The Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez tested positive for use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs, and will begin serving a fifty-game suspension today.
Xavier Paul was called up from Albuquerque, and Juan Pierre no doubt becomes the de facto left fielder in Los Angeles, which among other things makes the NL West a race again.
Initial reports from sources such as Peter Gammons are that it wasn’t a steroid. It seems, at first glance, that this is more J.C. Romero than Alex Rodriguez. Romero, you may remember, took a “tainted supplement” called 6-OXO Extreme, which had androstenedione present in it. He filed suit against the makers of the supplement, Ergopharm Inc.
Ramirez’s situation appears at the moment to be similar. He took a prescribed medication which had banned substances in it.
This is not to excuse Manny. A banned substance is a banned substance is a banned substance. But it’s not exactly injecting himself with Juice. Even his old employers in Boston “don’t believe for a second” that Ramirez intentionally took PEDs.
Within seconds of the announcement, Twitter exploded. This is the downside to a site like Twitter – the news gets out fast, but without vetting. Fact-checking. There’s a rush to judgement that ultimately isn’t very helpful.
One of the first Tweets I saw was “I guess this ends Manny’s honeymoon with LA.” Probably not. In fact, in this town, it seems more likely to increase the love affair. We love our stars to be flawed. Sex, drugs, bad decisions – these are the virtues on which successful Hollywood careers are based. Granted, we prefer our sports stars to be flawed and productive, which a fifty-game suspension immediately hurts, but don’t be surprised if Manny is welcomed back in fifty games with wide open arms.
I just wonder if they’re still going to be selling tickets to the newly-named “Mannywood.”
I’ll admit, I like Manny Ramirez, so maybe my lack of willingness to write him off as another enhancer isn’t justified, but I’d rather we all sit back and wait this one out. There’s a lot of information out there, and quite frankly, none of us knows yet what it is. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the Manny Ramirez Show.