Here was Major League Baseball’s chance to get tough on PED users and once again they failed. When Manny Ramirez became the first big star to be given a 50 game suspension, MLB touted how their policies were working and that everyone would be treated equally. When Manny violated his suspension by being in the clubhouse and speaking to reporters MLB simply gave him a warning. Now Manny has begun his rehab in the minor leagues which doesn’t seem like much of a suspension at all. He has been given a huge spotlight where he can ignore the reasons for being suspended with statements like:
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Ramirez told the AP. “I’m not talking about it anymore. I already said what I’m going to say. I’m here to do my rehab, you know … get a couple at-bats and get back to the big league team.”
He is acting like he is coming back from an injury and even showed that the suspension did nothing to his reputation:
Was he concerned that after all the work he did repairing his image since his trade to Los Angeles last July, Dodgers fans would still be in love with him?
“They still are,” he said. “People love me everywhere I go. I’m excited to bring a lot of joy to a lot of people here.”
MLB Network (which is owned by Major League Baseball) showed his at bats live last night. After the game they interviewed the Isotopes manager about how Manny is progressing. The network was actively promoting Manny during his suspension. How is that a punishment? The game was played in front of a record crowd. If a player is suspended for 50 games they should be out of baseball for 50 games. Players should not be allowed to rehab and enjoy the spotlight during their suspension; that goes against the purpose of the suspension. If fans want to forgive Manny that is fine but let him finish his punishment before he gets to bask in the glory of cheering fans and shame on MLB for being part of this glorification of a cheater during his suspension. Why is this happening? Because guys like Donald Fehr and Bug Selig wanted to look tough without actually being tough.