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Manny under the microscope

Mar 16, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for manny ramirez option.jpgA summary of Bob Klapisch’s take on Manny Ramirez:  He was totally awesome until he tested positive for PEDs, and then we all realized that he was a fraud and now he needs to prove he can still produce without the drugs. But if he does produce this season we’ll have no idea if he’s doing it legitimately or not because he has every incentive to cheat.

I may not agree with Klapsich’s particular take on PED testing, but if negative PED test results are not treated as even prima facie evidence that a guy is playing clean, I’ll agree that there’s something wrong with the system.  Or something wrong with the guys who like to throw stones at everyone. Can’t decide which.

But maybe the most astonishing thing about the column is this passage:

If only Manny hadn’t succumbed to steroids, history would’ve eventually
glossed over his other transgressions, including his abandonment of the
Red Sox in 2008. The faked knee injury could’ve been written off to the
desperate act of a player who could no longer co-exist with his
teammates. But the positive test changed everything.

I personally think that the lowest point of Manny’s career — the blackest mark against him — was his behavior in his final days in Boston. He quite obviously faked his injures, quit on his teammates and when he did play didn’t even try.  That behavior, in my mind at least, was far more damaging to baseball competition than any drug he ever took.  That Klapisch can say that such behavior pales compared to his PED use suggests to me that we have either greatly overreacted to PEDs as an evil in the game or are far too dismissive of mid-2008 Manny Ramirez-style jackassery.

  1. madhatters - Mar 17, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Craig I disagree entirely. In your opinion the way he completely sandbagged his team was more damning than his use of PED’s.
    But if that were the case, why did the Dodgers trade for and then resign Manny? Why was Manny still getting offers for $20-30mill for one season? The fact that he came out last season and played like a dud will be a greater deterrent to other teams than his sportsmanship. I think we all know that today if you can play that is far more important than if you’re a good teammate (i.e. Billy Wagner).
    If Boston hadn’t forseen the Reign of Manny ending I’m sure they would have kept him and dealt with his derelict personality as long as he was still putting up insane offensive numbers.
    For a GM whats worse? A $20million player who might create rifts in your organization or a $20million player caught doing PED’s and then playing sub-par ball

  2. madhatters - Mar 17, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    It is interesting. Going from a city like Cleveland with its midwest sensibilities to a place like Boston which as you put it has the big city drama definitely seemed to contribute.
    I also think coaching played a big part. Charlie Manuel was able to coach the guy where as Francona in Boston tried to manage him.
    And then I also think it’s the diva status he got after getting that big city money.
    But I agree entirely that had Manny stayed in Cleveland he wouldve been different.

  3. Mike - Mar 17, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    But that’s exactly it, people are, and will continue, to be willing to pay Manny 20+ million for a 1 year contract, but that’s exactly what Manny didn’t want, and what he burned his bridges to avoid. He wanted another nice long contract, but the fact is he’s older and has clearly done steroids in the past. Long story short, he’s not a safe long term prospect and he knows it, or at least Scott Boras knows it.

  4. yankeh8r - Mar 17, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    You’re the biggest idiot ever! You’re a moron wrapped up in a retard!

  5. Nasty Boy - Mar 17, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Sir, as yankeh8r so eloquently put it, you are a moron. Manny is a malcontent , and couldn’t hold any of the payers you mentioned jocks. As another writer said , and I agree ,I can’t wait until this jerk- off is out of baseball.

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