When Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz took aim at Dan Shaughnessy over allegations of performance-enhancing drug use in a piece for the Players’ Tribune this week, you knew there would be a response.

Lo and behold, the Boston Globe columnist penned an “open letter” to Ortiz that ran in Friday’s edition. After acknowledging Ortiz’s “reporter with the red jheri curl” comment as hurtful, Shaughnessy actually makes some solid arguments that are going to be pretty difficult for Ortiz to dispute.

I know, we can’t believe it either.

The columnist goes all point-form on Ortiz, picking apart the player’s criticisms one at a time in near-Fire Joe Morgan fashion.

Here are the most damning rebuttals:

On Ortiz using the “Barry Bonds defense”:

You write, “I never knowingly took any steroids.’’ This is not good phrasing. This is the old Barry Bonds defense. That word “knowingly” is a crusher. You are a professional athlete. It’s up to you to know what you are taking. Don’t use the ignorance defense.

On the facts surrounding a failed test and his subsequent denial:

Regarding your failed drug test from 2003, you claim you discovered the result along with everyone else when your name was leaked in 2009. You write, “No one had ever told me I’d failed any test.’’ This strains all believability. It also contradicts what you said at Yankee Stadium in August of 2009 when you admitted to a 2004 five-minute conversation with a union rep in which you were told about the 2003 positive test.

According to the Mitchell Report (released in 2007), all those who failed the 2003 test were informed by the Major League Baseball Players Association in 2004. How are we to now believe you were not informed?

On Ortiz’s claim that he is tested more frequently than other players:

You write, “Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80.’’

Hmmm. In your never-ending paranoia and posturing that you are being unfairly singled out, you may have goofed on this one. Eighty tests since 2004 is highly unlikely. According to NBC Sports, the only way a player could be subjected to that many tests would be if he was “in the program” possibly because of a (non-suspendable) positive test for amphetamines.

Four tests a year is considered “unlucky,” according to NBC Sports. Anything more than that is someone who has failed another test.

On the history of other athletes in denial:

Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were other names “leaked” from the 2003 testing. They turned out to be dirty. We can go back to Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, and Lance Armstrong. Everyone is all about denials — until it turns out to be true. Are we supposed to believe that you are the one and only positive tester who was truly wronged?

Shaughnessy has a case, and whether he is motivated by Ortiz’s personal digs or not (or their history together), he does make some valid points. Many baseball fans are going to side with Ortiz because he’s a likeable person and a great hitter, but Shaughnessy’s response is hard to deny.

We’ve ripped the columnist for trolling in the past, but he appears to present a decent and logical argument here.

About Josh Gold-Smith

Josh is a staff writer and the resident video editor for Awful Announcing. He is also a news editor at theScore, based in Toronto. GIF has a hard G, Bridgeport Sound doesn't exist, and the jury's still out on #Vineghazi

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