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Thursday, May 19, 2005
David Ortiz and John Rocker: Double Standard?

Rick Duncan at Only Baseball Matters raises a very intriguing question: Why is it that when John Rocker makes a series of inappropriate remarks, the MSN savages him, yet when David Ortiz talks about "raping" another team's "bitches," the media laughs it off? Rick quotes from page 89 of Tony Massarotti's and John Harper's A Tale of Two Cities: The 2004 Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry, where the authors talk about Ortiz's "undying sense of humor":
Once, when Grady Little was manager, Ortiz stuck his head into the manager's office during the manager's daily pregame briefing with reporters and offered his playful assessment of what was to take place on the field that night.

"We're going to kick their ass, drink their beer and rape their bitches."

The room exploded with laughter.

Certainly, personality has a great deal to do with the different reactions. While Ortiz is very charismatic and approachable, Rocker often comes across as surly and cocky. Along those lines, could you imagine the reaction of media/fans/MLB if Rocker talked about "raping their bitches"? He would probably be suspended by Bud Selig. Yet when Ortiz does it, it is said to evidence his "undying sense of humor."

Another factor may be track-record: Ortiz has not made a series of inappropriate remarks, while Rocker has. In fact, to my knowledge, this is the only published off-color remark that Ortiz has made.

Lastly, I guess one might be more willing to give Ortiz a break since English is his not his native language (although, living in Cambridge Massachusetts and listening to interviews of Red Sox players, I can attest that Ortiz is completely fluent and quite eloquent in English -- he knew what he was saying).

Be sure to check out Rick's post, as he has some very engaging commentary.

Related Posts About David Ortiz:
Mike, Lost in Translation? MLB Steroid Testing Policy and Spanish-Speaking Players
Mike, The Unclear Methodology of Suspensions in MLB: David Ortiz and his Bat Tossing Contest


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