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Blog Entry

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

Posted on: May 7, 2009 12:51 pm
 

Manny Ramirez has stepped into a lot of history books lately, but Thursday he stepped into the wrong one: Biggest name to be put on ice for 50 games after failing a performance-enhancing drug test since baseball got religion about steroids.

That sort of takes the edge off of the Los Angeles Dodgers' record 13-0 home start, doesn't it?

Ah, dreadlocks!

Baseball never caught up to Barry Bonds. Sammy Sosa disappeared. Mark McGwire melted into a puddle in front of Congress. Alex Rodriguez actually did fail a PED test, but that was before it resulted in suspensions. And baseball never outed him, that information was leaked.

This, this is 100 percent, prime-time, major-league baseball driven. And it does two things:

1. Whatever you've thought of baseball's testing program, Ramirez's suspension Thursday adds credibility to it. Loads. Because this side of A-Rod or, perhaps, Albert Pujols, there is no bigger fish in the game. For baseball to whack an impact player like Manny, Lordy, Lordy. The reverberations will be felt deep into the corners of every clubhouse in the game.

2. It hollows out Ramirez's numbers because, until now, and especially lately after his run last year, all conversation surrounding Ramirez has included the phrase "one of the greatest hitters of all-time." Really? Maybe. If you can get past the new stain.

Somewhere, A-Rod no doubt is smiling, at least a little, in anticipation of his pot being turned down to simmer from full boil.

Over in Mannywood, this blow is devastating to the Dodgers. Barely a month into the season, there already are signs all over the place that this was shaping up to be a special summer. The home start, the best record in baseball, the 6 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

But now, instead of turning the divisional race into a blowout and storming toward their first World Series since 1988, the emergency brake has been yanked on the Dodgers. They'll have to muddle through without Manny for nearly a third of the season. Without an appeal and assuming the suspension begins tonight against Washington, if my math is right, Manny won't be eligible again until July 3.

The glee in Boston already is deafening. Though now we must play the game of "How long has Manny been on the juice?" and you figure that this all didn't just start yesterday. Does it compromise what he did in Fenway (and, consequently, the two World Series the Red Sox won with him)? Does it date back to Cleveland?

All we know for sure is, the game suffered another cataclysmic earthquake on Thursday. Manny, dreadlocks and all, will never be viewed the same again.

And regarding the Dodgers' 13-0 home start: Turns out, that is one heckuva unlucky number, isn't it?

Comments

Since: Jun 6, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:53 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

So Manny uses a performance enhancing drug.  That explains why is hair looks so good.  Seriously, it is time for MLB and the teams to do what is right - rebate a percentage of the money spent on already sold tickets for the 50 games of the suspension back to the purchasers.  How would this work?  Well, each athelete is paid a salary - that salary is based on their perceived value to the team.  So if Manny makes say 10% of the team's total player payroll, then the team pays the ticket purchasers back 10% of the money they spent on those 50 games.  Presumably, if Manny is viwed as being worth 10% of the player payroll then he is viewed as being worth 10% of the value of the product.  Same for each suspended player.  For other games or for those who have not yet purchased a ticket, they have the information needed to make a decision as to whether to attend a game - it is only the previous ticket buyers who now have a change of circumstances that reduces the value of their purchase.  If the player and the team are both made to suffer, then they both have an incentive to stop using drugs and will be more likely to work together to clean up.



Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:50 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

I have been a lifetime Cleveland Indiian fan.Iam tired of double standards in baseball. I think the expressionn MANNY  being MANNY is lame. Idon't think superstars  should have free passes to priviledges. I applaud the toughness in the druh policy. It's 20 yearsto late ,



Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:40 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

Papi hasn't hit a HR yet. I doubt he'll come up dirty. He's suffering from a natural decline.



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:22 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

"The glee in Boston already is deafening. Though now we must play the game of "How long has Manny been on the juice?" and you figure that this all didn't just start yesterday. Does it compromise what he did in Fenway (and, consequently, the two World Series the won with him)? Does it date back to Cleveland?"

What championship or record isn't tainted? There are players from every World Series Championship team within the steroid era that have been confirmed or reasonably suspected of juicing. Why do we even talk about this particular record, or that particular championship being potentially tainted because THEY ALL ARE, THE ENTIRE SPORT IS TAINTED. Let's get over what has happened in the past because nothing we do now can change what has already happened and let's just try and make sure that whatever is agreed upon as a policy in the future is strictly followed. This suspension of Manny Ramirez is the just the beginning.



Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:17 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

Hey guys who ever said it's steroids and they don't test for HGH - I've heard it's performance enhancing but I'm talkin bout the bedroom, so all u rush to judgment posters need to get your facts straight especially u miller, ur nothin but a hack!



Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:16 pm
 

Manny Ramirez Busted for Erectile Dysfunction

LOL!!!!!

Its quite evident the reasoning he needed this because one who takes steriods is in need of testorone and these types of medication: viagra and cialis to combat the erectile dysfunction.

Now we now why they advertise this heavily in sporting venues via commercial/advertising.  
Im sure WWE are heavy users of this.

chaulk one up for the guy wanting to get down, so for the next 50 games Manny will be getting done a whole lot.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:15 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

Bruin, You are DEAD ON!

Manny isn't juicing.  He was stupid and accidently took something on the banned list.  He deserves the suspension because he should have know that he has to research everything that goes into his body, but no one is juicing anymore.  I read these comments other people are making as if Manny was taking muscle building steroids and got caught.  I can't beleive this many people are clueless sheep!  I really cant beleive it.



Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:13 pm
 

The Larger Issue with Steroids in baseball

Why did the other 28 whtie players who tested positive not get suspended.  This will actually, at some point, be the biggest story in sports.

The following is an excerpt from my book, A Very Big League of Their Own, which was released a week before the Mitchell Report and contained many of the same names based on a formula known as The Theory of Roidactivity. I suspect that once the right person reads this, Major League Baseball will be subjected to one of the largest discrimination lawsuits in US history. Whether they survive it as an entity, I can only hope not.

 

 

When Jose Canseco discussed racism in baseball, I thought he was full of it. There are too many Latin and African-Americans players, coaches, and front office personnel for that to ever happen. I thought the fact that Canseco was blackballed by MLB and other known or suspected users weren’t, probably had to do with his big mouth, and nothing more. The fact that he was born in Havana was irrelevant.

According to a study by Richard Lapchick, published in April 20, 2006, the 2005 racial composition of Major League players was as follows:

WHITE 59.9%

LATINO 28.7%

AFRICAN-AMERICAN 8.5%

ASIAN 2.5%

When comparing the numbers of white players to all minorities, it is basically 60% WHITE to 40 % MINORITY.

The current racial scoreboard of players who have either admitted to or been implicated in steroid use mirrors the numbers of white versus minority players in the Major Leagues. Players fall into two general categories, and this does not include players who have tested positive under the MLB testing policy who will be discussed later. The first category is players who have either testified or otherwise admitted to steroid use. The other category includes players whom others have indicated or implied used steroids. I only list players with significant Major League experience. The racial scorecard is listed below.

WHITE

Roger Clemens Bret Boone Ken Caminiti

Jason Giambi Randy Velarde Andy Pettitte

Jeremy Giambi Chuck Finley Jay Gibbons

Tom House Dave Hollins Brian Roberts

Wally Joyner Tony Saunders Darren Holmes

Jim Leyritz Mark Mcgwire David Bell

Jason Grimsley Lenny Dykstra

There are 20 WHITE players.

MINORITY

Barry Bonds Miguel Tejada Bobby Estalella

Ivan Rodriguez Ozzie Canseco Gary Mathews, Jr.

Armando Rios Marvin Benard

Benito Santiago Juan Gonzalez

Gary Sheffield Manny Alexander

David Segui Wilson Alvarez

Jose Canseco Dave Martinez

There are 16 MINORITIES.

The total number of white players is 55%, compared to 60% of white players in the Major League population. The number of minorities is 45%, compared to 40% in the Major League population. What does all this mean? It means that the use of steroids is non-discriminatory. The percentage of white versus minority use tracks the percentage of whites versus minorities in the Major Leagues.

Let’s play the make believe Major League Baseball Drug Testing Game. Let’s assume in 2005, 25 players tested positive for steroid use. Of the 25 players about 60% should be white and 40% should be minorities. The positive test numbers should be:

15 white players

10 minority players

What happens to these players after they test positive? The MLB testing program goes something like this: the player appeals, the player has an unreported "secret" hearing. MLB either upholds the test and the player’s name is released and he is suspended, or they believe the arguments made by the player and the positive test is overturned and nobody finds out that the player tested positive. In our example, assuming all of the players who tested positive were suspended, there would be 15 white players and 10 minorities.

In 2005/2006, MLB suspended eleven players with significant MLB experience. Dozens of other minor leaguers were also suspended, but I am only including Major Leaguers. When I looked at the names of the players suspended, they jumped out at me like a forty year-old Texan’s fastball. The names: Rafael, Rafael, Jorge, Augustin, Juan, Carlos, Guillermo, Felix. Of those eleven players, how many would you guess were minorities?

The MLB scorecard is this:

White players suspended: 1

Minorities suspended: 10

For every ten minorities suspended, there should have been about fifteen white players. Instead there was one. Poor Ryan Franklin. They figured they had to suspend at least one white guy. He was the token.

MLB drug policy, at least as applied so far, certainly has been divided unevenly along racial lines. Dan Patrick was only partially correct when he said, "...the likelihood of the big-name, top-dollar stars getting called out is slim." That’s an amazing statement when you think about it. As an ESPN analyst, it is easy to understand Patrick’s need to speak in code when discussing controversial topics. What it sounds to me like Dan Patrick was saying was that regardless of the results of the tests, Major League Baseball wasn’t going to allow their stars to be sullied. What Patrick should have said was, "...the likelihood of the big-name, top-dollar white stars getting called out is slim. Now if you’re a star named Rafael or Juan, you’ll get roasted like a chimichanga." I’m sure this theory will be controversial, but you can’t really argue the numbers. The foolish will have many excuses for the discrepancy such as, "White guys are simply more believable in the Appeals Hearings than minorities," or "You know those Jamaicans are always smokin’ weed," or "Mr. Gonzalez didn’t understand what was going on because he ‘No speaky good English.’"

The bottom line is, Major League Baseball has the perfect mechanism in place to protect its superstars. Unreported hearings in which Major League Baseball, or allegedly independent people beholden to Major League Baseball, can decide who to suspend or not suspend for positive drug tests. As you may recall, in 1990 Major League Baseball was shown to be one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet (rivaling even Enron) when they paid $280 million to resolve claims that the teams illegally colluded to limit free agent contracts. Allowing Major League Baseball to control the fate of their players is like letting the fox guard the henhouse.

Being a lawyer, I understand negotiated pleas. Assume, for purposes of this hypothetical, that a white superstar tested positive and appealed. Let’s assume that while the appeal was pending the lawyer for the superstar approached Major League Baseball and said something like this: "Gentlemen, if you suspend Mr. Superstar for cheating, it will be a major black eye for Major League Baseball who have allowed this problem to fester for years. The fans have already been losing confidence in the integrity of the game and the negative publicity would be devastating. We have a very solid appeal and would like to discuss a plea agreement. We would agree to a 50 game suspension with the caveat that Mr. Superstar would be allowed to pitch in the minor leagues and that his positive test be withheld from the public. If anyone ever finds out, which they probably won’t, you can say the drug test was flawed and you thought you would lose the appeal. You have all of the power to make these decisions and nobody will know. Do we have an agreement?" Major League players who test positive are suspended 50 games for a positive test. In 2006, Roger Clemens pitched in the minor leagues until after game 50. In 2007 he is due to return to the Yankees at the beginning of June, right about…game 51.

The Minorities Lose Badly (hereinafter "MLB") Drug Testing Policy has been called a sham because of its inability to detect designer steroids such as the ones sold by BALCO. It’s also a joke from a racial standpoint, although I don’t think Jackie Robinson would have laughed. In the coming years the 42 that Major Leaguers wear on their sleeve to honor Jackie Robinson and racial equality may take on a new significance. It might actually represent the number of minorities suspended for every white player suspended.

The P.S.

2007 players suspended for positive tests: Salas, Perez, Guillen and Mike Cameron (African-American). Jay Gibbons, who is white, was suspended for getting caught receiving a shipment.

2008 players suspended: Alfonzo and Coto.

2009 players suspended: Romero, Mitre and Ramirez.

The count is now 19 minorities (and I have to admit a few of the more recent players may not have been established Major Leaguers) and 1 white player, Ryan Franklin, who must have assaulted Bud Selig’s daughter. The number of white players who would have been suspended if the testing policy wasn’t racist was 29. No reasonable person could argue those numbers.

 

 

 




Since: Jun 23, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:09 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

He was caught with nyquil in his system. He has been fighting the swine flu. He did not test positive for a "HGH"...



Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2009 4:08 pm
 

Manny Ramirez suspended for 50 games

In reading other comments two things stinks about this story:

1. Whatever happened to something to the line of "MLB is investigating drug use inconsistent with league policy by a prominent player"? All I see is MLB bans Ramirez for 50 games. Makes one think in MLB players are guilty before proven innocent. What's going on here! 

2. How does Bud Selig, the supposed commissioner, continue to survive one damaging incident after the next? I think MLB is hanging players out to dry in an "Us against them" battle to come clean.

3. I'm not saying Selig is necessarily guilty, but he's the top dog of an organization that's swimming in a cesspool. Bring in a new guy with a clean record and work with the players union to solve this issue and move on.

End of story!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com