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Further evidence that baseball’s steroid crackdown is every bit as draconian as you thought it was: Manny Ramirez entertained a 15,000-strong crowd by brilliantly striking out and grounding out last night as the newest member of the Albuquerque Isotopes, despite his suspension. For his next trick, he leapt tall buildings with a single bound, and became more powerful than a locomotive, or at least the B line.
Whatever you think about steroids in the game, and I know that there are more than a few that don’t see the problem, the rules should be the rules. And while there’s a selfish little corner of my brain that’s just pleased Manny didn’t get busted while wearing a Sox jersey, I still can’t help but wonder why suspended players are playing baseball, even in Albuquerque.
Are you all that surprised to see that Manny’s steroid suspension doesn’t seem to have stopped him from playing baseball? I’m not. I appreciate that something, at least, has been done since last season to hold players accountable, but it still looks awfully toothless to allow them to play in the minors while suspended from the majors. Would a high school kid in a similar situation be allowed to play JV?
If the league is serious about punishing steroid users, great. If the league doesn’t want to penalize steroid users, that’s okay, too. So why can’t they stop trying to split the difference? It just comes off as shifty pandering. I suppose, in the short-term, it gives us plenty to talk about, but in the long-run, it drags the game of baseball down.
Manny might not technically be our problem anymore, but don’t try looking away now. You never know what head-scratching feats he’ll perform next.