Dan Shaughnessy: Way Over The Top By Manfred

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to discuss Boston’s two biggest superstars: David Ortiz and Tom Brady. Ortiz, who had perhaps the greatest age-40 season in MLB history, has led the Red Sox to the playoffs, while Brady returns from a four-game suspension this week in Cleveland.

Ortiz has been one of the best hitters of his generation, but it’s highly uncommon, especially in the post-steroid era, for a 40-year-old to hit .315 with 38 homers and 127 RBIs. Ortiz failed an anonymous drug test in 2003 but maintains his innocence, and in fact, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently said that Ortiz should not be ruled out for consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Brandon Tierney, for one, was stunned that Manfred threw Ortiz a lifeline.

“I agree with you 100 percent,” Shaughnessy said on Tiki and Tierney. “I was taken aback by that. In my view, it was a presidential pardon, and I just thought now they’re deciding and telling us which guys are the good guys. He was on a list, and the only other names that came out on that list were Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa. There was no forgiveness for any of them. But they’re now in a position where the commissioner is telling us, ‘Well, just remember, this guy’s god. He’s okay. He doesn’t (belong) with those other dirt bags.’ I thought it was way over the top.”

The Red Sox will face the Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

Brady, meanwhile, will make his season debut Sunday in Cleveland. Bill Belichick, however, doesn’t seem to care. He bristled at questions about Brady on Wednesday and gave no indication that he actually cares about or respects the quarterback with whom he’s won four Super Bowls.

Tierney was turned off by Belichick’s terse and confrontational tone. Brady may have been as well.

“I think the whole thing probably bothers Tom,” Shaughnessy said. “In my view, they probably had to work very hard to keep this away from Bill and they’ve succeeded. The one thing that this never hurt them on is it never got to Bill. Whatever was going on, Tom paid the price. Bob Kraft paid the price. Now Bill paid the price with the draft picks, but it was never attached to him and I think Tom took the fall. But from day one, Bill was like, ‘Well, you got to go ask Tom about that.’ And the notion that the coach didn’t know whatever little system they had going is preposterous. But it never got to him. It couldn’t afford to get to him because of Spygate and the prior. You can’t have a Spygate situation, so he was he protected on this. I think Brady was part of that protection, and yes, if I were Brady, I would feel a little bit under the bus on this one.”

Sunday’s kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET.

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