Did he or didn’t he? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.
I was amused by the anger and consternation I heard on ESPN radio this morning as Mike and Mike discussed the Manny Ramirez suspension with myriad experts. Manny Ramirez has manipulated his way into and out of contracts for years. Why would anyone be surprised that he used performance enhancers to con the Dodgers into giving him $45 million?
What is especially humorous is these same baseball pundits (Buster Olney, Jason Stark, Tim Kurchian [apologies if I have misspelled a name or two]) have all argued that we shouldn’t keep steroid users out of the Cooperstown because we don’t know who did and who did not use. This is an absurd argument. It is called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Stats. Induction is a subjective matter, and there is nothing inherently wrong in saying, “There is strong evidence that Mr. X used steroids, so I am not going to vote for him.” Do the police decide not to arrest someone for murder because they have unsolved murders?
There is hardly a punishment for using steroids. The players lose the portion of their salaries represented by the length of the suspension. In Manny’s case, about $7.7 million. Okay, that’s a lot of money, but he’s still getting $38 million out of this latest contract, and you can bet he would not have been making this money if he hadn’t juiced last year. Overall, Manny will come out much better than he would have had he not been using PEDs. The Dodgers can’t fire him. If you don’t withhold election to the Hall of Fame, then you in effect do not punish him — or Clemens, or Bonds, or A-Rod — at all. Tim Kurchian yesterday said that living with the stigma of being a cheater is punishment, but if you sweep it under the rug by inducting them into Cooperstown, you erase that punishment as well.
Manny has been enabled in his miscreant deeds, mostly by a media willing to write it all off as Manny being Manny. PEDs will not be abolsihed from pro sports until we all generate enough outrage… and that has to start with the media.