The list of reasons looks something like this:
Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Eric Gagne, Alex Rodriguez.
It’s important to note that while we shouldn’t be SURPRISED that Manny tested positive, it’s still likely that we’ll feel disappointed. He’s a guy who’s got a lot of personality and, like most of the other big name players to test positive, was considered “good for the game” because of his ability to draw.
Despite this, Major League Baseball is proving its willingness to take a stand against artificial performance enhancement. And I have to say that I favor a policy that doesn’t tolerate the “I didn’t know I was taking substance A or substance B” excuse, if for no other reason that it creates a level playing field and a usable benchmark with which to measure a players level of culpability in a given situation.
However, is MLB willing to take its stand in blatant disregard of revenue, especially in economic times such as these? 50 games is certainly fair with respect to the game, but is it fair to the Los Angeles area fan base? That market is certainly no small fish, and one that, at the time of Manny’s suspension, is the best in baseball.
With Manny gone for the first half of the summer, expect a definite drop off in Dodger performance and, consequently, a drop off in ticket sales, at least until the Dreadlocked One returns. Ironic that the Dodgers will yet again have to wait until the final third of the season for the services of one of baseball’s premier hitters, Manny Ramirez.