By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Give us a break, Manny

From the New York Times:

Ramirez said in a statement released by the players’ association that he had been given a medication, not a steroid, that a doctor had recently prescribed him for a personal health issue.

“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy,” Ramirez said. “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.”

If Ramírez had a legitimate reason to be taking whatever he was taking, don’t you think he’d be fighting this tooth and nail? Then again, maybe he’s ready to take 50 games off. It’s been a long season, after all.


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  1. mike_b1

    Wow. Remember all those in the sports media who said there’s no way Manny was cheating?Whoops!

  2. GFS3

    Knowing Manny, he’s probably telling the truth, but needs the rest. Napping can be more satisfying than hitting.

  3. cavard

    Mike Felger said on WEEI today that the PA won’t be appealing his 50-game suspension. The represents some of the worst slimeballs in Major League Baseball. The fact that they’re (no pun intended) “going to bat” for Ramirez tells you something. Don’t you think?

  4. cavard

    Correction… I meant “AREN’T going to bat for Ramirez tells you something.”

  5. O-FISH-L

    Dan, on Monday, in dismissing my suspicions about David Ortiz and steroids, you wrote, “steroid testing was already well established by the time Ortiz had his best years.” Manny has also had great years since the advent of “enhanced” steroid testing and reportedly passed 15 tests before now.How then do you so quickly reject his explanation that this was a recently prescribed medication? After all, if random testing verified Ortiz cleanliness over the years doesn’t it also verify Manny’s, and add credence to his story? Or are you now admitting that testing is a sham? You can’t have it both ways.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: I can point out an obvious lie, can’t I? By not fighting it, Manny is admitting his guilt. I’m making a specific observation about a specific player.The problem with your Ortiz speculation is that it’s just that — pure speculation. We know that many players who’ve never been named were doing steroids. Nothing would surprise me. But Ortiz has not come under suspicion, and the fact that he had his best years when testing was being conducted surely counts for something.

  7. mike_b1

    O-Fish, before you assume (I know, it’s what you do best), I’d suggest learning a little more about what Manny tested positive for.

  8. Adam Riglian

    Have you seen the Yahoo report? that's why he isn't fighting it, a little embarrassed over what he was taking?

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Adam: All snickering aside, here’s the key passage:A Major League baseball official said that if Ramirez had a legitimate need for a drug on the banned list, he could have applied for a therapeutic exemption. Ramirez, the official said, did not ask for one.I mean, come on. Does he just want the time off?

  10. mike_b1

    From BP:Ramirez was suspended under section 8.G.2 of the Joint Drug Agreement, which is “other.” The only other known 8.G.2 suspension was Jordan Schaefer.[T]he drug Ramirez was suspended for was HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin.) Simply put, it boosts testosterone.[I]t appears that Ramirez is both guilty of offense and of some poor judgment. His doctor checked the list, but apparently the old list — HCG was added to baseball’s banned list this off-season. That said, HCG is a big testosterone booster (up to 100% according to Millard Baker, a steroids expert) and is often used to “kick start” the body’s natural production of testosterone after a cycle of steroids.So to summarize, Manny Ramirez has been suspended for a banned substance, one that is not a steroid, but does have some performance enhancing and steroid connections. There’s still some unanswered questions, such as the two tests that Yahoo reported, why Ramirez was prescribed the substance, and why he was suspended under 8.G.2 rather than the normal 8.B.1.

  11. O-FISH-L

    Dan wrote, “But Ortiz has not come under suspicion.” Huh? Google Ortiz steroids and you’ll get 250,000+ hits. He doesn’t even deny having taken them in the past.There’s no two ways about it. If “well established” drug testing proves Ortiz is clean, then it also proves Ramirez was clean until this latest test. It also bolsters his explanation that this was a recent, doctor prescribed medication that he didn’t realize would cause a test failure. You can’t use past test results to defend Ortiz but not Ramirez, no matter how much you dislike him. It’s also a quantum leap and pure speculation on your part to label Manny an “obvious li[ar]” when it’s plausible that he is accepting responsibility like a man after realizing the error of his ways, however inadvertent. Ignorance is no defense after all. Also, if he didn’t know the medication would cause a test failure, why would he apply for an exemption?For the record, I don’t believe either of them are clean, just following your Monday argument to its only logical conclusion.

  12. O-FISH-L

    mike-b1, shouldn’t you be outraged that there’s any steroid testing at all, especially since you’ve already proclaimed, “there is no evidence that proves any correlations between steroid use and (improved) baseball performance”?

  13. mike_b1

    From what I’ve seen, Ortiz’s most revealing comment is that he doesn’t know the constituents of every single thing he’s put in his body.Few of us do. That hardly classifies him as hiding something. Saying he doesn’t “deny it” is Fish’s typical wrongheaded extrapolation. Since Papi showers with men, I suppose Fish will now tell us he must also be gay.

  14. Adam Riglian

    I’m not saying he’s not guilty of violating the drug policy, he obviously is, but there is a difference between seeking a competitive advantage and using a banned substance.

  15. Ani

    Our culture is so enamored of taking medicine for everything, prescription or over-the-counter or illegal or in a bottle, it’s difficult for me to focus so narrowly on drug-taking in sports as an isolated phenomenon.

  16. HNG

    Maybe I’m in the minority on this issue, but I don’t see what the fuss is about. So what if he cheated? Nearly everybody in this society thinks there’s a shortcut to whatever it’s that they want. The story is certainly a good distraction from the depression about the economy. (For the record: I don’t give a fig’s leaf about baseball.)

  17. Bill Toscano

    So Dan just how much would you be gloating if he was still in left field at Fenway.You are not being fair here.My opinion, anyway.

  18. O'Rion

    All MLBP are suspect. But I have to say that Dominican mashers are decidedly suspect, because of the ease in obtaining anything (in PED stock) they want on the island, no questions asked. Has anyone noticed that Tejeda (who is Papi’s bf, not Manny) has also yet to hit a HR and is up to 215 lbs. on his 5’9 frame?

  19. An Astute Observer

    ** “there is no evidence that proves any correlations between steroid use and (improved) baseball performance”?**Another great quote!

  20. mike_b1

    not-so-astute, you already mentioned that under your other name.

  21. An Astute Observer

    Not even going to back up that claim? LOL!

  22. George

    At the risk of being redundant:When Ortiz arrived at spring training this year, he made a couple proclamations. First, he said that anyone who tests positive for PEDs this year should be banned from baseball for a year. Later in the interview with the typically fawning baseball “journalists,” he stated that anyone who used before there were penalties for the illegal use of PEDs should be given a free pass. The obvious followup for any intrepid, or even competent, journalist should have been: “So Davey, before MLB began penalizing players for using PEDs, did you use PEDs?” Shockingly, it appears no one bothered to ask.My point is, the media is complicit here. The trend for the last several years is to serve as extensions of the teams’ PR departments instead of digging into the PED story. On the eve of the release of the Mitchell Report a well-known Boston sports journalist said to me, “I’d really be bummed out if Ortiz is on that list.” That comment says it all. Too many sports journalists are fans of teams and the sports they cover to the extent that they don’t want to see or report, let alone dig to find out, info that could harm said team/sport.

  23. Stella

    Manny has acted self-destructive as all druggies do during the past few years. In any event, we (Red Sox) are much better off without him.Again Adios!

  24. The Arranger

    At this point would you rather have Manny for 100 games or Ortiz for 150? David has gone from Big Papi to Stan Papi.Bob in Peabody

  25. mike_b1

    George: when writers like Tony Maz get in financial bed with players by coauthoring biographies and sharing the proceeds, all pretense of objectivity is out the window.Stella: That’s a tremendously broad statement. Where’s the data?Bob in P: Now that’s funny!

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