Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez reported to A’s camp today.

Life is a cliche, and the sporting life is a double cliche. The other Oakland ballplayers surely greeted Manny with hugs and fist bumps and high fives, and Bob Melvin—the team’s manager—actually uttered the words, “He can be a great example with his work ethic.” There was talk about redemption; about recovery; about appreciating the game and not knowing what’s lost until it’s gone and the wonders and the love and the happiness that comes with Spring Training.

And then, without nearly as much fanfare, I vomited. Profusely.

In case you’re unaware, Manny Ramirez is a cheater. Not a one-time cheater, either, but a guy who—clearly—used PED often and repeatedly to excel in baseball and, consequently, take work away from those who chose not to violate the rules. Last year he was suspended for 100 games after failing his second test, then went home and was arrested for allegedly hitting his wife, Juliana.

Now, he’s back.

I know Moneyball brought Billy Beane much love, and I have no problem with that. I like Beane, and I liked covering Beane. He was always wonderful to me. But, I must ask, what kind of person brings Manny Ramirez into his clubhouse? What kind of GM overlooks a cheater—an unabashed, undeniable cheater—in the name of wins? i know we’re supposed to give the A’s a break, in that they have no money and blah, blah, blah. But this … this is just wrong. The message it sends is a message baseball has sent with the hiring of Mark McGwire as the Cards’ hitting coach and the employment of a known-beyond-known-beyond-known PED cheat as an analyst on the MLB Network and the game’s refusal to officially damn the legacies of men who violated the rules: That cheating is OK. Oh, it’ll be pooh-poohed and criticized and all. But, day’s end, it’s OK.

Just win.

3 thoughts on “Manny Ramirez”

  1. I’m nobody but a sports fan. I used to be a sports journalist and worked for a baseball specific radio channel. For years people in the industry would talk about Manny’s work ethic and it is such BS. Manny likes to hit and that’s all he likes to do. It’s not just the PEDs. He’s quit on his teams before, suffers a mysterious knee injury every year right around the all-star break, pushed media relations members to the ground, been out drinking with opposing teammates, it just keeps happening. This week it came out that Tito actually said to Peter Gammons that he’s the worst human being ever. But he can hit. So what. Manny being Manny = Manny being a DICK.

  2. I know, I know, PED usage is in all sports, but it offends me the most in baseball. That is why I don’t pay any attention to the sport anymore.
    I suppose it is because when I was a child it was all about the numbers. We didn’t put baseball cards in albums, we studied them. What was his ERA? How many hits? How many HR? We lived off of the numbers and these clowns just pissed on them.
    It still hasn’t changed dirty players still play and if the Fed Ex guy screws up – you’re innocent.

  3. Allen,

    I’m not going to try and convince you that Manny Ramirez is the second coming of Mother Theresa, but that quote from Francona is not entirely accurate. Francona told ESPN that he made that remark in passing and in anger after Ramirez pushed a traveling secretary.

    Gammons took the quote out of context and a few days ago tweeted that he probably misheard the statement.

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