though the offense scored 12 runs, the star of the game was starter Eduardo Rodriguez.

The left-hander pitched his sixth straight quality start to pick up the win. Rodriguez went eight innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out eight.

The most encouraging thing for him was his command, as he hadn’t gone more than six innings in a start this season. The left-hander is now 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA on the year.

Every member of the Red Sox lineup had a hit with Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez leading the way as both recorded three hits. Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. also had multi-hit games.

Leading 2-1, Mitch Moreland gave the Sox some breathing room with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was his fifth homer of the season.

Also, every member of the lineup recorded at least one RBI except for Xander Bogaerts.

The Red Sox finished the road trip 3-3 and are now 21-21 on the season.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

Moreland homered for the third straight game, the first time he’s been able to do that in his career.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Drew Pomeranz has had his chance. It’s time to switch things up.

Drew Pomeranz (Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz (Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz has had his chance. It’s time to switch things up.

The story of the the lefty getting his crack at living life as a starting pitcher is well-documented. He pleads his then-manager, San Diego skipper Andy Green to compete for a starting spot with the Padres. Pomeranz earns the opportunity, makes the National League All-Star team which leads to the Red Sox giving up their top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza, for the southpaw’s services.

But that’s really where the feel-good story has come to an end.

After managing to pitch just four innings in a 97-pitch outing against the A’s Saturday, Pomeranz has now made 21 starts for the Red Sox. Just twice has he managed to get an out in the seventh inning. That’s a trend that was on full display in the Sox’ 8-3 loss to Oakland.

Like many of his outings, Pomeranz did manage to keep his team close, having now allowed two runs or less in six of his eight starts this season. But, also like many of his outings, getting to the finish line was a tractor pull. He entered the latest start having totaled 18.4 pitches per inning, almost two more than a year ago.

It’s frustrating for everybody, which was also evident in watching John Farrell and Pomeranz exchange words in the dugout following the pitcher’s exit.

The Red Sox most likely won’t make the move of changing Pomeranz to the bullpen, citing the lack of options to replace him. They would point out what the former All-Star can deliver is something the depth starting options simply can’t deliver right now. And then there is the thinking that the organization surely doesn’t want to devalue the guy they got for Espinoza.

But here’s the thing: As we sit here right now, Pomeranz’s value to the team is greater in high-leverage spots as a reliever.

While the Red Sox have pieced together the bullpen well enough to have some success leading into Craig Kimbrel. And Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg could ultimately help as well. But, judging by what Pomeranz flashed while living life out there during the final days of 2016, he could actually fill somewhat of need.

Yes, it will leave the Red Sox with some more rotation uncertainty. Even if David Price comes back without incident, that is unavoidable.

Maybe it’s time, however, to use the next month or so to figure out if Brian Johnson can actually be a reliable major league starter. In seven starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this season, Johnson has managed a 2.82 ERA. It is also his third season with the PawSox and time to figure out if he can become a consistent big league starter.

With Price still easing his way back, Pomeranz will almost certainly keep doing what he has been doing for another few times through the rotation. And maybe, after 21 starts, the lefty will find a way to give the Red Sox the kind of innings expected from any starter.

Yet after watching the latest effort, it just seems like it might be worth rethinking Pomeranz’s lot in life. It might be best for all involved.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

Hanley Ramirez got things going for the Red Sox with his sixth homer of the season, coming in the second inning and giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Also, with the loss, the Sox fall to .500, having dropped three games in a row for the first time this season.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Drew Pomeranz’s season isn’t going as he had hoped. And some of that frustration might have manifested itself in a pointed discussion with John Farrell during the Red Sox’ game against the A’s Saturday afternoon.

Drew Pomeranz’s season isn’t going as he had hoped. And some of that frustration might have manifested itself in a pointed discussion with John Farrell during the Red Sox’ game against the A’s Saturday afternoon.

Once again, Pomeranz failed to pitch deep into his start, this time lasting just four innings. With the Red Sox carrying a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, Farrell ended the lefty’s afternoon after 97 pitches, bringing in reliever Ben Taylor.

The decision led to what appeared to be Pomeranz confronting Farrell with his displeasure.

Pomeranz has yet to get past six innings this season, having gone four, three and four innings, respectively, in his last three outings. Since joining the Red Sox, he has gotten an out in the seventh inning just once in 21 starts.

Taylor ran into problems after replacing Pomeranz, allowing four runs on three hits while not recording an out before being replaced by Noe Ramirez.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford