Baseball did not need this.
In a season that has been overshadowed by steroid news surrounding the game's brightest star, it's best on-field story has now also been ruined by drug use.
Los Angeles Dodgers star outfielder Manny Ramirez has been suspended 50 games for violating the MLB joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in the same week a book was released accusing Alex Rodriguez of being basically a life-long steroid user.
Ramirez says the substance he took that violated the policy was prescribed by a doctor. For full details, read the story from Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez at the Los Angeles Times.
The Dodgers are 21-8, have won all of their 13 games at home and have already built a six-and-one-half game lead in the National League West.
My initial reaction to this story is sheer frustration.
It continues to appear as though baseball will never get away from the steroids (or performance enhancements) issue which puts a dark cloud and a thick, dirty smog around a sport that has a rich history and which continues to fall further from it's former standing as the national pastime.
If his actions in his final days in Boston didn't already hurt him enough, this incident is going to keep Manny Ramirez, one of the best right-handed hitters in the history of the game, out of the Hall of Fame.
He was a quitter in Boston, a greedy scoundrel this offseason, and now he's a cheater. Three strikes and you're out.
It's about time Manny gets the Barry Bonds treatment. Bonds was booed and hated across the nation despite never failing a drug test. Manny is a true villain of baseball, and should be treated as such.
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