Friday, May 8, 2009
With the stunning news that Manny Ramirez had tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and was subsequently suspended for 50 games, it left me to wonder what exactly are these players thinking? I don't care if a doctor prescribed the drug or not I have no sympathy for Ramirez's failed test. It has to be Manny's responsibility to know what he's doing, his intentions are secondary to his responsibility to the game of baseball. Also it should be the doctor's responsibility as well, its not as though Manny is some unknown minor league player, the doctor should ask questions and be careful about what he's prescribing.
Now I'm not going say Manny Ramirez is flat out lying and trying to cheat the game. Maybe he was legitimately prescribed the drug and there is no conspiracy here, but in the end the intention doesn't matter. This wouldn't be the first case of a player being suspended because of something a doctor prescribes or because of an over the counter. Manny can't claim ignorance that he didn't know that this could happen. Also its not like he didn't have the resources at his disposal, he could have gone to the team or the league and checked to see if the drug was banned or not. He could have probably even gone to Scott Boras and asked him to check out the drug. Or Manny could have just gone to a doctor approved by the team or the league that would know what could trigger a positive test.
I also have to wonder what exactly Manny was thinking, he's been tested multiple times over the years, he has to know and understand the process by now. Ramirez will lose over $7 million so I will have to imagine that it will go down in history as one of the most expensive doctor bills of all time. He spent the entire winter holding out for a better contract and this is how he rewards the Dodgers? They had the best record in baseball going in to May 7th, and now every loss will be met with the first question being about a player who wasn't even in the park. The Dodgers will now have this issue chasing them throughout the season. I think the domino's could still be falling with this situation I wouldn't be surprised if L.A. feels the need to make a trade to add a bat to help replace the production of their best hitter. I also think this could open up the N.L. West for a team like the Diamondbacks or Giants to make a serious run. Unfortunately this will keep performance enhancers in the news and renew scrutiny of the games top sluggers. Finally, I think this allowed 29 other teams to breathe a collective sigh of relief that they didn't jump into the Manny Ramirez sweepstakes this off season.