Can We Really Believe Manny Ramirez?

John LewisSenior Writer IMay 8, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:  Portrait of Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during batting practice before the game between the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Jose "Nostradamus" Canseco said he suspected Manny Ramirez was taking steroids long ago and now Major League Baseball has stuck Manny on his rear end for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance.

The only problem is that the banned substance was a women's fertility drug that helps women who are ovulating or want to lose weight. there something you want to tell us?  And why are you taking Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)?

Manny said he was having problems in the bedroom and that's why he went to a doctor to get help and hCG is supposed to build testosterone.  The only problem with that is according to steroid experts hCG is taken because of the shrinking testicles and the use of steroids.

It's also taken to help mask steroids in order to pass urine tests...which Manny has passed over the years.  However this time around MLB discovered that Manny had a high testosterone level and decided to figure out why.

So with Manny's problems in the bedroom did he develop ED (erectile dysfunction) as a result of taking PED's (performance enhancing drugs)?

This goes to show you that Canseco was right again...which is not all that surprising because the steroid taking baseball world is so small.

There also were whispers that Manny was holding out so long so he didn't have to go to spring training thus riding his body of  PED's.  And anyone the follows baseball knows that Manny has never been big on going to spring training.

While Manny never had spikes in his home run production during his career I have to believe that's because steroids don't necessarily make you a power hitter but rather allow you to enjoy a longer career free from serious injury.

This just proves two things...cheating does pay off and players today don't care about their lasting image.

Manny was able to cash in with his Dodgers contract this late in his career and signed a $45 million two year agreement before the season started.  He's not the only one that's gone straight to the bank as a result of PED's.  Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro, A-Rod and Sheffield...a who's who list of the top home run hitters of all-time.

This begs the question...are we really that surprised anymore when a big name player gets caught with his pants down?  It's like we want to see these players get caught so we can have something to talk about.

I for one still love baseball and there are other players to watch and root for like Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard.  But now everyone will be focusing their attention on these two and wondering if they're really clean.  No one can predict that...not even Canseco.

The one real question I have is how did the top players from decades past like Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Robinson, Killebrew etc play over 20 years without PED's?  If players today need them to sustain a long and productive career how did the hero's from our past do it?

Are we to truly believe that those guys didn't take anything?  Hank Aaron played 23 seasons and the most unhealthy player in history, Babe Ruth, played 21 seasons on hot dogs and beer!

If you just take the players with 500 home runs, 25 guys, seven of them have either been suspected or have tested positive for PED's.  That's a large chuck and I think it's pretty obvious that the guys taking the PED's would never have played this long without them.  They would've just retired or faded off into the sunset.

I'm certainly not saying that the greatest players of all-time were on PED's but it is a known fact that speed pills were provided to many players over the years. 

If I'm someone like Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard and I'm truly clean I would have a live press conference, pee in a cup and have MLB test me in front of the entire nation.  That way everyone knows I'm completely clean. 

However, the real skeptics will always say that even the ones taking PED's passed urine tests.  So I guess we'll never really know what happens behind closed doors.

What do you think?