I'm really shocked that Manny Ramirez has reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, but not for the reasons you might think I'm stunned by the news.
What surprises me is that this is the biggest high-profile name to fail the test since the mandatory steroids policy went into effect. (Remember, A-Rod's failure was on the so-called anonymous test.)
Call me cynical, but I have figured there were two big reasons we haven't seen any big fish (unless you consider Rafael Palmiero a big fish) fail the test:
* They had better drugs - HGH or some new designer steroids - which wouldn't show up on the test
* They got tipped off about the test (remember, one of the forgotten things about the Mitchell Report was the allegation that the players' union told the big names in 2004 when the test was coming)
Hmmmm. Allow me to put on my tin-foil hat here - Palmiero failed his test after making a spectacle of himself in Congress. Ramirez failed his test the season after quitting on the Red Sox. Coincidence?
Maybe it is really just a coincidence, but I feel increasingly cynical about the whole steroids issue.
I posted this on the comments section of Subway Squawkers a little while ago:
"First thought on the Manny news was that Jose Canseco was right again! Second was that Squawker Jon and myself have noticed (and so has reader acapelad) that every time there's talk about some player being such a workout warrior and hard worker (A-Rod, Bonds, Clemens, Manny), they end up testing positive for steroids."
And I'm still peeved that we haven't yet heard the names of the other 103 people who failed the 2003 test. Also, where is the media investigation on A-Rod trainer Angel Presinal's other clients, like David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez, to name a few?
Too many reporters have selective outrage on the issue, with wall-to-wall coverage on players they don't like, such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez, and little or no investigation of media-friendly stars, like Mike Piazza. Former MVP Miguel Tejada was convicted of lying to Congress about PED use, and the story was almost completely ignored. Why?
I guess this Manny news will stop Red Sox fans from crowing about how their team was so clean. 2004 doesn't look like such a miracle anymore, eh? (Yes, I know that nine of the 2000 World Champion Yankees were in the Mitchell Report.) I guess the difference is that the Yankees who were juicing in 2004, like Kevin Brown, stunk in the playoffs!
The Manny news is sad to me, though. Manny was and is one my favorite players to watch. I really wanted him as a Yankee this season, despite it all. Looks like it's just as well that it didn't happen.
I do have schadenfreude about this for Joe Torre, though. Let's see how well he manages without Manny!
What do you think? Leave us a comment!