Yesterday was a very dark day here in Los Angeles. Mannywood came crashing down when Major League Baseball meted out a 50 game suspension to Manny Ramirez for using a banned substance.
Manny offered up the usual excuses. HCG wasn't banned until this year. His doctor prescribed the drug for heath reasons and of course Scott Boros ate my homework.
Why Ramirez's doctor would be prescribing a fertility drug for the slugger is a question no one seemed to want to ask this afternoon, but between Manny and Octomom SoCal is now the fertility capitol of the world.
But the bottom line is no one, absolutely no one was surprised when Manny tested positive.
Almost everyone in the sports world believe that most, if not all, Dominican players are dirty. That is because you can buy steroids in any drug store in the Dominican Republic and Major League Baseball can't really keep track of the players who go home in the off-season. And that includes some of the best players in baseball.
My question is that if we know that most of these players are dirty, why throw out some and allow others like perhaps, oh, the best hitter for my favorite team the St. Louis Cardinals. Why prosecute only the players who are stupid enough to get caught.
But let's not stop with baseball. when asked about Usain Bolt last fall Carl Lewis responded by saying;
"When people ask me about Bolt I say he could be the greatest athlete of all time. But for someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don't question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you're a fool. Period."
But Marion Jones, who by the way has never tested positive but got caught up in a law enforcement sting, ended up in prison while Usain Bolt stars in a major ad campaign for Gatorade.
The fact is athletes, top athletes, are going to do whatever it takes to stay on top.
I always remember a number of years ago watching Barry Bonds being interviewed by Bob Costas on HBO. This is back before the Balco investigation, but after Bonds started putting massive home run totals.
Costas asked Bonds about the steroids rumors. Instead of answering the question Bonds fired back his own question, if I was the best player in baseball for the last ten years, why are you surprised that I am the best player now?
It was then that I knew that Bonds was on the juice, and it was then that I knew why. Which is why I wasn't surprised when Bonds mistress Kimberly Bell revealed in 2007 that "Bonds started taking steroids, driven by jealousy after Mark McGwire began receiving piles of press for his pursuit of Roger Maris' single-season home run record."
And that's why we as fans need to stop the madness. If we know that all top players are going to take performance enhancing drugs, and that only a few will get caught. Then just let them play.
It's the only way that we can keep the playing field fair.
As far as keeping young people from taking steroids and other performance enhancing drugs, legalize them for those over 21 and make it an automatic 15 years in prison if you get caught selling steroids to minors. Anyone dumb enough to seel to kids in that situation would deserve to go away for a long time.
And I know, some of you will say what about those athletes that don't want to take drugs and ruin their bodies. What about those athletes that don't want to take the risk.
Well, as Waylon and Willie used to sing, "Let them be doctors and lawyers and such." Because they aren't going to make to the top in sports right now anyway.