Forgive me for tooting my own horn a bit. I predicted a few months ago that we would find out David Ortiz was a 'juicer'. And before that, I wrote a fairly lengthy article explaining why I suspected him (back on my own 'lil blog):
...if there was anyone from Boston that I suspected, it's Ortiz - but I'm expecting that news to come in time).
So why do I believe Ortiz has/is juicing? Several reasons:
Ortiz had many injury problems during his tenure in Minnesota - he never had more than 415 at-bats in any season there (his last). All of a sudden, he's been healthy for four straight years (hasn't had less than 448 ab in his Boston tenure). Roids increase recuperation time, so it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to presume that Ortiz began taking roids to help himself recover from his various injuries (to increase muscle and bone rebuilding) around his last year with Minnesota or his first year with Boston. But a negative side effect can be...
2. The heart
Look at last year's heart problems. And as we know (again here), heart problems can be a sign of steroid use, "steroids do make your muscles grow more (that's the good part), but they affect ALL the body's muscle growth (including the heart of course, and thats the bad part). The heart is a muscle that is also affected by steroids..."
3. His OPS+ was never more than 122 (his last year in Minnesota). Since joining Boston, it's never been below 144. He was merely a good hitter with Minnesota (and never even an All-Star), now he's a perennial MVP candidate. He never slugged over .500, now he slugs .600+ every year. He never hit more than 20 HR in Minnesota; with Boston he's never hit less than 31. And this was all after his 'peak' years of 26-27 (peak years determined by Bill James and Baseball Prospectus if you're wondering). It's not damning by itself, but how often to players jump that much? Say what you will about Bonds, Giambi and McGwire, but at least they had precedents of great hitting; not so for Ortiz.
4. And who said he's had the same body type his whole career? I beg to differ.
Looks remarkably similar to this, except it happened during an even shorter timespan than Bonds:
None of this, of course, is hard irrefutable evidence that he did/does juice, but it does seem to point in that direction.
Ahh, now I feel better.