Off Base
Manny Being Barry

May 7, 2009, 2:30 p.m. That's my initial reaction, anyway. Manny being Barry, or Manny being Alex. Take your pick.

Admittedly, it’s an emotional, knee-jerk reaction. This is how I feel right now, in my gut, but in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll be changing my mind anytime soon. If anything, after it sinks in, I’ll be more inclined to rip Manny a new one than I am at this sitting.

Sure, Manny had a doctor. And Alex had a cousin. Barry had a trainer, a chemist, a hack unlicensed surgeon, a back-full of acne and grossly enlarged feet. And Paul Byrd had an online dentist, for crying out loud.

But we need to be objective here. It doesn't matter that Manny is our guy, our player. If anything, it’s more important for us to take the opposite position. We can’t rail on Bonds and Sosa and McGwire, et al., and leave Ramirez alone. We just can’t.

San Francisco, we are not. This is Los Angeles. Manny is a Dodger. It’s right for him to be held to a higher standard. The Giants enabled Barry for years, their heads in the sand the entire time. The pioneering Dodgers simply cannot do the same.

They ought to set a precedent that no other club in a similar situation has done or would dare do. Forget the suspension. That’s small stuff, and it’s Major League Baseball-imposed anyway. Nothing to do with Dodgers decision making.

The club should release their best player. Over and done with. Remember the “character” thing from a couple of years ago? Well, this is a character issue, if ever there was one, so let’s have it, and right now.

Ramirez should be gone, and without a penny of what’s left on his deal in the offing. The damage he’s done to the club is incalculable. Let Scott Boras and the player’s union go ape-wire all they want. Let them scream from the high-heavens. Let them file lawsuits up the yin yang. “Knock yourselves out,” the Dodgers should say. “Bite me,” the Dodgers should say. “We’ll see you in court, bleepers,” the Dodgers should say.

Manny is scum until we hear otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent. Close “The Dodgers Way to Play Baseball” book and throw it at him. Better yet, have Jonathan Broxton throw it at him.

Ramirez cheated, he did it on purpose, with full knowledge of what he was doing and what it could mean to the big picture, he was incredibly stupid in doing so, and selfish in the extreme. There are zero excuses.

If a doctor is produced who falls on his sword for the guy, well, we’ll see. But you know what, that would be even more earth-shattering news than Manny testing positive, which if you think about it, is the 911 of Dodger baseball. It’s the biggest, darkest news day in Dodgertown since the Sandy Koufax retirement press conference in 1966. Except, on that day, arthritis was the bad guy. Now it’s Manny.

The club had us in a luxury box last night, presumably or perhaps while all hell was breaking loose within in the bowels of Dodger Stadium. (I followed up with Communications VP, Josh Rawitch today, and asked him if he knew about Manny while he was meeting with us, and he responded quickly, on the record, that he didn’t. Which is good enough for me.)

All the bloggers were invited, and many of them showed up. "Blogger Night," they called it, and a good time was had by all. Truly, it was fun. Cool even.

Some of scribes tried to act like "regular" writers slash journalists (whether we are or not is another story), others just bled blue. And either is fine.

(And by the way, a shout-out to the guys at, my new favorite of the publications, (besides this one, of course). It’s great writing, and they’re simply prolific with the volume of material and their quick response to things as they come up – quicker than I can be, by far.)

It was mostly straightforward presentation by the Dodgers public relations staff, a welcoming of the Los Angeles Internet sports media to and by as media-savvy an organization as there is sports. They made us feel important, part of, and told us we were in the “forefront,” which of course, we took as a complement.

They talked about how, with the fast-changing landscape within the media, they felt compelled to respond to that change, and so, we’re happy to have you at Dodger Stadium, bloggers. Let us know what we can do to help. You want in the press box; no problem.

Meet and greet with Ned Colletti. I had a question on the tip of my tongue ready to go, about whether or not the Dodgers would shy away from signing a previously PED-using suspended player, if an opportunity arose. Since they’d already brought in Guillermo Mota and Gary Bennett, I decided it was one of those questions that was really more of a statement, so I shelved it and asked about Andruw Jones instead. Little did I know.

Anyway, I’m incredibly exhausted and bummed about Manny. Just completely spent. I wouldn’t want to be a Dodgers press person on this day, that’s for sure. It’s not going to be fun around there for quite sometime.

And the season is tainted pretty much no matter what. Some sort of asterisk will be applied to the 2009 Dodgers, independent of everything that occurs from here on out.

If the club were to move forward without Manny, as I’ve suggested, and they went ahead and won a championship anyway…well, that would be some story. That would a Hollywood-style, very much non-Mannywood-style tear-jerker, and one I’d love to see.

Remember, glove conquers all….







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