Manny Ramirez and Steroids

As you may have read before, I was supposed to write up a little story about Manny Ramirez.  But, since the weather was beautiful all weekend, I was rarely around a computer.  Also, Weller summed it up pretty well with his post:  Manny was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance.  That substance was a female fertility drug, which caused all the message boards to light up with some pretty funny jokes.

So, instead of talking about Manny’s suspension and what it means to the Dodgers, I’m going to try and take a different route.  ESPN has covered just about every other possible angle on this anyway.  So here goes:

What does Manny’s suspension mean for all the other hitters in the Steroid Era?

I’ve heard people say that they weren’t surprised when Manny was suspended.  I’ve heard people say they were shocked when word came down.  I fall into the latter category.  I’ve never met Manny and I probably never will, but from his on field antics I never gathered that he would care enough to actually try and cheat.  I mean, the guy has his own highlight real of idiotic plays.  He had been talked about as one of the greatest hitters of all time.  He didn’t need them.   That’s the thought process behind writing this post.

Most of us remember Rafael Palmeiro’s big lie in front of Congress:

“I have never used steroids.  Period,” he said as he wagged his finger at the Congressmen.

As I watched, I kind of wondered why Palmeiro was there.  Of all the people in baseball, I knew better than to think he’d done steroids.  Obviously, I was wrong.  It was at the point that I realized that I really could never be 100% sure about anyone.  Just in case I had forgotten, Manny reassured me that was the case.  Now I’m starting to question the sure-fire Hall of Famers a little closer than I was before.  Let’s try and take a look at a few of those players who are currently active.

Chipper Jones – This one is a little close to my heart, since I’m a Braves fan.  I feel like Chipper is a pretty easy selection to the HoF.  He sports at .310 career average with 411 homers and 2300+ hits.  He won an MVP in 1999 and has been one of those most feared hitters in baseball throughout his career.  The power numbers have decreased at a rate which you would expect, also.

Jones has been pretty outspoken about the whole steroid controversy.  When Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th homer, Jones said that Jose Canseco deserved some credit for this steroid knowledge and that A-Rod would be hounded by steroid questions throughout his career.  He then boycotted the New York media after they blew the comments out of proportion.

I don’t believe Chipper did steroids.  Let’s move on.

Ken Griffey Jr. – Junior is an even easier HoF call.  I don’t need to make his case, but I’ll point out some of the vital stats anyway:  613 homers, Gold Gloves from 1990-99, 50 homers twice.  I’ll quit, you get the idea.

Jason Whitlock wrote this article just three days ago.  Whitlock calls him the last great steroid-fee player.  Even though Griffey played through the middle of the Steroid Era, even though 2/3 of the three-headed attack of Griffey, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire have been outed for steroids, Griffey has remained above it.  I’m not sure why he gets a pass on this and isn’t scrutinized more, but I don’t want to be the one to do it.  I love Griffey.  I don’t think he did steroids.  Whitlock doesn’t think he did steroids.  That’s good enough for me.

Albert Pujols – It may be a little bit early to declare Pujols a Hall of Famer, but I’m going to do it anyway.  In 9 seasons, his average 162 line looks like this: .334/42/129.  That’s eye-popping.

When the dreaded Mitchell Report was coming out, Pujols’ name was incorrectly leaked as being one of the names.  He was understandably not amused by this.  Some of the people in the comment section of that article don’t agree with me, but then again, they’re probably Cubs fans.  There have been no real dips in his production and nothing that would indicate to me that he took steroids.  I think he’s just that good of a hitter.

As my friend who is a Cardinals’ fan recently told me, “I don’t know what I’d do if Pujols took steroids.  Probably quit watching baseball.”

I was going to do five players, but I’m tired and I want to go to bed.  Maybe I’ll go back and take a more in-depth look at players like Carlos Beltran, Vlad Guerrero and David Ortiz.  I don’t know if they’re all sure-fire HoFs, (Guerrero is, Beltran could be, and Ortiz is not) they’d probably be more intersting careers to look at, namely Ortiz.

I’ll leave you with this video of Manny Ramirez.  Skip ahead to 0:55 and watch from there.

7 Responses

  1. What are your thoughts on Carlos Delgado?

    • Delgado is an interesting case. Apparently he could hit a ball 400+ when he was like 14, so he’s got some serious natural power. However, he did hit almost 40 homers last year and he’s about 38. He’s a tough case, but as you can tell, I tend to give players the benefit of the doubt.

  2. Delgado is an interesting case

  3. I’m fairly sick to my stomach that a very bright baseball fan left the single greatest hitter of the generation and possibly of all-time off of his list.

    Frank Thomas

    I initially thought Manny was possibly better then Frakn because of Frank’s injuries slowing his career and deeply depreciating his career numbers, but with this latest event concerning Manny – the only real remotely close Player is Pujols and his name has already been tossed into the mix a little.

    For those of you who fail to comprehend or realize the truth to what I am saying. This is for you.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/12/SPG67HMSPS1.DTL

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=behrens/060925

    A little blip from one of those articles for those who may be unwilling to read them:

    “”But here’s the thing: Frank’s peak years actually had no precedent. Between 1991 and 1997, he became the only player ever to score 100 runs, drive in 100, hit 20 or more homers, draw 100 walks, and bat .300 for seven consecutive seasons. His lowest on-base percentage during those seasons was .426. He finished among the top 10 in American League MVP voting each season, winning the award in 1993 and 1994. He’s currently 11th on the all-time OPS list (on-base plus slugging), and he looks like a safe bet to pass 500 home runs sometime early next season (and he’s talking 600). Not too shabby.”

    Don’t forget he did that unmatched streak while playing only 115 games in the strike season. He may have hit 70 that year.

    O ya – and he spoke up for the need for testing cuz he knew he was better then everyone that was cheating and stealing his mvps.

  4. Go Hawks! Best uni’s in sports Bry. Ask your favorite Sedin sister.

    • LeBron just swept the Hawks.

  5. I was amazed when I heard how many millions of dollars Manny stands to lose by not playing 50 games; this mistake is costing him a gigantic fortune

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