"Several people were asking how we could be so supportive of David without all the facts," Werner told me. "My response was that we've always supported him, and if he says the things that are alleged were not true, that was enough for us."
Upon the news that Ortiz was on the list -- Ramirez, his partner in the Red Sox's lineup in the championship years, not only joined Ortiz on the leaked list but also served a 50-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy in 2009 -- sources said Henry, team president Larry Lucchino and Werner called a meeting with key Red Sox employees and announced an edict: Ortiz was innocent. He had done too much, been too valuable to the team and the community, meant too much to the franchise for the Red Sox to not take him at his word.
"We looked ridiculous defending him to the level we did, especially because he said he was going to get to the bottom of it and he never did," a team source said. "But that came from John Henry. He pretty much told us directly, 'David is one of us. He said he's innocent, and I believe him.' That was it. No questions asked. That said how loyal John is to David."
To the Red Sox, such solidarity within the climate of the steroids era represented the ultimate show of support for Ortiz, proof that the demons that haunt him are not emblematic of a larger campaign by the organization to turn the public against him.
"No one got off the steroid hook like he did," said longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. "No one had the union back them. He did. I wrote that we needed to have the facts about this, just like everyone else, and John Henry was so angry with me that we were finished. I said David Ortiz was dirty because his excuses were the same as everybody else's, and nobody believed them. And that was it between John Henry and me. He hasn't spoken to me in a year."
This is pretty explosive stuff and for once I think credit is due to Shaughnessy for going after the story.
Link to full article: http://sports.espn.g...m...&id=5194839
Edited by Strike4, 18 May 2010 - 10:30 AM.