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Monday, June 01, 2009

Gammons On Manny's Suspension

Now Ramirez's All-Star votes have obscured the Dodgers' successes, such as James Loney's RBI total or The Juan Pierre .400. Fans have the right to vote for Ramirez, and doing so is not a mandate on performance-enhancing drugs, or whether we will ever know exactly what he took, or why. But the best thing for Ramirez is to respectfully decline the honor if he is voted onto the team. He has earned more than $200 million playing baseball, and the sport doesn't need what should be a feel-good promotional exhibition turned into another forum on the steroids era when, in fact, Ramirez's suspension seems to affirm Bud Selig's testing policy.
I've been digging and digging for this and so far can't find it, but yesterday during ESPN's broadcast of the Game of the Week, Ken Rosenthal pointed out that participation in the All-Star game is dictated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement regardless of suspensions.
The best thing for Ramirez is to come back and simply let his skills speak for themselves. If he helps the Dodgers get to the World Series for the first time since Clayton Kershaw was 7 months old, he will be absolved in MannyLand. However, if he holds some forced mea culpa news conference as he prepares to return to the lineup, he will say something that will take on a Roger Clemens sound bite life of its own and be a further distraction from what he is already trying to put behind him.
So absolution is strictly a feature of wins and losses? I wonder if Barry Bonds gets that line...

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