A Message for Manny: Man Up

Jim NeveauAnalyst IMay 11, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a homerun for a 4-3 lead against the San Diego Padres during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on April 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Manny was widely regarded as one of the best pure-hitters in the game, and his recent positive test for a substance that can be used to recover from a steroid cycle was another dark cloud hanging over the national pastime.

With that being said, there comes a time when the sport, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, need to move forward. In order to do that, Manny needs to man up and apologize to his teammates, his coaches, and the owner.

He has already talked to Dodger owner Frank McCourt and the meeting was generally positive. McCourt said he had no interest in voiding the rest of Manny’s contract (or a taste for the legal fight that would certainly ensue if he did that), and he also said that Manny’s conduct won’t hurt the franchise long term, especially if he acted in a classy manner.

My concern with this statement by McCourt is simple: Can we really count on Manny Ramirez to take the classy route? Do we remember how he left Boston? How he quit on his teammates? How he basically went by the whims of his agent Scott Boras in an attempt to get a bigger contract by picking up his play somewhere other than Boston?

Manny is by no means a terrible human being. Using a PED is far from killing or maiming another human being, but let’s be real to ourselves: can we really trust Ramirez to do the right thing, toe the line, and let his play do all the talking? As one Dodger is quoted on Keith Olbermann’s blog on mlblogs.com as saying, “he got his money”.

This is a crying shame, that we have guys in baseball who care more about getting their paychecks than being good teammates. I’m not going to waste a bunch of time here denouncing Manny, but I do want to make a suggestion to the corn-rowed slugger. The rest of you can sit in the dugout for this one.

This is between me and Manny.

You need to follow your owner’s advice and you need to address your teammates. It’s going to be tough, and they probably won’t exactly be thrilled with your presence in the clubhouse, but that’s not the point here.

The point for you, Manny, is to man up, apologize to your team, and tell them that you want to be part of the future of this team.

You guys have a great chance to get far in the postseason, and if you can come back with even half of your production that you had down the stretch last year, you will be in the center of a storm in La La Wood.

I’m going to do you a favor, Manny. I’m going to write you an apology, a guide for dummies, if you will. You can add or subtract words if you want, but you absolutely need to capture the essence of what I am trying to say on your behalf.

“Guys, I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for letting you all down. While this substance that I took was prescribed to me by a physician, I am responsible for what I put into my own body, and I accept that. I accept MLB’s punishment for me, and I am going to make sure that I come back better than ever.

I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t be upset with me. Hell, I wouldn’t be true to myself or to you guys if I did that. What I will ask for, however, is to keep your heads up, play your asses off, and make sure that you keep playing hard. When I come back in July, I’m going to light up the league like I did last year.

That contract I got may have made me less hungry in the eyes of skeptics, but I will tell you that I want another ring more than anything. I want to prove that I don’t need those guys in Boston to do this. All I need are the 24 of you, and if you count on me, I guarantee you that things will turn out great for this team.

Now, I’m gonna go and hit a couple clubs on South Beach. Enjoy Dolphin Stadium guys!”

It is highly unlikely that Manny will heed my advice, but if he does, I’m betting that his teammates will listen.

It’s time for Manny to be a man.


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