Baseball is Life. While extreme, this statement pretty much defines my passion for the game, my appreciation for anyone who can be successful at it, and for the rich historical tradition which has labeled it America’s Pastime. Well, if baseball is life I guess you could say that I’m feeling a lot like the biblical character Job right about now.
Big Mac, Clemens, Barry, Raffy, A-Roid, and baseball’s latest boil, Manny. Or is it?
That was my first reaction to learning that Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball today for testing positive for a banned performance enhancing substance.
Short of insider leaks or Manny giving MLB permission to disclose exactly what he tested positive for, the cloud of suspicion in the court of public opinion in what I believe to be baseball’s darkest era says one word: guilty.
Refusing to play because he’s unhappy with his contract, lackluster effort, promising to be good if he’s let out of his contract were all ignored by me in the past. Having an agent who drove up ticket prices by redefining the market time and again, never bothered me. Why? At least he was clean. Manny said he did not take steroids and was prescribed medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance. Really?
Now I believe in privacy, HIPPA, and who takes what (as long as it’s legal) is no one’s business. However, when America’s pastime- the game that made you a millionaire, takes another right hook across the chin, Manny being Manny just won’t cut it.
“Recently, I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me,” Ramirez said in a statement issued by the players’ union.
“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.”
Of course you have. But who in the name of Shoeless Joe and Babe Ruth advised you not to say anything else right now? Scott Boras?
Think about this. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark McGwire head a long list of stars that have been implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, right?
The difference? You are arguably one of the greatest hitters of all-time and the first superstar to be suspended under the drug policy players and owners put in place seven years ago. As performance-enhancing drugs=steroids to most of America, you should be the ambassador to the game explaining the difference.
Internet rumors have swirled that the drug prescribed by the physician was for sexual performance. If true, let the jokes about Manny being Manny and not always having good wood begin. It’s a lot better than being branded a cheater.
As someone created by the dollars of fans who will never see 1/125th of his annual income, Manny needs to go against the advice of those who told him to keep quiet and tell us what he took. It’s beyond Manny Ramirez, it’s about the integrity of the game.
Manny, as we all know who your agent is, let’s give you some incentive in a language you can easily understand, money. If it was a banned drug for sexual performance, think of the untapped market potential and thus $$$ this admission could rake in!
“The best player wearing Dodger blue, relies on this little blue pill when he can’t get good wood.” You can pay me later Pfizer.
I would imagine it would also go a long way in helping the common man feel better about “equipment failures” as well. You could be their hero. This could be a marketing boom for you Manny.
Ironically, Los Angeles even renamed a section of seats in left field at Dodger Stadium “Mannywood” last year. Are you listening to the business opportunities Scott Boras?
Honestly, at this point, if you were banned for taking a banned substance other than steroids, what’s the harm in disclosing it? Your seat in the Hall of Fame is all you have to lose. My eyes start to water intensely as we peel back the layers on the onion that is the steroid era. Innocent or guilty, the ball of proof is in Manny’s court to disclose.
If he refuses, I’m pulling out a statement I made once before to all records of this era: “Kiss My Asterisk.” It’s like being in school where the whole class is punished because the kids who stole the milk refuse to come forward. The punishment fits the crime.