Thursday, May 7, 2009

The fatal blow?

It's all over the headlines, so there's no chance my site is the first place you're reading that Manny Ramirez has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and will immediately be suspended for 50 games.

Reports are that Ramirez will attribute the test results to medication received from a doctor for a personal medical issue. Bull shit.

Ramirez will be - by far - the biggest "name" to actually be suspended by Major League Baseball for PED use. This could be the fatal blow to any remaining shred of credibility baseball may have had left.

Manny's statement: "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. 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.

I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."

Riiight. I'm sure Manny is incredibly sorry that he got caught.

As a Yankees fan, I don't even want to get into the whole "Sox championships being tainted" debate that is surfacing on message boards all over the internet. I now truly believe that the entire sport is tainted. Want a complete list of every World Series championship that has been tainted by PEDs? Look up the winner from each series for the past 10-15 years.

Barry Bonds shattered the all time home run record, but he was supposed to be passed by a clean, all natural Alex Rodriguez. Once ARod was exposed, we turned to guys like Manny, who were supposedly natural talents as well - and there goes that notion. Think Pujols is clean? Or David Ortiz - who all of a sudden can hardly get a ball out of the infield, let alone over the fence? Ryan Howard? What about the disappearance of Travis Hafner's power? Why can't Andruw Jones hit a fastball any more? How can anyone truly believe that ANYBODY is actually free and clear of PEDs any more?

If not steroids, it's likely something else.

There's not a chance in hell that this was a one time use by Manny, no matter what he'll try to argue. With all of the testing in place, why would someone start now? Same goes for ARod and his argument that he only used it for a couple years. Riiiight... if the stuff works so well, why quit?

You can't blame the guys for taking any "help" they can get. Who wouldn't when the difference between using and not using is $15 million a year?

This is a sad day for baseball. We knew the sport had issues with PEDs, but for a while we were able to think it was a somewhat isolated problem, that we could sift through the abusers and find some true, God given talent that would carry the sport and it's fans through the debacle that is the steroids era. For a while, kids could still dream that dedication and hard work alone could get them to the big leagues.

Those dreams have been shattered.

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