Ramirez strikes out
Who knew that "Manny being Manny," extended beyond being a petulant boob?
Our sister paper, the Los Angeles Times, broke today's story about Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez being suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned substance.
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me," Ramirez said in a statement issued by the players' union.
"Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons."
The suspension starts tonight in a home game against the Washington Nationals and ends July 3. The pharmacological gaffe will cost Manny $7.7 million of his $25 million paycheck this season.
It took Manny less than two months since signing a new two-year, $45-million contract to kick his bosses and teammates in the teeth.
The Red Sox, who replaced Manny with Jason Bay and seem none the worse for wear, knew when to get out. Bay is hitting .311 with seven home runs and has a .462 on-base percentage and .622 slugging percentage. He's a better defensive player and good in the clubhouse.
After getting several months of tranquility last season after Manny's coast-to-coast trade, the Dodgers now know what it's like to have a hitting machine that doesn't care what the target is.
The team will have to replace its best offensive player -- six homes runs, .348 average, .492 on-base percentage and .641 slugging percentage -- with promoted Triple-A outfielder Xavier Paul.
And who, besides Red Sox general Manager Theo Epstein, gets the last laugh?
Once again, it's that one-man truth squad, Jose Canseco.
Last month Canseco said Ramirez's name "is most likely, 90%" on a list of 104 players that failed a drug test in 2003. The players were given anonymity in return for taking tests; only Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been identified among that group.
When Times columnist Kurt Streeter relayed Canseco's remarks to him, Ramirez laughed.
"I got no comment, nothing to say about that," Ramirez told Streeter. "What can I say? I don't even know the guy."
You don't have to say anything, Manny. Just go away.