I try not to get too very sanctimonious over much of anything in life. I don't consider myself a moral relativist, by any means, but I just don't believe things are very often defined sharply in black and white. We all do what we have to to get by in life, and all too often, that means compromising ourselves and our beliefs. You do the best you can, and hope at the end of the day you can still look yourself in the mirror.
However, I will tell you this: I'm having a very, very difficult time keeping an open mind currently on the subject of one Manny Ramirez
. I wrote just recently about the booing he's received at Busch Stadium
, and how maybe we should all take a closer look at why we're really booing him, but you know what? To hell with that.
The New York Times
has reported Manny's name is on the list of those players
who tested positive for steroids back in 2003. You may recall that original test was supposed to be anonymous, but the specimens were, for whatever reason, labeled with the athlete's names, and then never destroyed following the tests.
Ramirez, seen here in this 2002 file photo, was a major contributor to the Red Sox' historic title in 2004.
My colleague Nick Lucchesi brings up an excellent point regarding the 2004 World Series
; seeing as how both Manny and his teammate from the Boston Red Sox
, David "Big Papi" Ortiz
have been revealed as PED users as early as 2003, perhaps the city of St. Louis should expect to have the championship the Cardinals lost to Boston change hands. Personally, I'm trying not to go down that road, only because I know it's a dark and unpleasant place, with trees crowding tightly on both sides. Thinking too very much about what might have happened in '04 is the sort of thing that, given time, might turn a man against a sport entirely.
Something I do find to be an interesting sidelight to this story, though, is what this must be like for Joe Torre. After all, he may be Manny's manager now, but he was also the manager of that New York Yankee team the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit against to win through to the World Series. By no means do I think the Yankees that year were lily white, either, but the two pillars upon which that Boston team was built have now been outed as cheaters. You think maybe Torre would like another shot at that series?
I don't honestly expect any athlete to tell the whole truth when he's caught using some form of performance-enhancing drug. When a person is caught cheating on their spouse, they always try to make it seem as if it hasn't been going on all that long, and I assume it's the same with any athlete who tests positive. All the same, I want everyone out there to ignore what I said the other day about the hypocrisy of booing Manny. So what if we're all hypocrites? Fuck it. Bring the house down, folks.