"Crestfallen," that's the word a friend of mine used to describe the revelation that Manny Ramirez has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games because of a positive Performance Enhancing Drug test.
He also said, to paraphrase him, that he was "watching everybody rush to judgment."
Agreed, For Mr. and Mrs. Sportsfan who just opens ESPN.com and sees the headline, they probably say, "Well, dude cycles. Forget the Dodgers' legitimacy this year, forget the legitimacy of the Red Sox '04 and '07 World Series."
I have nothing to say to counter Mr. or Mrs. Sportsfan's "historical implication" argument.
Once one reads the report, they find a statement by RamBoras saying that he popped a positive result due to a medication he was prescribed by a doctor for a personal health condition.
I will not refute that either, I can't.
Why write the article, then?
"Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility."—Manny Ramirez/Scott Boras.
Ramirez is one of the most prolific hitters of the modern era, and Scott Boras has redefined the term "agent."
Ramirez is, or was, a first ballot Hall of Famer. I can't say whether or not he will or won't be when the time comes. It's far too early to jump to that conclusion.
Boras is arguably the most effective agent in the history of baseball.
Ramirez is making $25 million this year, and Boras is undoubtedly getting a solid percentage of that salary for his being able to pull that contract out of the Dodgers.
Why in the world would Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras allow Ramirez to be prescribed a medication, and not have the presence of mind to cross check it with the list of banned substances?
If they did go this far, why not petition for a Therapeutic Use Exemption so that, in the event that Ramirez popped a positive, they could get around any potential suspension?
Did they apply for a TUE?
Is this pure carelessness?
Is this a brazen lie?
Who dropped the ball?
Who fell asleep at the panic switch?
As the facts become clearer, this will undoubtedly be a very interesting story. The shockwave this has sent through Major League Baseball is already being felt.