Manny Ramirez – Strike Three!
Faced with the decision of whether to risk his health for an edge in baseball, Manny Ramirez chose to take that risk. What does that mean for him, his family, the fans, the Dodgers, baseball in general? That’s a loaded question to be sure, one with many opinions and no clear answers. The first question I get is often “are steroids a drug of abuse?” The answer is, “yes”. While there is no high associated with ingesting them, there could be a release of dopamine. The sight of the needle, the piercing of the skin, the tawdry thrill of doing something that requires a shuck and jive to get away with. Who really knows? They are dangerous, so boys (maybe a few girls), “Just say no!?
As I see it, the issue that concerns me the most is that it’s treated, once again, as a moral failing. The media has stories about how Ramirez should be punished, his records tarnished and so on. Clearly this needs to be addressed, but what is the most effective way to do so? If Bud Selig were asking me (and by the way, he’s not) I would insist that Ramirez spend his suspension in comprehensive chemical dependency treatment. We hear so much about “examples for kids”. Admitting a problem and needing help seems like a pretty good example to me.
Marc Figueroa, who writes for The North County Times (no accident he doesn’t write for the New York Times) shares the kind of moronic opinion that keeps people sick. Figueroa writes “My policy can be summed up in four words: You Dope, You’re Out”. Oh Man, here we go with “Zero Tolerance, Get Tough on Crime” approach. That’s been tried. New York has tried for years to have a zero tolerance on crack. What happened? Prisons are overflowing, kids are being shot, and people still smoke crack. An addiction trumps laws, morality, logic, and judgment. I hope Bud Selig does not make the mistake of trying to apply logic to this crazy situation.