Obviously this week’s headlines have been dominated by the Manny Ramirez saga. It now appears that his people are trying to persuade the public that his positive test was rooted in medication he was taking for “personal health issues” (translation: erectile dysfunction), even though science tells us HCG is a drug predominantly used by men coming off steroid cycles. My question to you is this: if a man makes $25 million a year, what difference does it make if the plumbing works or not?
Only a few things in life are more emasculating than needing “performance enhancing drugs” in the bedroom. For instance, wearing a pinky ring and owning a Microsoft Zune. Seriously man, all you need is a Zima in your other hand and you’d have the trifecta. Getting back to the point, though, if Manny is telling the truth and he was prescribed HCG for that reason, it makes sense that he would have tried to keep it on the DL. I mean, if you’re watching baseball one day and decide that Cialis is right for you, you probably aren’t going to keep that bottle of prescription pills in the medicine cabinet next to the Benadryl and Preparation H.
The problem with this new Manny saga is that it’s hard to know what he is thinking. Or if he is thinking. The man is an enigma, a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Could he be telling the truth? Of course. Could he have been knowingly juicing and covering it up? Of course. It’s not like A-Rod where momentary disbelief gave way to “Yeah, he’s kind of a d!ck and that doesn’t really surprise me.”
But, to go back to your original question, does an immodest amount of money make up for impotence, I think the answer is pretty clear when you consider that the treatment of ED has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Clearly there’s a need, manufactured or not, and clearly corporations are doing all they can to market to that need. When Mike Ditka schills for you on national television, you have obviously filled a very specific niche.
However, I think the more important question is, what does this new revelation do to the game of baseball? And at this point, I think it’s difficult to know. For me, it doesn’t really have much of an affect. Manny’s enigmatic personality allows me to put off making hard decisions like that. Obviously he shouldn’t have been taking a banned substance but, like he said, he’s also passed 15 drug tests over the past few years. Is it really possible that every single one of them could have missed something this big?
Baseball has been suffering since the A-Rod story broke. And Manny’s suspension and positive drug test are not going to help. But there are also so many positive story lines in baseball and so much to enjoy that I find it hard to concentrate on the negatives. I mean, I know you saw Verlander’s 2-hit gem and Granderson’s catch the other night. That’s what baseball is all about. And if Manny has to sit 50 games in order for us to refocus on that, well, that’s life. Hopefully that’s enough time for him to go see a real doctor and get some Viagra.