By now, we've all seen it on TV, read about it on the Internet, and heard a bunch of numskulls talk about it on the WEEI afternoon drive show. Manny Ramirez tested positive for a banned MLB substance and is suspended forever....or 50 games.
Earlier in the day, ITM decided to wait on the story...every outlet was blasting the Manny news with their assumptions, rants, and conclusions. We wanted to wait for more information on the story and give it some thought. While there is undoubtedly more information to come, here are some initial thoughts:
--Don't believe Manny's story. I've tried to separate my Boston-based hatred for all things Manny and think about this sans bias...which is difficult, but regardless of who you are and what team you root for, Manny has done nothing throughout his career to earn the benefit of the doubt. I'm not believing him, or his ass clown of an agent (who clearly wrote his statement), not for one moment.
--For fans of the game, this sucks. Coming home on the subway, I heard so many people happy Manny got caught, hive-fiving and yucking it up. But for fans of baseball, this is yet more terrible news. The top two highest paid players in baseball are tainted, and my view of the greatest right handed hitter I've ever seen has changed. It's believed the game is catching up to all the users and their advanced chemicals, and while Manny's case may be more evidence such thought, inevitably this leaves baseball with another black eye. The last thing it needed.
--Now I have to deal with ESPN, MLB Network, WEEI, etc. Nonstop Manny talk, all day, all night. I'm sick of it already. I want to hear about the Red Sox putting up a 12 spot on Cleveland's pitching, before they were even able to get an out (an AL record by the way).
--There is too much subjectivity. Everyone has their opinion on Manny, how long he (may have) been using steroids, and the affect it may have had on the two Red Sox world series rings. Let's get this one thing straight, it was an entire steroid era, more players than we'll ever realize were using it, no one team was playing fair....whether Manny was using in 04' or not, no one really knows, but we do know that plenty of other players were juicing, thus thoroughly washing out any one team's perceived advantage at the time. (ITM note: don't get me started on the 2003 ALCS and Jason Giambi though).
--Manny should come clean. It's unlikely to happen in this case, but being as honest as possible has worked in the past (see Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi etc). It's a strategy that Arod has tried to use, but too many clouds and expected lies are built into the storyline for anyone to ever truly believe what he says. The more Boras is in his ear, and he continues to use his doctor as the scapegoat, the worse it is likely to get for the lovable 36 year-old.
....and oh yeah, the Red Sox raked tonight...all J-Bay does is hit three-run taters. Given today's story, that trade is looking better and better. Good work Theo.