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The Manny Ramirez suspension: Good or bad for baseball?

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mannyR.jpgOur baseball guy Chris De Luca penned a very compelling column about Manny Ramirez this morning in which he attempts to explain what the latest scandal means for the game.

He says that the 21st century baseball fan has become so callused to the steroid issue that it's hard for new allegations to open up any sores.

Those of us who love the game are numb to it by now. Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and now Manny Ramirez ... turns out they were all juicers. My, oh, my, another black eye for baseball. Except where do you apply the punch to a face already battered by the muscle-bound blows delivered by Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada?
Well said, indeed. It's sad to see a game that used to inspire so much optimism and joy when I was younger arose such cynicism now that I'm older. But, the question I'll pose to you is this: Is the Ramirez suspension ultimately good for baseball?
On one hand, the dark cloud now cast on Ramirez confirms some of the worst suspicions we have about the elite players of the last 15 years.  We can now add his name to the others who have sullied the game in one way or another.

But, the suspension of one of the game's marquee player proves that Major League Baseball isn't playing favorites. It sends the message that no one is exempt from the rules -- no matter how talented or highly paid they are.

The optimist would think this warning would force players to take the issue even more seriously. A realist would wonder why in the hell they weren't taking it seriously to begin with?

So, do you think that Ramirez's saga will ultimately be good or bad for the game? Will it enact any change or will things continue on as if nothing happened?

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One other note:

Rank Player (age) Home RunsBats
1.Barry Bonds 762L
2.Hank Aaron+ 755R
3.Babe Ruth+ 714L
4.Willie Mays+ 660R
5.Ken Griffey (39)613L
6.Sammy Sosa 609R
7.Frank Robinson+ 586R
8.Mark McGwire 583R
9.Harmon Killebrew+ 573R
10.Rafael Palmeiro 569L
11.Reggie Jackson+ 563L
12.Alex Rodriguez (33)553R
13.Mike Schmidt+ 548R
14.Jim Thome (38)545L
15.Mickey Mantle+ 536B
16.Jimmie Foxx+ 534R
17.Manny Ramirez (37)533R

Look at this list. Seems like a disproportional amount of these guys have been connected in some way or another to steroids. In baseball, where the continuity of the game and the ability to judge players from one generation to another means more than in other sports. How are we supposed to do that now?

This may seem like a minor thing, but to a lot of baseball purists it's very important.

It probably necessitates a seperate post, but is there anything that can be done to make the record book reflect true, honest numbers in their proper context?

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Re is there anything that can be done to make the record book reflect true, honest numbers in their proper context? Yes: read it. No "corrections" are needed, save for the ball juicing of 1993.

Basically, almost everything most people think they know about "performance-enhancing drug" effects in baseball is wrong. I suggest a careful and complete reading of the site Steroids, Other "Drugs", and Baseball, at http://steroids-and-baseball.com, for a disinterested, detailed, and above all science-based examination of the issues, the data, and the facts.

(Disclosure: I am the webmaster--my credentials appear at the bottom of the site's front page.)

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on May 8, 2009 10:11 AM.

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