Doped: Manny Ramirez Benched 50 Games
"The suspension will cost Ramirez $7.7 million, or roughly 31% of his $25-million salary," the Times claims. "Players in violation of baseball's drug policy are not paid during suspensions."
Ramirez issued an apology, which included this statement:
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy."
Perhaps, though, the Dodgers truly are off to a miracle season, one that's bigger than its individual players. Last night they broke a Major League record for most at-home victories by winning their 13th consecutive 2009 game at Dodger Stadium without a loss.
Ramirez figured prominently in that 10-3 effort over the flailing Washington Nationals, reaching base three times and doubling in a pair of runs, but he wasn't the only key contributor. In fact, lately the Dodgers have been playing so well and with such a team effort that it's tempting to believe they could win the pennant without Number 99. Still, Ramirez's value as a symbol transcends his feats on the field and it will remain to be seen what the temporary removal of Manny Mania will have upon his teammates and the city that adores him.