Manny Ramirez Eyes Return under Steroid Scandal in Major League Baseball

Daniel DinunzioAnalyst IJuly 1, 2009

LAKE ELSINORE, CA - JUNE 27:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Inland Empire 66ers waits on deck against the Lake Elsinore Storm on June 27, 2009 at the Lake Elsinore Diamond in Lake Elsinore, California. Ramirez is preparing for hsi return to the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 50 game suspension.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Friday night will mark the return of Los Angeles Dodgers' superstar Manny Ramirez.

Thus far Ramirez is the biggest name to serve a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug back in early May. With Manny out of the lineup, the Dodgers have been able to maintain a six game lead in the NL West.

Manny lost over $7 million as a result of his steroids suspension. He was putting up solid numbers in the beginning of the season hitting .348 with six HR and 22 RBI. He is the go to guy in the lineup whenever a big hit is needed.

Although Juan Pierre has filled in and produced as well, having Manny's bat back in the lineup should be a welcomed scene. After all, the allegation of how Ramirez tested positive for steroids involved a medical prescription by his doctor regarding a personal health issue.

This year has brought forth baseball's two highest paid players admittance to steroid use.  First it was Alex Rodriguez and then it was Manny.

Just when baseball was trying to move on from the steroid era more problems arose.

There are probably many people out there that can't stand Manny for whatever reason it may be.  But there's also going to be people cheering for Manny every time he steps up to the plate.  As long as he comes back and delivers in the game, the people of Los Angeles are sure to be forgiving.

After being traded last year to the Dodgers, Manny turned around a team that was fading fast, into an instant contender. His bat was unbelievable and time after time Ramirez would deliver big hits to help win games.

Yes, the legacy of Manny Ramirez has deeply been tarnished. Then again, he's served more time than Canseco, McGwire, Bonds, Rodriguez, Sosa, and Clemens combined. Time and time again you hear people talk about asterisks and how these players cheated the game.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of players in Major League Baseball made a decision to use drugs in order to enhance their performance ability on the field. At the same time many baseball writers strongly agree that if you've test positive for performance-enhancing drugs or steroids, you have no business being in the Hall-of-Fame.

Looking back, MLB didn't crack down on steroids early enough. Something wasn't right with the game, but one thing steroids sure did was raise attendance and popularity in the game of baseball. People love to see home runs flying out of the ballpark or pitchers dominating game in and game out.

Who knows if a player that has admitted or tested positive to steroids will ever be voted in to the Hall-of-Fame. It probably won't happen and whether you agree or disagree with that statement, it's the message baseball writers have set going forward.

Ramirez knows what he has to go out and do now. Delivering a World Series title to the L.A. Dodgers organization would only salvage part of the damage he's done to his reputation around the league.

Manny Ramirez wore out his welcome when he demanded to be traded out of Boston, and his long offseason contract negotiations were just another saga of Manny-being-Manny.  Now he's coming back from the worst possible scenario: a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.

There's going to be a lot of cheers and boos when he steps up at-bat, mixed emotions from baseball fans all over the country. In the end, it's going to matter what he does in October. If he comes back and is a bust, this will be the end of a career for one of the most clutch hitters ever in the game of baseball.

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