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Saturday, April 9, 2011

For Players Like "Man-Ram", It's Hard to say No.... to drugs...

I give mostly everyone the benefit of the doubt.  That even includes a player like Manny Ramirez, probably one of the most talked-about MLB players right now.  His stories mostly center on how he shouldn't be allowed to be a Hall-of-Famer(There's several years ahead of debate before this happens) or how he wasn't one of the best athletes because of "PED's".  But without him or many others, baseball probably wouldn't be the same.  I'm not saying I agree with players who do these types of drugs, but I'm also not saying that we should banish all these guys as well.  We need to look deeper into the issues and see what the cause or issues of why these players do these drugs.  We also need to realize that everyone's life has issues, its what we need to see later by these players, about how we should judge them.  There's many crimes that should be not forgiven, but sometimes "okay" people do stupid things, I know i have, have you?

The "Man-Ram" no doubt was a great baseball player.  Was it all because he did perfromance enhancing drugs(PED's)?  I do believe it does help, no doubt, but you still have to have the ability to swing and hit a changeup, slider, fastball, etc.  Manny's career achievements are amazing, especially when you look at his Post-Season stats.  The guy ranks #1 in post-season homeruns with 29 and #1 in post-season RBI's with 78.  He also is second only to Lou Gherig in career Grand-Slams with 22.  He along with his teammates, brought the Boston RedSox a World series Championship, something Boston fans can only thank him for, whether you dislike him or not.  His career achievements are Hall of Fame material, but so are Mark McGwire's, Bond's, Palmerio's, and others who seem to get the Lifetime Ban from the Hall of Fame based on their problems with PED's. 

Why do these great athletes fall to to these PED's?  Only they know and only they can personally tell you.  I offer any of these great athlete's the chance to be interviewed by me with an open forum.  One that would acknowledge their talent and give them the opportunity to be appreciated but inform others of why they did what they did.  I'm sure they would personally decline or never be informed of the opportunity, but a message thru my twitter "nickauge" gives you the opportunity. 

With Ramirez's recent retirement rather than face a second suspension, I'm sure he was ashamed of what he did and decided to retire instead of facing the scrutiny of reporters that would report on his drug failure rather than what he has achieved for himself.  As a MLB fan, I admired Ramirez's talent.  But as an opposing fan of team's, I feared Ramirez and disliked him.  I don't know much of Ramirez's character other than what was reported and how people didn't think have a high public opinion of his behavior.  Maybe true, maybe not... I've never had the chance to meet him to make my own personal opinion.  Did some people base their opinion's of Ramirez based on them being a Yankees fan?  Im sure there are some.  Do some RedSox fans now laugh and "bash" Ramirez?  I'm sure there are some.  But did many RedSox fans also love Ramirez at some time for what he accomplished on the field and in the World Series?  Again, I'm sure there are some.

Players of the past seem to hate these players using PED's.  I get it and I understand. None of those players are happy of players making millions of dollars and breaking their records.  They feel like they are tarnishing the game's pasttime.  I do understand that too.  But I think I understand some of these guys of today thinking too.

Nobody grows up playing baseball and idolizes being that of Bobby Dernier or Odibe McDowell(two guys I loved when growing up), but do people that just turned 18 remember them?  People grow up idolizing the players that hit homeruns, pitch great games every fifth outing, or put solid numbers year after year.  Unless your a fan of a team, many don't remember the Steve Buechele's, Chris Sabo's, Kevin Mitchell's, Keith Moreland's, and Carney Lansford's of MLB.  We remember the guy's who put up numbers and had hefty contracts worth millions and millions over years.

So do these player's sometimes feel they have to do whatever it takes to be on top, to guarantee they get that next big contract?  Do we hold these players so high and accountable for their team' success, that sometimes they do "stupid" stuff to get ahead?  There's many of us, who don't play baseball, who do stupid stuff to get-ahead, or to feel like they are part of the "in-crowd".  I'm not agreeing with any of it, I just wonder if we shouldn't look at our own life before we judge others.  I know many will say they haven't ever done anything to be better or get ahead or get there faster, but at sometime we all made a "un-perfect judgemental error".  It may have cost us opportunities in life, but what we learn from those mistakes after the "game" is over, is how we should be judged.  People like Ramirez, it's probably hard to say no to PED's when it may make him less of a ball-player for the season or cost him his next contract of millions of dollars.  It's not that I agree with them, it's that I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt to make corrections to their life after sports and become a better person.  That should be the ultimate goal for anyone who makes a mistake, ignore the "hate" and become a better person.

For Ramirez, he may miss out on the MLB Hall-of-fame, but he always can strive to be in "life's-hall-of-fame".  To that, I hope he hits a home-run.


  1. Obviously, we all recognize the big names and hear about the big name contracts. But it's the players that will not be Hall-of-Famers that I remember the most about the game of baseball. Players like Lenny Dykstra, David Eckstein, and like you mentioned Bobby Dernier. Also, the "Sarge" Gary Matthews and Bill Buckner (Should be a Hall-of-Famer) are all players that had good numbers, but more importantly had work ethic. These guys sacrificed their bodies and got dirty everyday they played the game. Now, some of them did have some personal issues with alcohol, drugs, or other off the field issues. However, as far as we know, they played the game straight-up and made it fun for all of us to watch.

    Watching Manny Ramirez during his time in a Red Sox uniform was great. Unfortunately, like so many others in this era, his name has been tarnished and his accomplishments will be downplayed, because of choices they made off the field.

    Like you said, all of us have made some poor choices in our own lives. We have to adapt and overcome from those decisions and make sure we don't make those same mistakes in the future. Unfortunately for Manny, he didn't learn from his mistake and his 50 game suspension.

    Happy retirement Manny. Thanks for the championships in Boston and the great baseball memories. Sorry to see it end this way.

  2. In response to ur blog on ped's, I wonder why is it ok for Tiger Woods to have lazik surgery to get better than 20/20 vision or female tennis stars or runners to have breast reduction surgery to have more mobility and to be faster but taking a ped to get better is wrong. Why is it ok for one group but not the other?

  3. Lenny Dykstra was named by several sources in the Mitchell report. I highly doubt he played the game straight up.

  4. In response, yes Lenny Dykstra was implicated along with Gary Matthews son, Gary Matthews Jr.

  5. Also, a David Eckstein sidenote. He is currently getting ready to donate a kidney transplant to one of his family members. You may remember during his days in St. Louis his advocacy of organ donors because his family's genetic disorder that happens to destroy their kidneys functions. So thoughts should go out to the Eckstein's.