Folks, I must warn you in advance. This post will consist of extreme anger, frustration, and likely a lot of emotions.
Roberto Clemente is one of my favorite athletes of all time. More importantly, Roberto Clemente is one of my favorite people of all time. Clemente was by all accounts a terrific man, and died while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Clemente's life was cut short due to the tragic accident, but his legacy has not been forgotten. Major League Baseball created the Roberto Clemente award in 1971 to honor the amazing man and his legacy. The goal of the award is given to annually to the:
MLB player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team
Recent winners include Craig Biggio, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Tim Wakefield, and....David Ortiz? Wait, what?
Now listen, I understand David Ortiz has served the community extremely well this year. I am not arguing against that, and I thank Ortiz for his great work with his charitable organization, which can be found here.
Despite that, Ortiz does NOT in the slightest bit "best exemplify the game of baseball, sportsmanship." As a matter of fact, giving the award named after such a terrific man to David Ortiz personally offends me.
Find out why after the jump.In terms of sportsmanship, David Ortiz has been one of the players that people should not look at as an example this season.
Later in the season, Ortiz angrily ranted about having a single run batted in taken away from him.
Let's not forget that Ortiz tested positive for steroids earlier in his career, denied it, finally admitted it, and then said he had no idea why he tested positive. The cherry on top of that sundae of terrible actions is that Ortiz earlier in his career said the following:
"I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I'm going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don't want to be facing that situation
So, by his logic, didn't Ortiz disgrace the game of baseball?
Even if Ortiz did not knowingly use steroids, the three unsportsmanlike actions this season show that David Ortiz is not deserving of an award named after Roberto Clemente.
Roberto Clemente is one of the greatest men to ever play Major League Baseball.
This season, there has been a plethora of Major League players that have done extensive work in charities, many being the players' own charities. There has been a large number of players that could serve as role models for those out there watching them, on and off the field. Sportsmanship is not David Ortiz' forte, and the majority of other Major League baseball players this season have out-classed the Red Sox DH.
Fans voted David Ortiz as the winner of the award, which is a shame. The greatest shame, however, is that the MLB can allow David Ortiz to be on the ballot, and that the MLB can allow David Ortiz in the 2011 season to win the award named after Roberto Clemente.
Such a shame.