Wednesday, May 06, 2009


UPDATED Thursday 5/7 8:35 a.m.

If you please, a brief moment of celebration before we keep on keeping on. As a Dodger fan who developed my real interest in the game during the strike-shortened, World Series-less 1994 season, and who learned to love the game, and the Dodgers, during the grim reaping of the Fox years, this season feels mighty good so far. "It's not really meaningful -- not yet, anyway,” says the great Vin Scully. “It's just another reason to be happy." Thanks, boys. And keep it up! I've got a seat in the top deck for tomorrow night!

Jon Weisman has some 13-0 Dodger Thoughts.

UPDATE 8:35 a.m. 5/7 And now the unlucky part of the number 13, a reason to be very unhappy…



Ryan Kelly said...

The Dodger's are killing 'em out there, Dennis! Congrats to your team. I've always had a fondness for The Dodgers, because they were my dad's team way back when they were the Brooklyn Dodgers (in fact their move to LA happened to him at such an impressionable young age and hurt him so much that he never followed Baseball again... it was his "Say it 'aint so, Joe" moment), so I do consider them something of an honorary NY team.

Hope they keep up the good work! They have the best record in the majors, ya?

le0pard13 said...

It seems that many are coming out (via Twitter) and rejoicing about Manny's suspension. A lot of bad blood is out there. As a loyal Dodger fan, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Joe Torre can keep the team together while they weather this storm.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

What a surprise, huh, leOpard13?

My own strategy for keeping my own head about this is to stay focused on the intelligent critical voices rather than the spewing fans, starting with Jon Weisman's blog. He's already got thoughts and analysis on Ramirez's statements, statements which I thought, at first glance, were at least up front. He's not challenging the suspension, he's taking responsibility (even if it is the old "My doctor didn't know" story). I like also that he took a moment to remind everyone of the 15 or so drug tests he's passed over the course of six years.

But of course this is still a huge disappointment-- more so than a surprise, I think. Given how the rest of the team has played, and how they've proven that the Dodgers are not just the Manny Show, I have confidence in their ability to weather this, provided they can keep their heads in the game while the tornado whirls around them.

I have yet to read Jon's column, so maybe he'll know, but I'd be curious how this story broke.

Ryan Kelly said...

In defense, I know a lot of people who aren't really Dodgers/Ramirez fans and think the whole thing is nonsense.

And how can they suspend him for taking medication? Assuming that's not a load of crap.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

leOpard13, all: Here's a good reason to follow the Ramirez situation through the lens of the comments column in Dodger Thoughts. You're getting the emotional reaction there, but it's tempered by reason and optimism, like this comment from long-time SLIFR reader Benaiah:

"Man, this sucks. It felt so good to check the score every night and now it feels like the good feeling express stopped so fast that I've got emotional whiplash. I don't particularly care about PED anyway, but I hope people resist the urge to cannibalize our own. Manny is going to be back and a rational 'take it day by day' philosophy will go a long (way) until then. I would love to win tonight just for the psychic uplift that would provide."(How have you been, Benaiah?)

Or this one from SaMo:

"Leaving aside for the moment the moral implications and off-the-field effects, the baseball implications here do not spell the end of the world for the Dodgers. It's no worse than if Manny had gotten a hamstring injury and missed 50 games.

Manny didn't join the 2008 team until August 1. He'll rejoin the 2009 team July 3. This year's lineup is already so much better than last year's, and the division is perhaps even worse. A full year of Furcal, the addition of Orlando Hudson, and Kemp and Ethier in the lineup every day will carry the offfense while Manny is down. Let's just hope we see more of Xavier Paul than of Juan Pierre.

With or without Manny, the Dodgers will succeed or fail based on their pitching. If they can continue to coax wins out of Jeff Weaver, Eric Stults, and Clayton Kershaw, they'll be fine. If they're constantly raiding the bullpen, no amount of hitting will save them."

le0pard13 said...

Dennis: all good points. And, I agree it'll all come down to pitching. Funny, after all these years (since their arrival from Brooklyn), it still comes down to Dodger-Pitching.

I hope, in a reaction to this, the front office doesn't make a move to shore up hitting but goes for pitching help. Either way, the blue team is going to be in the news regardless this season ;-)

Dana King said...

As a member of Red Sox Nation who kind of likes the Dodgers, all I can say is, when you hitch your wagon to Manny, you're buying the whole package. Good luck with him, even after he comes back.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I haven't read the reports yet myself, but according to the folks at Dodger Thoughts, apparently over the course of three hours it is coming to light that the drug in question is not HGH or steroids or even marijuana-- it might be one used for performance enhancement off the field, giving a whole new ring to the term "Mannywood."

Make no mistake, this is still a disappointment. But certain things being revealed, including L.A. Times reporter Bill Plaschke's reactionary "Dump Manny!" comments, are lightening the load for this Dodger fan a bit. I'm still behind the team and I will be rooting for them to show their stuff without Manny just as hard as I'll be rooting for them when he comes back.

Flosh said...

If only he tested positive for male performance enhancement drugs. That would definitely be Manny being Manny.

ESPN has posted a story saying that he tested positive for a female fertility drug. This drug, they note, has been used to start testosterone production after a cycle of steroid use. I'm sure there are more legitimate medical usages (hormone imbalance?), too.

Patrick said...

I left a negative comment on Manny in your last post, perhaps I owe him an apology. Before today I wouldn't have thought he was dedicated enough to go to the trouble of cheating.

Robert Fiore said...

When I look at this what I see is a tough policy that will ultimately succeed if applied consistently. It seems quite likely to me that punishments of this magnitude will prove an effective deterrent, and it won't be necessary to catch every infraction to have the deterrent effect. What does not at this point surprise me but still bemuses me is that there are people who don't think the loss of seven million dollars is an adequate punishment. The divide here is whether one thinks of drug use as a public health issue or a moral issue. At this point I have come to the conclusion that the moral position is fundamentally irrational and unworthy of respect. The demands for scorched earth punishments underline the irrationality of it. (And of course these people are your great Christians -- the motto of that religion would seem to be "God forgives but I don't.") Being irrational it can't be reasoned with. What I notice about all the performance enhancing drug scandals I'm aware of, be it Ben Johnson or Mark McGwire or Eric Gagne or Manny Ramirez is that before anyone knew of the cause they were delighted with the effect. It's as if in the recreational drug issue we went around thinking how wonderful it was that so many people seemed euphoric all the time, and then got angry after we found out it was due to drugs instead of natural high spirits. The reason you have to have a policy against PEDs is that if you let some athletes use them then all athletes will be forced to use them, and the people the policy ultimately protects are the athletes (even if it's from themselves), not hysterics who are suffering from imaginary spiritual wounds.

Kevin J. Olson said...


The people who are crucifying Manny are nothing more than the clones that lap up anything ESPN says is "important" or "devistating" news to the game of baseball.

I for one don't think it's that big of a deal, and it sounds more like it's a case of the paranoia that is MLB drug testing policy. Wasn't there a pitcher a few years back that bought something legal at GNC only to be suspended 50+ games for taking it? To me, this is all on MLB, and for once, not on Manny.

On the bright side, yes the Dodgers will surely miss Manny's bat, but this also gives them the opportunity to GREATLY upgrade their outfield defense. Manny was born to be a DH, and while you'll gladly sacrifice his sub par defense for his bat, their fly ball pitchers will be a lot happier now.