As the Jury is handed the case in the Barry Bonds Trial, Manny Ramirez walks away from the game of baseball.
Amid speculation that he has tested positive for PED’s for the 2nd time in his career. Ramirez was reportedly set to face a 100 game ban for his second offense. Manny will ride off into the sunset, leaving baseball fans everywhere to cast a doubt on who was once considered the best pure hitter since Babe Ruth.
Up to this point Ramirez will go down as the only player to have been caught using PED’s on two separate occasions. Names like his, Clemens, Bonds, Giambi, Sosa,McGwire, Canseco, etc. are all linked to one era. The question now becomes what is the legacy of his and others like him. Most will agree that he, like Clemens and Bonds have checked out of Hall of Fame contention.
No one wins with a story like this or all the previous allegations of PED’s in baseall. Not Manny, not the Rays, not baseball, and surely not the fans. So what is gained by not allowing substances (PED’s) that help the players heal faster and play at a more excelled level.
I’m not advocating the use of the drugs, but lets look at baseball today and also look at baseball 10-15 years ago. Todays game is mired with controversy, players that are broken down due to there lack of use of those drugs, and players that are hitting far less home runs, hitting for lower averages, and games that are far less intriguing to watch. Conversely, between the McGwire and Sosa phenomena, Bonds run at Aaron, and guys like Clemens who at 40 were pitching like they were 20 again. The game was far more interesting and compelling to watch.
Manny is no different than any of the other players mentioned earlier, he played and used drugs in an era that was rampant with them. He competed with and against his peers doing all the same things. Manny is only guilty of being a player who was more gifted than others who took those same substances. In no way am I stating that every player used PED’s. However, I am saying that for us as fans to assume that only he and the others listed were the only ones using is naive.
He may have cashed his ticket out of the Hall today, but I for one won’t forget what a player he was while he played.