Manny Being Manny, Being Suspended
The fallout from the suspension of Manny Ramirez is coming hard and fast now.
Peter Gammons was on television this morning, telling everyone that he fully believed that Manny was not taking steroids, that the drug he has been suspended for was for a personal issue. Wait. Peter Gammons kissing the ass of a player from his beloved Red Sox? Never!
Of course, we have heard Manny linked to steroids somewhere before, but I just can't quite recall where... Oh yeah, he's another one of the guys that Jose Canseco named, just not too long ago.
You know what's really sad about all of this? Somehow, I'm actually more comfortable taking the word of Jose Canseco than I am Peter Gammons. Gammons is a Hall-of-Fame baseball writer, one of the most respected voices in the game, yet I don't buy what he's selling. Canseco, on the other hand, is, well, Jose Canseco, yet he has become the most credible man in the game when it comes to matter of performance-enhancing drugs. Sad times we're living in.
Meanwhile, T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada (who you may remember as one of the writers of Game of Shadows, the book that broke Barry Bonds' steroid use down so very effectively), both of ESPN, have reported that they've been told by sources that the drug Manny was busted for is something called HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. It's a female fertility drug often used by male steroid users to jump start the body's natural testosterone production while cycling off the 'roids. You know, in order to avoid looking too much like Ricardo Montalban in The Wrath of Khan.
And over at Deadspin, AJ Daulerio has a curious tale of woe to tell you, about how he almost broke this story months ago. But for some problems with a packing label, we might very well have gotten a totally different version of this story coming out.
So what do I think? Oh, I have no idea just yet. Do I believe the Hall-of-Fame journalist, the 'roid king of Oakland, the formerly jailed writer, or the current lord of sports blogdom?
Personally, I think Manny probably did it. On the other hand, if there's one player in all of baseball that I could see taking something without having any idea what the effects could be, or what kind of trouble he could get into, or even why he's supposed to be taking whatever it is in the first place, Manny Ramirez is probably the guy. So, you know, maybe he really is just kind of an idiot.
Then again, probably not. Too much smoke, from too many quarters that we've learned not to doubt. I think there's a fire here.