May 7, 2009

Sooz's View: Baseball you're close to losing me (Thanks Manny)

By now most of you heard Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Starting tonight, he will be suspended for 50 games and could return as early as July 3.

I thought nothing would surprise me in this steroid-fueled era. This did.

I also hoped we were getting past it. Sure, we heard about the players that did it in the early part of the decade, but I really, really thought we were moving on.

So, now one of baseball’s most prolific players, a guy who has been called one of the greatest players of all time, is apparently a cheater. This happens when we were supposed to be getting past the “steroid era.”

Yesterday, I bought two blasters of UDx because they were half off. I wish I could return them.
Manny is one of the best players in the game. Now, apparently a cheat.

Alex Rodriguez is one of the best players in the game. He’s a cheat.

And, Albert Pujols wants me to believe in him.

Whom can we believe in?

Depending on what Ramirez’s reasons (or excuse) this news could be as devastating as the 1994 strike. Baseball lost fans, but coincidentally it was the steroid-infused home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa that brought them back. The same thing could send them packing.

This year, I felt a renewed love for baseball. It waned the last few years. The last time I felt energized about baseball was 2005. I would drive two hours to Yankee Stadium every other weekend. I would go to Philadelphia to watch any team.

This year I watched the Yankees and found when my off days coincided with home games. I looked at Washington and Baltimore's schedules to find more games to attend. I went to Citi Field because I wanted to get in as much baseball as I can. I even drove to Boston, which is six hours away, for a baseball game.

So baseball, you’re the cheat.


  1. Keep your chin up. Baseball doesn't cheat. Just like in the rest of life, people cheat. Those people need to pay the consequences so others don't follow their example. A-rod, Manny, Sammy --- good bye. The other problem is that we begin to doubt all of the rest. Albert --- just as in life, those who are suspicious-looking are watched more closely. If you have nothing to hide, then you'll be all right. Sooz --- keep saying it, somebody is listening.

  2. Maybe baseball isn't the cheat. But what about the people running it? The people at the top from way down to the bottom have a hand in this.

    Apprently the positive result for Manny was due to a medicine he was taking for a personal matter. I'll see how this effects my view on the matter.

  3. Sooz, he says it wasn't his fault YET doesn't want to fight the suspension.


  4. Maybe he is using these as mental health days.

  5. In a coarse culture filled with OTC drugs, promoting consumption of everything from supplements to botox to Red Bull, with little media emphasis on decency or morality but rather on superficial appearance and celebrity and borderline illiteracy, is this really surprising? It's just another chip-away at truth and justice. Unfortunately, it IS now the American way. Corporate hijinks rule. And my chin is most definitely not UP.

  6. I totally agree. The problem exists from top to bottom. It's a bottom line issue, instead of a people issue. If the owners and executives were penalized heavily (monetarily) when one of their players is caught, things may change. But, just like banks, the baseball owners are too powerful. The recession doesn't seem to be affecting player salaries. It is the fans who need to speak up by not opening their pocketbooks as widely. But, the downside is that it affects people who are trying to make a living on baseball cards and such. Items can lose their value based on the actions of the players. I think the situation as a whole is getting better, but not nearly fast enough.

  7. i'm changing my stance of the only people who care about steriods/performance enhancers are the media/writers to the only people that care about steroids/performance enhancers are the the media/writers and the hobby. who cares? i don't. i can't wait 'til they catch pujols, then maybe everyone will realize that it's the evolution of the game and nothing more... is anyone gonna stop going to games?? i dare myself.

  8. sorry 'bout the mini rant, i hate sports writers. just when i thought it couldn't get any more annoying with the whole brett favre thing...

  9. You do know that I am a sportswriter?

    However, I'm not looking at it through a sportswriter's eyes. I'm looking at this as someone who loves baseball. There were years I went to over 60 games in a season, which had nothing to do with work, because I love the game so much.

    I doubt Darwin would agree with the idea that taking drugs has to do with evolution.

  10. sorry sooz. old sportswriters who vote for the HOF.

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  12. it's a stretch, but billions of people wouldn't be alive today without modern medicine (including drugs). that being said, i do not condone the use of "steroids" at all, and the fine line that exsists between different types of "performance enhancers" needs to be re-evaluated. it's probably already been argued, but wouldn't lasik eye surgery enhance your performance as a pro athlete?

  13. First- until I have proof not to believe Albert, I do. I need something to hold onto at this point.

    Second- On ESPN earlier there was a reporter for the L.A. Times who said that people should never believe what he said because he might as well have said his cousin brought him stuff from the Dominican and he had no idea what he was doing. No doctor should knowingly have given him whatever it was.

    Third- If the medication was really just because the only wood he was getting was grabbing his bat for baseball, well this is going to be hilarious. And furthermore, if it is just that, why isn't he appealing the suspension? I understand it might not matter, but if you believe you were given medication that legitimately you didn't know had this substance why not appeal and have that doctor questioned, etc.

    Finally, this is just becoming too commonplace in baseball these days. I don't know who to blame be it baseball, Selig, the MLBPA, the players, etc. What I do know is that with all of this going on it really makes me wonder what we are even paying attention to baseball for. I still love baseball, always will but there has to be more to this whole thing.

    P.S. This won't hinder my collecting.

  14. I wish they would all come clean. Do us all a favor and quit insulting our intelligence. If its one thing about us americans we can be very forgiving. We all make mistakes. Its a very competitive world.