Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manny Being Manny

Can I not go one MLB season without having to see a future Hall of Famer get caught for using steroids?  

Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, and Alex Rodruiguez have all been caught using steroids over the past few seasons, A-rod being the most recent, and have all lost their credibility and support of the fans.  You can now add Manny Ramirez to that list as it was reported today that Manny tested positive for a banned substance.

As a result Manny will be suspended for 50 games which will cost him roughly $7.7 million of his $25 million salary and also the support of the Dodgers fans and the admiration of his teammates.

The impact this will have cannot be understated as the team will be hurt, the players will be negatively affected, the city of Los Angeles will be hurt, Manny's wallet takes a beating, as does Manny's reputation.  

The Team

So far this season Manny was hitting .348 with 6 homers and 18 RBI.  He was the new face of the franchise and a leader in the clubhouse.  The Dodgers had even dedicated a section of seats to Manny and had named it "Mannywood."  Now the team is embarrassed as its biggest star is involved in steroid talk and has been taken out of the line up.

You cannot replace a player like Manny and this definitely hurts the Dodgers going forward as not only do they lose his bat and presence in the locker room but this will no doubt be a big distraction going forward.

I know the Dodgers won tonight but once they stop playing the Washington Nationals they might be in trouble.

The Players

It is no secret that Manny had a very positive affect on the Dodgers players.  Most of them were young and impressionable and almost all of them looked up to Manny.  It has been reported that guys like Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier followed Manny around like Frankie follows Brody on The Hills.

No doubt these young players will have to deal with the knowledge that their hero and friend is a cheater.  I'm sure that as professional athletes they will deal with the problem in time but no doubt it will weigh constantly on their minds.

Also once Manny comes back from suspension in 50 games how will the players react?  Will they be happy he is back and act like nothing happened?  Or will they shun him like he is the smelly kid in class?

The City

The city of Los Angeles had a pretty rough day in terms of suspensions as Derek Fisher was suspended for his vicious, but amazing, body check on Luis Scola and there was talk Kobe would join him after his elbow to the throat of Ron Artest.

Now they have to deal with the Mann suspension as well.  Manny fever had swept LA since last year when he came over from Boston as the fans loved him and even wore Manny wigs with fake dreadlocks.

There is nothing worse than having your favorite player outed as a cheater and no doubt this really hurt the fans.  It will be interesting to see how they react once Manny returns.


Manny looked to be a sure shot at the Hall of Fame.  Manny has 527 career home runs, 1706 RBI, a career batting average of .313 and owns the record for most postseason home runs and RBI.  He is without a doubt the best right handed hitter of all time.  But now what?

Records are great but look at the other players in the steroid controversy.  McGwire and Clemens own multiple records and have all the credentials you could ever want yet neither man will make it in to the Hall of Fame.

Hopefully Manny doesn't fall victim to the same fate and the only thing that helps him is that he has been consistent his whole career and he still has some years left to win back the respect of the fans and the voters.

In this modern age there is no one left who I would be surprised to learn took steroids.  Manny is just another name on a list of players who did what they needed to do in order to reach a higher level of ability.  People can sit there in shock and try and shame Manny but in all honesty I'm over it.  The guy cheated.  Who cares?  

That is just Manny being Manny.

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