Tagged: Manny Ramirez

The Pulse of New York

Schilling speaks out, A-Rod busting out

By Jon Lane
Never at a loss for words, the recently retired Curt Schilling spoke out against steroid users this week on Sirius XM’s “Mad Dog Unleashed.” Here are excerpts of the transcript passed on by SIRIUS XM:

Chris Russo: “If you had a vote, if you were a writer, Curt, would you put A-Rod, [Roger] Clemens, [Barry] Bonds in the Hall of Fame?”

Schilling: “No, none of them.”

Russo: “Really?  Nobody?  How about A-Rod who’s got nine years left to recover and do a decent job?”

Schilling: “No.  No.”

Russo: “Manny [Ramirez]?”

Schilling: “No, no, none of them.”

Russo: “Do you think it takes away a little bit from the Red Sox’ championship in ’04?”

Schilling: “Listen, if you’re going to be one of those guys who thinks there is a team in the last 15 years that has played with 25 clean guys for 162 games, you’re lying to yourself.”

The Hall of Fame merits of Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod and Ramirez will be debated endlessly. I choose to react to this by staying in the now. A-Rod and Ramirez were caught and fessed up, and everyone has moved on. Ramirez returns to the Dodgers and “Mannywood” tomorrow, while Rodriguez continued his awesome run over the past week in Wednesday’s win over the Mariners.

Creative analogy from Peter Abraham: “Alex has pulled a Hulk Hogan in the last seven games. He was down and
out, sprawled on the canvas with the referee about to count to three. Then, suddenly, he was up and now the American League is about to get thrown around the ring before A-Rod drops the leg on them.”

Incidentally, Hogan admitted to using steroids in court, but that wasn’t the intent of the comparison. Those who followed WWE (nee the WWF) in the 1980s remember Hogan’s gimmick all too well. Neither 450-pound men jumping on his prone body nor the dreaded sleeper hold would defeat the Hulkster. He’d kick out, rise to his knees, and feeding off his frenzied “Hulkamanics” was suddenly impervious to pain. He’d take a few punches, point as his doomed opponent, connect with a few of his own, toss him against the ropes, land a big boot to the face, and drop the leg for the 1-2-3.

Those were the days …

Seriously, Rodriguez has been unbelievable since those two days of rest. One June 24 in Atlanta, after his frst two at-bats, A-Rod was in a 1-for-27 rut and batting .204, and pundits were quick to pounce on the angle that at age 33 (he turns 34 later this month) he was in a sudden decline.

Just like that, Rodriguez is 10 for his last 21 with four homers and 13 RBIs, spearheading the Yankees’ current seven-game winning streak. His mere presence in the lineup alone kick-started the Yankees. His production is taking them to new heights.

The Pulse of New York

Every Tuesday, YES Blog takes the pulse of New York on the hottest
topics being talked about right now in the world of sports. What’s your
take on the below issues?

What should Manny Ramirez do if he is voted into the All-Star Game?(polling)

Where will Joba Chamberlain finish the season?(trends)

Who will Eli Manning miss more this season?(poll)

Who will win the NBA Championship?(poll)

Who will win the Stanley Cup?(survey software)

The Pulse of New York

Adventures in Mannyland

manny_250_050809.jpgBy Jon Lane
Today on YESNetwork.com, reaction to the suspension of Manny Ramirez:

“Manny being Manny” reached a whole new level, writes Chris Shearn.

The latest Manny saga is disgusting and abhorrent to baseball, writes Steven Goldman.

Alex Rodriguez should be thankful for Manny’s logic-defying explanation, writes Kimberly Jones.

My hope, and I’m still holding out hope, is that players are finally scared straight into not doing anything so stupid.

Sadly, there was neither shock, nor awe, only sadness and indifference. Because Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez will now be judged against their recent (or distant) past, this will not go away and people will continue to bring this up.

I won’t be one of them.

A-Rod returns tonight and that’s great, because he’s going to give the Yankees a big boost. Tabloid reporters have had a feast with tales of his tomfoolery, narcissism, steroid use admission and Selena Roberts’ new book. Like him or not, the truth is he has 553 career home runs, a career .306 average, owns three MVP awards and is the Yankees’ record holder for most homers by a right-handed hitter (54).  He will provide Mark Teixeira protection and the lineup is another step closer to becoming a circular threat. Teixeira needs Rodriguez behind him, anything to get him going, because right now, he’s batting .198 and he stinks.

Tonight in Baltimore will be a circus with inquiring minds asking all questions A-Rod, but here’s hoping that like yesterday, Manny’s idiocy will keep the focus to baseball. Rodriguez is peculiar, but he’s one of the best to play the game and his entire body of work cannot be judged on the three seasons spent in Texas in which he admitted steroid use. Starting tonight, it’s A-Rod’s chance to be a true impact player before judges and juries: the fans.

Thanks to Manny Ramirez, baseball fans have a new punching bag. That alone is a good start.

Maybe players will finally be scared straight

manny_250_050609.jpgBy Jon Lane
Maybe the suspension of Manny Ramirez is the best thing for the Yankees in some twisted, convoluted way. As Peter Abraham notes, the news broke one day before Alex Rodriguez makes his season debut. A lot of the heat is off of A-Rod – for now – and this topic is expected to share space with life as a sub-.500 team in the Yankees clubhouse before tonight’s game.

Ramirez said in a statement that he saw a physician for a personal health issue who gave him a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay. Multiple reports have stated that it’s an agent “customarily used for performance enhancing” and neither a steroid nor human growth hormone. Too many players are pointing fingers and not accepting blame. If you’re given a prescription for an unknown drug, or visit your local GMC for some strange supplement, why on earth do you assume – especially in this day and age – that it’s perfectly okay? What’s so hard about seeing your team physician and taking it up with the office of Major League Baseball to receive a second and third opinion?

Manny being Manny just took itself to an entirely different level, writes Chris Shearn.

Baseball’s new drug policy can improve, but it’s good and it’s tough. Phillies reliever J.C. Romero was given the benefit of the doubt when MLB never said he tried to cheat, yet he was ruled guilty of “negligence” and issued Strike 1. Here’s hoping players are finally scared straight into taking more responsibility for what they put in their bodies. A little accountability helps too. A-Rod’s explanation may have been shady, but he manned up and said, “I did it” without any excuse.

As far as the Dodgers, 21-8, off to their best 29-game start since 1983 and owners of a new record for consecutive home wins to begin a season (13), it’ll be easy to write them off. Don’t even think about it, third base coach Larry Bowa told Colin Cowherd today on ESPN Radio. Bowa looks at this as a challenge to his young players tired of hearing the Dodgers are winning because of Manny. Joe Torre’s Dodgers feature rising stars Andre Either and Matt Kemp in the outfield, and James Loney at first base. Veteran Juan Pierre slides into Ramirez’s spot in left field. Chad Billingsley (5-0, 2.21 ERA) anchors a rotation with promise (Clayton Kershaw), veteran stability (Randy Wolf) and supported by a lockdown closer (Jonathan Broxton).

And don’t forget the Torre effect. He’s the right guy to handle this crisis. Anyone who’s followed the Yankees since 1996 knows how Torre cemented his reputation.

“It’s time for some of our young kids to grow up now,” Bowa said.
3:03 p.m.
Two sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada that the drug used by Ramirez is HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a women’s fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is, reports the duo, similar to Clomid, the drug Bonds, Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO.Yahoo! Health explains that HCG is used to cause ovulation and to treat infertility in women, and to increase sperm count in men.

The operative words are “steroid cycle.”

“It’s not infrequently part of the mix of the poly-drug approach to doping,” Dr. Gary Wadler, chairman of the committee that determines the banned-substances list for the World Anti-Doping Agency, told The Associated Press. “It typically is used most when people are coming off a cycle to restore to normal biophysiological feedback mechanisms.”


At least until first pitch, most of the focus is off another terrible loss from the Yankees and how they did nothing against Andy Sonnanstine, off whom opponents were hitting .366 and owned a 1-3 record with a 6.75 ERA. Blame the bullpen all you want; Phil Coke made one bad pitch, and Edwar Ramirez and Jonathan Albaladejo did their jobs. Second-guess Joe Girardi about not sending Mariano Rivera out for the 10th inning. But this is a problem which becomes more insidious with every loss: The Yankees went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and are 4-for-32 (.125) during their four-game losing streak. This team has showed little fire and passion, along with the obvious knack of failing in the clutch, but you have to love the mettle A.J. Burnett showed after the game.

“When it clicks, it will be ridiculous,” Burnett said. “When it clicks, it will be fun to watch.”


Derek Jeter

“I’m still surprised. It’s not like you assume everybody’s doing it so you’re still surprised when you hear about it.
“It doesn’t look good. It seems like it’s a never-ending thing. That’s what it seems like as of late. So you want to put it behind you and then you have something like this come up.”
Mark Teixeira
“I don’t like to give too much reaction until more details are out there. It’s just disappointing that it happened.
“I can only speak for myself. There’s no resentment because I can sleep really good at night and at the end of my career I can look my kids in the eyes and say I [kept clean].
“IWe’ve done a lot. Ever since 2004, I’ve been at the union meetings talking about what we can do. It’s almost every year like we try to test more and have it more strict. That’s the only thing we can do.”
Joe Girardi
“I don’t have all the specifics and I don’t know if we’ll ever get all the specifics. But the commissioner has vowed to crack down. The rules are very stringent and we’re seen another guy suspended 50 games.”
Johnny Damon
“I’m just surprised somewhat but everything that comes out with baseball it seems like it’s mostly negative stories and unfortunately, Manny’s one of them, a former teammate of mine and it’s disappointing to hear.

“This game has been able to withstand the test of time and this game has been able to I believe thrive so far this year. This is another black cloud and hopefully we can weed all this stuff out of the game in the upcoming years. Unfortunately, some very good baseball players have to go down with it.
“I think Manny’s going to be the one that can answer that the best. That’s all I have to say about that, I don’t know. These guys want to be the best and to us they did look like the best and now they’re paying for it.”

Statement from Manny Ramirez

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.