Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Manny being a juicer

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!


She-Fan said...

Red Sox fans are already saying, "Well, he didn't use when he was with us." Right. I agree that the other names on that list must come out.

Anonymous said...

I agree with She-Fan. Red Sox fans are saying Manny is a Dodger and he didn't use while in Boston. Yeah, right. To quote you Lisa, "Sheesh"!! I have to say I'm not surprised by this at all. As for the other 103 names, they MUST come out. I have to sa

NAM said...

Lisa, I agree with what you wrote except 2004 was still our miracle and there is nothing you can write that will change that for us. It is so personal to Red Sox fans that you can never ever touch it. And as I have said before, juiced teams beating juiced teams seems fair to me (even though I hate it and hope that is not true). What also seems fair, as I have also posted many times, is to release the list and make it fair to all. And Lisa, after all you wrote about Selena Roberts and her lack of proof that A-Rod was using back in high School and on and on, how can you now apply the same lack of evidence to Manny while he was with the Red Sox. If that is what you are doing, than both you and She-Fan fall into the same grouping as Selena Roberts if you both call yourself professional writers. Where is your evidence? And I am not trying to defend Manny but doesn't he deserve the same standard you demanded in several blogs in the last week for A-Rod?

Uncle Mike said...

If Red Sox fans believe Manny wasn't using performance-enhancing drugs while he was playing for them, then perhaps they'd be willing to buy not just the Zakim Bridge (the inverted Y near North Station/New Gahden), but a whole new Big Dig.

So I guess all those people who could finally say the Red Sox won the World Series in their lifetime... are telling a half-truth at best.

And I can't wait to see the T-shirts: 1918* -- Bald Vinny Milano, T-shirt man extraordinaire and Original YES Ultimate Road Tripper, you're on the clock!

Subway Squawkers said...

NAM, that's a fair point, and yes, there's no way - now at least - to say for sure that he did it as a Sox. But I'm still bitter over 2004, and I'll never get over it! ;)

And yeah, what Manny says now about the medical issue gives the Sox - and their fans - plausible deniability.

Lisa Swan said...

Yikes! ESPN is reporting that Manny was taking a fertility drug. Guess his 'personal medical issue' was trying to get pregnant!

NAM said...

Uncle Mike, there you are. Nothing to write about your beloved Yankees in the last week, but you show up as soon as you can zing it to the Red Sox. It's nice to know you fight fair. And least everyone in Boston can use the Zakim and not have to pay over priced tickets to gain access like the Yankee's big dig.

The Emperor said...

So when does Selena Roberts' next book, "Man-Ram: Manny being Manny," come out?

I mean, she's a fair and honest journalist full of honesty and integrity and really wants to clean up MLB andget all these cheaters, right?

The Emperor said...

I'm being facetious about Selena Roberts doing a book on Manny. In truth, just like I think it's awful that she did this to A-rod, I would find it equally as mean-spirited and heartless if she did that to someone else.

It make no difference what team that person played for.

Anonymous said...

well congrats yankee fans, now you can claim that your team was not the only one with cheaters to win a world series.
I have to say that I was surprised and disappointed about arod being a cheater. i am honestly shocked about manny. km

Uncle Mike said...

Lisa: Maybe Manny should talk to Palmeiro. After all, he cheated too, and he takes Viagra!

NAM: There's plenty to write about with the Yankees, but you fail to appreciate this concept called "news." The Yankees looking like fools against the Red Sox, while unacceptable, is no longer news. But evidence that the Red Sox cheated to win their World Championships? To you, "news" is a four-letter word!

And as for "fighting fair," let's see the umpires and league officials apply equal justice to our two teams. When Pedro Martinez was able to throw at Yankees and nearly kill an elderly coach and not get suspended for so much as a pitch or fined so much as a penny, don't expect me to "fight fair." The biggest example may be gone, but your team remains a bunch of thugs and no Yankee Fan is required to respect any of them.

KM: If only your Mets with their cheating Piazza could have won a World Series, right? But the only shocking thing about the Red Sock being exposed as a cheater is that it was Manny -- and not Schilling or one of the hitters who seems to be smart enough to know what a "performance-enhancing drug" is.

And if there ever is a book about Manny, where would you put it? The children's section? The fantasy section? Not "Self-Help," that's for sure! How about the history section -- because he may just be history now, and not the good kind like he was until today.

The Emperor said...

"well congrats yankee fans, now you can claim that your team was not the only one with cheaters to win a world series."

Thanks, KM, but we knew that already.

NAM said...

Again, is that the same evidence employed by writers like Selena Roberts?

And you don't respect any Red Sox until the Yankees acquire them, right?

Paul from Boston said...

Maybe some Sox fans are saying he didn't use with us (note - I'm not one of them), but no different than Yankee fans saying ARod didn't use with them. We just don't know - we probably won't ever know.

I still don't think the list should come out simply because we need to respect the anonymity they thought they had when they consented to those tests. ARod got hosed by Selena but that shouldn't be cause to screw the other 103. Secondarily, I don't think that list would bring any finality to the issue since its possible there were users who didn't happen to test positive when the 03 tests were administered. That's not to say there isn't a curious side of me that would love to see the list.

NAM said "least everyone in Boston can use the Zakim and not have to pay over priced tickets to gain access like the Yankee's big dig." You don't take the Pike do you? ;)

NAM said...

Paul - I confess I don't take it. I'm in Sarasota now. That's a good point about the list but it is such an ugly blight on baseball and patently unfair to those players that are being leaked. Someone told me (and I don't know the source) that the Feds are the ones leaking information because they po that no one will cooperate. So maybe we will see a name a year leaked.

Paul from Boston said...

Sarasota eh? You're missing a good time up here - especially this past winter!! (and I'm someone who likes 'some' snow)

I suspect at some point we will see the list and I agree this whole thing is such a mark...and one that will seemingly never go away.

Well, it sure does give us stuff to talk about!

Cheers everyone.

Subway Squawkers said...

Two things:

Bill Simmons' newest column basically accuses a ton of the 2004 Red Sox of being juicers:

And how is it that only two players in all of MLB tested positive last year?

The Emperor said...

You know, I would not be surprised if the Sox had a lot of juiced guys. In fact, I'm pretty sure most teams did.

And I'm not going to gloat about it at all. I just think it's really sad that baseball fans all over the country had to be heartbroken when they found out their favorite players who did their cities proud were cheating.

I guess there really was a level playing field during the steroid era: Every team was involved.

Yanks, Sox, Mets - it's not fair to any of us fans who really admire these players.

I just hope that as the years go by less and less players cheat.

Paul from Boston said...

Emperor - I completely agree. The only thing that would surprise me now is if there were a team that was fully clean. I just find it amazing that its still happening.

NAM said...

It is sad when we are all arguing about who is the most or least juiced. I think if you are caught now, your team should have the right to negate your contract. They interviewed Mike Lowell before the Sox game today and he was asked about Manny's excuse. He said that MLB has made it clear in spring training that players can check any medication and substance they want to put in their bodies through its office. And then he said Manny made his own choice. No love loss there.

Ryan O said...

I honestly think Manny really wanted to have a himself

Lisa - I think Bill Simmons column was more about that "you can't be sure who is clean." Not accusing Red Sox of use.

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