He is Still the Manny

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He is Still the Manny
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

In the summer of 2008, Christopher Wertz was elected as Governor of Red Sox Nation: New York.  When appointed to that office, he selected a cabinet.  I was appointed to the position of Secretary of Manny Defense.

When Gov. Wertz opened his Cabinet, he was generous.  He knew that he was elected in hostile territory, and he was generous to the good people who supported him.  When he asked me what position I would like to hold, I scratched my head for a few days.  This was shortly after Manny Ramirez was dealt in a three team deal for Jason Bay. 

At the time Red Sox fans were celebrated the departure of Manny.  Such reactions caused me to defend the “enigmatic slugger, the hitter savant,” or whatever nickname you want to give him. 

Standing in the land that was formerly a land of Yankee dominance, I turned to Red Sox fans and asked them why they had such bad blood for the greatest hitter they had ever played in a Red Sox uniform. 

They would quickly retort that Ted Williams was the greatest hitter to ever play for The Red Sox. Really?  Had they ever seen him play? No, but my dad says...Had Ted Williams brought the trophy home to Boston? Well, no.  Had Manny? Yes. Yes, he did.  And he did it with authority.

When I saw that Manny had been suspended for using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED), I was devastated. I texted Governor Wertz and said I wrote that I would be writing my resignation letter from my post by the end of the day. 

I was working at my bar, and I wanted to go home this was too big of a blow for me to deal with.  I began to get texts that wanted my reaction.  I checked Facebook and twitter.  Both were abuzz with the situation. 

Everybody had something to say.  What stood out most were Red Sox fans throwing Manny under the bus yet again.  Why? This guy was a player that lead The Boston Red Sox to the only two titles that they had had ever seen, but yet he has been so demolished by The Red Sox front office and their media ties that they felt vindicated by the news. 

For the last 10 or so months they have forgotten how many time in their lives they chanted, “Man-ny! Man-ny! Man-ny!” 

But yes, Manny is the dirtbag who hurt the team.  With all of his ridiculous stats, he was the one hurting the team with his bad character.  So, Manny is dealt. He is dealt for a great player in Jason Bay.  Bay has done nothing but impress since joining The Red Sox.  He is the type of player that has no skeletons in his closet (thus far). 

He is from a town in Canada called Trail, which was probably named after its main feature for crying out loud.  OK.  At this point, I have been staying far away from the elephant in the room. And that is the fact that Manny Ramirez has tested positive for a PED.

I spent the day listening to and reading every sports commentator voice their opinion, and condemnation towards Manny. And yet there has actually been very little about told about what he has done.  Rumor has it that he tested positive for hCG. 

This is a fertility drug that is, although at times used by steroid users at the end of their cycle, commonly used by men to stimulate their testosterone production.  Feel free to look this up. 

Many men, after the age of 35 do not produce testosterone at the rate that they had before. Not trying to speculate too much here, but have you seen Manny’s much younger wife? At any rate, the medication Manny took was prescribed by a doctor. 

Just because it was prescribed by a doctor, doesn’t mean you should take it.  This has been a lesson learned by far too many athletes in all the major sports.  Hell, the NHL had even listed Sudafed as a banned substance. 

Does this let Manny off the hook?  Absolutely not.  As one of the greatest ballplayers of all time he should be familiar with the rules.  That being said, Alex Rodriguez doesn’t even know that you can’t slap a ball out of a player’s glove, let alone not use steroids.

Nor did that help Roger (multiple Cy Young Award winner) Clemens form throwing a bat at a player because he thought “it was a ball.”  (Roger, if it was a ball, you should have thrown it to first.)  Manny should have checked out what he is taking.  I mean it’s really not that hard. Don’t believe me? See below.

"No, it's really easy," Papelbon said. "Actually, they make a pamphlet for you in Spanish and in English and you just read it and know what not to take. It's really not that hard."

“‘Nuff Said”- Nuf Ced McGreevy

It remains to be seen what will come of this circus.  Right now it may appear to be many things.  It could be that Manny needed some help at the plate. Or, he needed some help in the sack.  There are some people who hope that if he did actually take PED that he comes out and clears the air in the way that Jose Canseco did. 

Take everybody down with you.  How sick are we of seeing this Giambi/Pettitte/A-Rod garbage that they were the only ones who did it, and only for a short period of time?  I mean that makes me want to puke on myself more than anything, a very candid Manny could say. 

Although, Scotty B. is his agent now, so how knows what could be twisted out of this.  Sadly, I expect A-Rod part deux. Another rich guy hanging by the skin of his teeth, while the rest of us pay for the ESPN to watch it all unfold.

Take it for what is.  I, for one, have always stuck up for Manny.  He can do more with a baseball than Martha Stewart can do with a ripe gourd.  That being said, I am really, really, really enjoying what Jason Bay can do with a bat these days.

I will not resign from my position even if the worst stuff ever comes out about Manny.  What’s the point of taking a job if you will just quit when challenged.  Jason Bay wouldn’t back down from a challenge, and neither would I.

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