I do not like Manny Ramirez.
I think he’s lazy. I don’t like his persona while playing the game. He’s greedy in my opinion. And now, he’s a cheater.
Two weeks ago, Manny and the Dodgers came to Coors Field to take on the Rockies. I had the privilege of sitting in the left field bleachers, directly behind Manny’s defensive position. I enjoyed nine innings of heckling the slugger and cheered thoroughly after each of his three strikeouts.
Ramirez is a great hitter. He is the quintessential slugger, but he is far from what a baseball player should be.
Despite my dissatisfaction with Ramirez, I was not one of the hundreds, probably thousands of gleeful anti-Manny baseball fans Thursday morning.
In February, during the wake of the A-Roid incident, I wrote a piece in which I hoped for baseball innocence. I said it’s the only way for baseball to get over the infamous “steroid era.”
I’m getting pretty tired of the “I didn’t know what I was putting in my body” excuses. We know you’re stupid, Manny, but are you really that naïve?
Although I don’t believe Manny, nor any other suspected users (Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, etc.), is innocent, it’s sad that all of the top players are ruining the great game of baseball–our nation’s pastime.
These players are tarnishing the game and hurting the reputation of all other players. When players perform well, they will no longer be innocent until proven guilty, but instead guilty until proven innocent.
Despite my stance against Manny, I was not excited to hear the breaking news Thursday morning.
Indeed, today is a sad day for baseball.
This article is also featured on Bleacher Report.
In the United States of America, citizens have lived by the freedom of being innocent until proven guilty. In the baseball world, however, players have recently been accused by the fans and media before they have actually been proven guilty.
Do I blame the fans and the media? No.
Am I one of those people who prematurely writes these players off? Yes.
But with my pure love and passion for the game of baseball, it is my sincerest hope that evidence is overturned and these players can move on with their lives and careers.
Obviously, the likelihood of this is slim.
Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the fans booing Barry Bonds as he closed in on Hank Aaron’s home run record.
I turned against Roger Clemens last spring when he appeared to lie in court. I was heartbroken to see that in the summer of 1998, the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa home run race could have been a fraud.
Honesty is the best policy. I applaud players like Andy Pettitte who came clean, even if it wasn’t until after he had tested positive. Alex Rodriguez admitted to his faults, but some believe that he is still hiding additional information.
Yet, in order for baseball to get over this “steroid era,” the players need to be proven innocent.
Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? Possibly.
But a fan has to have hope.
Hope to move on from this era and get past tainted Hall of Fame numbers and records with asterisks.
Hope to restore America’s Pastime.
Hope to bring fans back to the true game they love.
Call me ignorant, but I’m crossing my fingers for innocence.