Is Manny Ramirez' Warm Welcome Back to Baseball Warrented?

C KSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 08:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on after grounding out to end the sixth inning against the New York Mets on July 8, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Manny Ramirez has the world of baseball caught in an abusive relationship.

Manny is a lovable character who has been known to have his conflicts with those among him.

At day, the man brings all spectators to their feet as he torments opposing pitchers with his freakish ability to play the game of baseball.

At night, away from the public eye, Manny finds a way to get into disagreements with his boss and eventually, finds himself in trouble with Major League Baseball.

Ramirez, aside from Rafael Palmeiro, was the first superstar player to be handed a hefty suspension for a positive drug test result that violated MLB's drug policy.

While Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, and many others denied and continue to deny they ever used sports-enhancing drugs, their legacies are hampered by the allegations. The public no longer looks up to these legends, and more commonly looks down upon them.

No substantial evidence has ever been shown to prove either Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, and others have taken steroids, and no repercussions were handed out to any of the three mentioned.

Yet it was actually proven that Ramirez took a banned substance, and Ramirez was actually punished for his positive test. And yet somehow, some way, much of the world is accepting Ramirez back to baseball with open arms.

He babied his way out of Boston. He has been criticized for lazy play in the past. Most recently, he failed a drug test that ended up causing Ramirez to receive a 50-game suspension.

You can say what you want about the substance he took, yet it was a banned substance and is used by many players who have just recently stopped taking other performance-enhancing drugs.

It was made fact Ramirez did cheat, and he was punished for it. But Manny is not facing the same scrutiny as other accused steroid users.

Manny is adored so hugely by countless fans that even when he abuses his rights and disappoints so many, his return is welcomed by open arms and hugs all around.

Somehow, fans just cannot seem to release themselves from the polarizing figure that is Manny Ramirez, and realize the actions he has taken part in are not much worse than those of the accused steroid-users.

We didn't love Mr. Bonds enough to keep crawling back to him, nor did we love Mr. Sosa, Mr. McGwire, or Mr. Clemens enough to welcome them back in open arms.

There's something about Manny that keeps everyone on his side.

But is it fair to continue to support him, even after it is made clear he failed a Major League drug test, and bashed those who have yet to be found guilty?

It has never been assured that Bonds took steroids, yet millions of baseball enthusiasts call for an asterisk beside his name in the record books.

McGwire will likely never be voted into the Hall of Fame due to the steroid allegations he faces, even though that is all they are—allegations.

Clemens' legacy took a monumental hit from the moment he denied steroid use, and has continued to deny his use of performance-enhancing drugs, and yet still nothing has been proven.

While it is likely all three of these former icons have cheated their way to the records they hold, only Ramirez was actually proven to have cheated.

Yet somehow, that mere fact is overlooked because of the lovable man Ramirez is.

Manny has returned and Dodgers fans are rejoicing. Manny fans around the world are joyous to see their man back on the field.

Mannywood is back up and running, its supporters as strong as ever.

Yet as a baseball fan, it's a shame to see.