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The LBT INTERVIEW:  DAVID ORTIZ

A candid conversation about dominating the 2013 World Series, playing for the Red Sox and the role of performance enhancement.

A hint of a pot belly and general corpulence are not usual accompaniments to a man who dominates one of the nation's three major sports. The truth is that David Ortiz rises above all barriers. His stature might look like the legendary Babe Ruth, but his power also rivals The Babe’s. So does his grit and will to win. David Ortiz was born David Americo Ortiz Arias in hardscrabble Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Since brought to America at age 17 as one of many of his home country's budding baseball prospects, he has lit up professional baseball with his quick and powerful batting skills. His no-nonsense talk and affable nature also has made him a leader in the clubhouse and beyond.  Ortiz sat down with Peter Hartwig to discuss his latest championship with the Red Sox.  [Note: This interview has been called into question and may have been embellished by the interviewer for effect.  Please corroborate all facts.]


The LBT:

What is it about this Red Sox team?

Ortiz:

Let me tell you something. This team will not quit. Not for one fucking second.

THE LBT:

You are a big part of that, aren't you?

Ortiz:

It isn't me. It is the guys. All the guys have so much heart. I just told them to keep fighting but it was all them.

The lbt:

You mean your dugout speech during Game 4 that some credit with changing the momentum of the series?

Ortiz:

You better believe it, man.  I told them, “You beat so many good teams to get to this point. You grew out your beards to show everyone how tough you are, so show them.”

the lbt:

If you grow the beards, you had better win because you have to back up your own bravado?

Ortiz:

[Chuckling] Yes, you have to win ‘cause you calling everybody out when you make a statement like that. I told them to start combing them because they grow like this [motioning to his chin].

the lbt:

What does this Boston organization mean to you?

Ortiz:

I can’t say enough about them, man. They [are] the best. That is where I made it the big leagues. They gave me my chance.

the lbt:

You are passionate about Boston. You are so passionate you famously dropped the F-bomb during a pre-game speech at Fenway after the marathon bombing. The mayor and many public officials were there.  Would you take that one back?

Ortiz:

No, man, I don't plan ahead what I've got to say. I don't take it back because it was right for that time. The people responded. They cheered, and nobody said nothing to me about it like you should not have said that or nothing.

the lbt:

You struggled for a while first with the Twins for five seasons and then flourished with the Red Sox. What changes did you make?

Ortiz:

I no longer had to worry about fielding, and I could focus on my hitting.

the lbt:

Because you became a designated hitter?

Ortiz:

Yeah, I no more in the field. All I do is think about batting.

the lbt:

The Red Sox came up short in the 2003 World Series against Oakland. Did that loss help the team the following season end the championship drought in Boston the next year?
“All I’m saying is I do what they tell me. They must know what they doing, right?”

Ortiz:

Let me tell you, man. We no like losing anytime. Anytime. Anytime. In [2004] we said, “No way is this happen again.”

the lbt:

Both you and Manny Ramirez had a monster post season that year.

Ortiz:

Manny was perfect. Me and him we fed off each other. He’s from my hometown. Manny is wild man.  He's just a wild dude [Laughing].

the lbt:

Let’s talk about you and Manny.   Your connection to him has not been all non-controversial.  In 2009, it was widely reported that you and Manny were on “The List” of positive tests for performance enhancing drugs taken in 2003.   Did you ever take performance enhancing drugs?

Ortiz:

I don’t even know what that means, so how can I take it?

the lbt:

What about steroids of any kind?

Ortiz:

Look, what I do to make myself the best is my business. Other guys do meditation. Nobody asks them about that. Other guys do yogis or yoga. Nobody asks them nothing about that.  I drink shakes and things, so why do people need to ask me about that?

the lbt:

The rules do not prohibit meditation or yoga while they do prohibit many forms of performance enhancing drugs.

Ortiz:

Nobody ever says anything to me about stopping nothing.

the lbt:

Your career did turn around at the same time as the allegedly positive test so can you see why some are suspicious?

Ortiz:

Why is it bad if I achieve success? Go to Boston and ask how the people feel about what I do.  I do my job so why bother me?

the lbt:

Some might also question your dominance at age 37. You are among the oldest World Series MVPs ever. Could performance enhancing drugs have helped you dominate in baseball late in your career like allegedly happened with Barry Bonds?

Ortiz:

I don’t say yes or no. I do whatever I need to do to win. I talk to my players. Work on my body. Grow beards, do whatever. So they tell me that such and such helps my bat speed, can it hurt I don't try it how you know... [inaudible]?

the lbt:

Can you admit that you have taken steroids of some sort?

Ortiz:

I take what they tell me helps, you know what I'm saying? I have to trust because I’m no trainer.

the lbt:

Can you say who has recommended any unknown substances to help your training?

Ortiz:

Look, I don’t want to get no one in trouble. All I’m saying is I do what they tell me. They must know what they doing, right?  Three World Series in ten years, man.  LBT