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In Wake of Ramirez Suspension, Players Have to Take Responsibility.

Andy LindbergContributor IMay 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on base against the Colorado Rockies during the game at Dodger Stadium on April 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Manny Ramirez is out.

One of this generation’s most prolific hitters from the right side has been suspended for 50 games.

Ramirez’ agent, Scott Boras, said the positive test was triggered by a doctor-prescribed drug.

I don’t understand how a player can let this happen today.

Now the finger-pointing turns to Ramirez

The player has a responsibility here.  If you are taking ANY kind of substance, especially prescription drugs, you HAVE to go to the player’s union to get it cleared.  This is not the '90s.  This is not a time where everyone is in the heat of the Mitchell Report.  This is the era where testing for steroids and banned substances has become commonplace, and prescription drugs contain some of these substances.  The excuse “I had no idea” holds no merit anymore.

It is still unclear as to what Ramirez was taking, and under HIPPA agreements, unless Manny discloses what the drug was or there is a leak, the pubic will not find out what it is.

Steve Phillips said on ESPN today that for Ramirez to clear his name, he must produce the medicine, what he used it for, and the prescribing doctor.  I couldn’t agree more.

Now Ramirez does not have to do any of this, but with all the scrutiny surrounding him the past two seasons, Manny has to think about his legacy.  This could severely dent Ramirez’ shot at the Hall (he was a lock before these allegations).

Ramirez was widely thought to have been clean, much like A-rod was.  However, in a statement just made by Ramirez, he said he is sorry and that is was a prescribed drug.

How can the public be so sure anymore?  And how can we be surprised?

Manny’s aloof persona has let him get away with a lot in his career.  It is possible that Ramirez is just oblivious enough to not know what he was ingesting.  But again, in today’s game, the player must protect himself and ask what is in what they are taking.  Until this all clears up, the word “steroid” will be commonplace.  I hope for the good of the game that Ramirez wasn’t juicing.  But sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

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