Manny Ramirez was handed a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.
What a farce.
While Ramirez is not eligible to rejoin the Dodgers until July 3, baseball found a loophole. On Tuesday he will join the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate. He is allowed 10 games in the minor leagues to make sure he is ready to play the day the suspension ends . . . why should Ramirez be given the privilege of getting to play in minor league games before he has served his full suspension?
I noted the fact of his rehab stint last week, and our friend Jack Marshall made Ringolsby’s argument, albeit a bit more lucidly than did Ringolsby. My response, which Ringolsby acknowledges and then dismisses, was that the rehab assignment, while perhaps undermining the purpose of a 50-game suspension to some degree, is really to the benefit of the Dodgers inasmuch as a player coming straight into action without having worked himself into game shape could pose an injury risk. Maybe we don’t care for Manny’s sake, but if he got hurt on July 3rd in Los Angeles, that would harm the Dodgers — including Manny’s teammates — and contrary to what Ringolsby says, I’d argue that the Dodgers aren’t deserving of losing their best player any more than they already have.
Ringolsby’s response: “[t]eams should be held accountable for the transgressions of their players. If teams suffer enough they might be more vigilant in dealing with potential violations” would be more palatable if I honestly believed that he or anyone else for that matter believed that the teams should be held accountable for players’ PED violations. The Dodgers got out of paying $7 million to Ramirez. Does Ringolsby believe that they should have been fined that amount instead, and maybe even more on top of it for punitive reasons? Does he believe that the Dodgers should forfeit Manny-powered games? I’m guessing the answer is no, which renders his “the teams are accountable too” stuff mere claptrap.
I’d be upset if I found out that Manny is being paid his Major League salary for the rehab games, but I’m guessing that he’s not. Against that backdrop, I have no problem with him being allowed to get back into game shape in advance of his Major League activation. Not for his sake, but for James Loney’s and Matt Kemp’s and Joe Torre’s sake.