Predictably, I have my own opinions on the news that Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games because of a violation of the performance enhancing drug policy. While it shouldn’t be, the news is pretty shocking, and these next 50 games could be Joe Torre’s most important as a manager.
Here is what Manny had to say in a prepared statement released by the MLBPA:
“Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.
“I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I’m sorry about this whole situation.”
While Manny’s publicist did a nice job, I wanted to get comments from the people who were most affected by the Manny Ramirez news.
“I was devastated when I heard the news that Manny Ramirez tested positive for an illegal drug. I nearly dropped the 45-pound dumbbell I was curling during my rigorous training session when I saw that SportsCenter was cutting away from their live feed outside of Brad Childress’ office to cover the news of the best hitter in baseball getting suspended. I was shocked and saddened to see a story of such negative proportions push other top stories out of the limelight, and turn the focus of the sporting world onto something like baseball — which clearly isn’t as important as some other news that ESPN has dedicated hundreds of tireless workers to. I’d just like everybody to know that on behalf of Deanna, myself, Bus Cook, my new quarterback coach, and the pilots of the private jet that I’m just about to board for Minneapolis that I would never take performance enhancing drugs again.”
“I am deeply saddened that the Los Angeles Times would report that Manny Ramirez was being suspended, while only having hard proof and no salacious details. I’d also like to remind everyone that Manny’s last name starts with R, just like Alex Rodriguez’s last name does. He also goes by a nickname — “ManRam,” just as Alex goes by “A-Rod,” which coincidentally is the name of my new book. I’ve heard whispers about many for a long time, from former teammates, whose best friend’s sister’s brother’s boyfriend’s girlfriend, who saw Manny do steroids in high school with A-Rod. I know this is irrefutable because of my reporting, combined with the fact that I heard A-Rod talking about his weightlifting exploits in high school with a voluptuous blonde at a nightclub… while he was still married. While I couldn’t get to my pen because I was lying underneath the table directly on top of my purse, I heard A-Rod implicate Manny in a steroid ring that they both participated in with the Duke Lacrosse players. It’s all detailed in my new book…”
HANNAH STORM & JOSH ELLIOT OF SPORTSCENTER
Josh: As a diehard Dodgers fan and a native of Los Angeles, I’m very upset that Manny Ramirez will force the Dodgers to play someone named Xavier Paul in the outfield.
Hannah: Don’t worry, Josh — you’ve still got Juan Pierre making $8 million a season to play the outfield. The Dodgers offense won’t notice the difference.
Josh: F my life…
Hannah: While the LA Times broke the ManRam story, we’ve got Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, Pedro Gomez, and Steve Phillips working hard on somehow spinning this story into a SportsCenter exclusive. With luck, we’ll take this thing and turn it into news that only ESPN has ever reported — and hopefully get the LA Times to retract the whole thing!
Josh: But first, an update from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where Rachel Nichols has been standing outside the Minnesota Vikings training facility since last Saturday afternoon, awaiting any news on the impending return of the one, the only, ESPN’s messiah, Brett Favre.
“Thanks, Josh. I’ve been standing here, live, for five straight days, and I can report exclusively that ESPN has learned that Brett Favre may or may not be flying to Minnesota to possibly discuss an opportunity to come out of retirement for the 6th straight season and play football. It’s shocking news, and I’m proud to report that ESPN has exclusively heard new news about Favre at the top and bottom of every hour since last week, and we will keep telling you it until it’s embedded into your subconscious. I’ve also heard rumors that while the news that Manny Ramirez has tested positive for a banned substance, that could possibly allow me to cover something that actually matters to the sports world, and even during a season that’s actually taking place, that I will continue to stand vigil until this story has been beaten into the ground. While other offseason NFL stories, like the tragedy in Dallas that paralyzed a scouting assistant, might be of some interest to sports fans, the thought that Brett Favre could once again wear a football helmet with a delicate thin chin strap is just too scintillating to walk away from. Live from Minnesota, where I have yet to blink on camera for four days, this is Rachel Nichols, ESPN.”
“I’d like to thank Manny Ramirez for taking the spotlight off me for one f-ing minute, allowing me to sneak back into the tanning bed and hair salon for some last minute adjustments in my bronze and highlights before I return to New York. Manny — our deal stands. That $7.7 million you won’t get paid over these 50 games, I will pay you in full. But instead of money, it will be in collectors edition laminated photos from my Esquire fashion shoot. Those are worth more than any stock on the S&P, homey! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates… … … (check notes: Remember to dab corner of eye) … thank you.”
Filed under: Baseball, Football | Tagged: A-Rod, Brett Favre, ESPN, Manny Ramirez, Selena Roberts