The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that outfielder Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been suspended for 50 games for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Ramirez is effective immediately.
Official statement from MLB [link]
Normally I would not take time to comment on a player outside of the Phillies but I want to take a moment to reflect on how it does impact the Phillies, especially given the impact of this news because it is Ramirez.
The Dodgers have jumped out to a major league best record of 21-8, including a highly publicized 13-0 home start. Just looking at the records will show you that the Dodgers have a road record of 8-8. Now take Ramirez out of their rejuvenated lineup.
The Dodgers will play three games in Philadelphia next week in the first 2008 NLCS rematch this season. That has to bode well for the Phillies, who are clinging to the top spot in the NL East. But let's look a little farther down the line...
Ramirez's suspension of 50 games (the same sentence handed to J.C. Romero) will leave the heavy hitter out until July 3 at the earliest. Meanwhile the Phillies make a four game stop in Los Angeles in June. Obviously if a team gets a chance to play all of their games against the Dodgers without Ramirez available, you have to like their chances.
Ramirez has waived his right to challenge the suspension so this is locked in. I have some thoughts on Ramirez's suspension that I will post tonight during the Phillies game.