The latest news on Manny: he's wasted no time getting Scott Boras and a defense together. From Yahoo!'s Big League Stew blog:
"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."
So Manny's defense against the allegations is essentially as follows: "No, no, you're right, I shouldn't have been taking that; I should have checked first. But it's not a steroid. Sorry, everyone! This sucks."
No argument on the last half. He should be sorry, and it does suck.
As for the rest of it? Yes, it does sound like a pretty standard defense, but... I think Manny is just goofy enough upstairs that he might not have checked whether the medication he was prescribed was banned or not. It was, he got tagged, and there goes a third of his season.
No cover-ups or appeals--he took it, end of story. No past history--again, first foul in 16 big-league seasons.
He's taking this like a man, and that, coupled with his point about the other 15 tests he's taken, makes me believe him.
UPDATE 11:05 AM: You're not going to believe this, but according to Steve Henson and Tin Brown of Yahoo! Sports have heard from a source that not only was the drug he was on not a steroid or HGH, it was not used for weight-room performance enhancing.
However, it was still a performance enhancer: in the bedroom. From here:
"The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the substance is supposed to boost sex drive. It is not Viagra, but a substance that treats the cause rather providing a temporary boost in sexual performance, the source said... The source [also] intimated that Ramirez might bring legal action against the physician."
I can't help it. Even knowing Manny's gonna be out for the next two months, I'm laughing my head off.
First off, to everyone who is now backing Canseco and saying he's right, how would Jose know, if this is accurate? On second thought... don't answer that.
Secondly, Manny would likely have been allowed to have the substance, had he asked the commissioner for what is known as a Therapeutic Use Exemption. So imagine walking up to Bud Selig and saying "Hey Bud, I'm having a little trouble in the bedroom, and am going to be taking a *ahem* "performance enhancer", so to speak. Mind giving me a pass here?"
I couldn't do it. It's still hysterical, but I can understand his reluctance and that his ego--not even as Manny or as a ballplayer, just as a man--might have gotten in the way.
But this has got to be the worst thing that can happen to Manny. He can't take a swing on the field OR in the bedroom.
No, it shouldn't be funny. But it is. It... just... is.