5.07.2009

Reflecting on Manny

For those of you not knowing, Manny Ramirez just got handed a 50 game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. His first attempt at an excuse is that he was taking a boner medication that happened to contain a banned substance. Yes, his story is that he took steroids to get an erection.

The fact that those steroids made him stronger and able to hit a ball further and recover more quickly is just a lucky side effect. Of course.

And he feels really, really bad about it. Of course.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is recommending a lifetime ban. Make an example of one of the game's premier hitters. Take away his meal ticket, take away his fame, take away everything that is supposed to mean something to him.

Only by banning cheaters can baseball start to clean up its image. Only by throwing out those that would cheat can baseball regain its integrity.

I'm not so sure how I feel about a lifetime ban.

On the one hand, it is the Dodgers and I hate the Dodgers. On the other hand, it doesn't seem fair to, all of a sudden, start banning players for transgressions in the past. In fact, I think there's a legal term, ex post facto, that covers the concept. It says, basically, that you can't change the law and then go back and prosecute people who broke the newly changed law. You can prosecute moving forward but you cannot do it retroactively.

There's also the very difficult to test for without drawing blood, HGH, human growth hormone, issue. Some speculation is that use in the majors is rampant because it is so difficult to detect. I know, if I were a pro baller and I needed some extra pop in my bat, I would not even consider steroids because of the risks and would go straight to the HGH. But I'm not a baller and am not a cheater by nature. I prefer to win or lose on my own merits and not because of chemicals in a needle.

Do I dislike baseball as a result of all the cheating, the fake apologies (like A-Roid's utter BS, orangeface ridiculousness), the denials, the convoluted excuses, the false outrage by an enabler like Bud Selig, the taint on the name of the game? Yeah, I do certainly do like the sport less. Do I still enjoy it, watch it, consume it and play it via fantasy leagues? Yeah. Its probably akin to learning that Santa Clause isn't real, it doesn't mean you stop celebrating Christmas, it just means you are a little less trusting, it means you are a little more cynical and it means that monstrous whack knocking the ball clear out of the park is a little less laudable and a lot more suspect.
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