Manny Ramirez has been suspended from baseball for 50 games – until early July – for testing positive for “performance enhancing drugs.” The New York Times’ George Vescey in his column, “Manny Joins the Lost Generation”, put together his list of users
With his suspension on Thursday, Ramirez joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco and ultimately Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada on the mental list of players who were dirty, or probably dirty.
Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Palmerio were all older players who probably started juicing as they felt their careers slipping away. Manny has joined that list. He’s an older player who was worried about his contract with the Red Sox or getting picked up by another team. I think he probably started that last year with the Sox when there were those strange incidents like the pusing of the elderly staff memeber.
The Boston Globe published this interesting chart.
I think it speaks for itself. Yes, the Dodgers was only part of a season, but the change from his very consistent numbers is pretty amazing.
Back to Vescey
Ramirez was already on probation with most fans, given the way he goldbricked his way out Fenway last season, holding the bat on his shoulder when he didn’t feel like swinging against Mariano Rivera. Interesting, how Ramirez is represented by Scott Boras, the same agent who advised Pay-Rod’s contractual feints and dodges.
Manny went out to Los Angeles and had himself a few wonderful weeks last autumn. The Dodgers have built their offense around him and are selling a pair of left-field seats for $99 and calling the section Mannywood. Lately there were suggestions in the Los Angeles press that the Dodgers lock up Manny for the long run. At the same time, his samples were simmering in a test tube, with bells and whistles going off, conferences behind closed doors.
Maybe he comes back. Maybe the Dodgers hang on through the suspension. Maybe he can still play without whatever he was taking. But down the line comes a jury of sportswriters, who wish they had been a little more astute back in 1998, and now have the chance to vote Manny on or off the island known as the Hall of Fame. Good luck with that. Rooms facing the lake in Cooperstown, coming up soon.
I feel for David Ortiz, Manny’s best friend on the Sox, who now has to live with all the questions. Here are Jonathan Papelbon and Mike Lowell on Manny’s excuse – the doctor gave me something.
The Sox roundly rejected the notion that Ramírez took a drug that would result in a positive test without knowing, an excuse Ramírez used in the statement he released. Papelbon was asked about the difficulty of comprehending the banned list of substances.
“It’s really easy, actually,” Papelbon said. “They make a pamphlet for you in English and Spanish. You just read it and you know what you can’t take. It’s really not that hard.”
Said Lowell: “I don’t understand why now anyone would even come close to taking anything that could remotely result in a positive test. In the past, if guys did it, they had the crutch that they weren’t testing. Maybe there’s some stupid society that maybe I wasn’t invited to. I don’t get it. I don’t. I wish I could, but I don’t.”
Yesterday the news hit around lunchtime and quickly spread through my office full of Sox fans . There was a lot of surprise that Manny had been so stupid and a lot of speculation as to what he had done while with the Sox. There was a lot of sadness, too, remembering all the great years and great games that Manny had in Boston. But this is not Manny being Manny. This is not funny, it is just stupid – and probably career ending.