“I’m Back-Part Two”
Those were the words from Manny Ramirez to the media before he makes first home appearance at Dodger Stadium since returning from his 50 game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The “Mannywood” section of left field has returned and it appears all has long since been forgiven and forgotten.
Manny went on to say that he expects an ovation comparable at least to that which he received when he arrived via trade from Boston. “Or better” he quipped. He has been on a tear since his return, with 3 homers and 9 RBI. Couple that with the Dodgers played exceptionally well during his 50-game absence and you can almost ink the Dodgers in as National League Champs in October. Manny has always thrived under the bright spotlight and said that he loves all the attention. It gives him the motivation to play hard and play well. What Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire wouldn’t give to be in Manny’s shoes these days. The aforementioned have all been virtually outcast from baseball while Ramirez has the opportunity to win another World Series title, and possibly MVP, in the same season that he tested positive for PEDs. And to top that off, millions of fans around the world still wanted to see him play in the All-Star game. Such is the world we live in I suppose. Certain people, be it celebrities, athletes, musicians, etc. are placed on a platform where only one thing matters. The performance. As long as you bring it every night, the public turns a blind eye, even if it involves cheating to enhance that very performance. The culture of “don’t do as I do boy, do as I ask.”