Rant on Ramirez

Are you kidding me? Manny Ramirez has again proven even bad publicity is good publicity. His latest 15 minutes is shining on his sample showing a positive test for a banned substance. How is it possible that these amazingly paid (many say overpaid) professional athletes don’t take the extra precaution today to be sure that what they are putting in their body is NOT in baseball’s list of banned substances.

When you are a professional, at the top of your game, no matter what that game is, isn’t it clear that you have to hold yourself to a higher standard? I suppose not, since the Ramirez philosophy of, “Rules for me; rules for everyone else,” rang true when he apparently did not take another step when his physician told him what he was giving or prescribing Ramirez was not a banned substance. http://www.nj.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/sports-17/1241718404230770.xml&storylist=sports

These athletes have trainers, team doctors, nutritionists, the best medical care money can buy at their disposal at the drop of a bat. It is amazing how a person of Ramirez’ stature in baseball could be so ridiculously absent-minded. Now, Ramirez is sorry. Watching MLB Network, one of the commentators believed that because Manny is in L.A., it’s an environment where he’ll serve his 50 game suspension and be cheered back to the diamond in July. I agreed with another commentator on the panel who said he believed Ramirez should have to lose his entire $25 million salary, not just one-third. I think ballplayers should indeed lose their salaries, but they should be donated to children’s athletic programs, especially in inner cities where kids often don’t get a chance to experience a team. I think the salaries should also go to rebuilding long-neglected public fields in cities where funding to children’s programs and recreation budgets are often the first budgets cut during these lean times. Imagine: $1 million dollars of the $8 million to eight strapped cities where children who look up to these professional athletes could see something good happening with those paychecks lost because of stupidity.

Lastly, J.C. Romero was held up as the poster child over the winter break as a professional athlete who also should have known better. The Phillies lefty reliever also had no one to blame but himself when it came to buying the over-the-counter “vitamin” supplement 6-OXO Extreme, then claiming ignorance. Sorry, J.C. You’re a great reliever, a real personality on the mound and an excellent team player, but he, too, should have held himself to a higher standard when it comes to what he puts in his body. Didn’t your doctor tell you if you eat a balanced diet, exercise and monitor your health, you probably don’t need to take vitamins?

Among the athletes who knowingly or unknowingly take a substance presumably for health benefits, they must be extremely insecure. Their window of prime time play can be short, but their agents and the teams are seeing to it they are paid handsomely. With decent money management, they may never have to work again. “I didn’t know,” “I thought it was OK,” “My doctor said it was OK,” are completely lame excuses. They have no excuse for being ignorant. Get over yourself Manny and anyone else who gets caught. The devil did NOT make you do it. Use some of that cash and hire yourself a good psychiatrist; give the rest to inner city sports programs.

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