By Jon Lane
Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez, suspended today for 50 games for violating baseball’s drug policy, issued this statement through the MLB Players’ Association:
“Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. 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.
“I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I’m sorry about this whole situation.”
Much more on this developing story later. It’ll be interesting to find out if this medication was not a steroid whether that removes some of the sting. Nevertheless this is the second major drug revelation since February, when Selena Roberts broke the story of Alex Rodriguez taking steroids while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. Like A-Rod, Ramirez is a lighting rod known for his immense talent along with idiosyncrasies and mannerisms that make you shake your head. From Los Angeles, to New York, to Boston and all around the game, people will be talking about this.