As if Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension weren't painful enough for Dodger fans, now
comes we hear the embarrassing news that the banned substance Manny tested positive for was a sexual enhancement drug.
We're going to have some fun with this—one "Mannywood" headline and counting!—and certainly fans of other teams, notably the Giants and Red Sox, and going to give us a
hard tough time about it.
But eventually—and maybe some of you have already reached this point—we're going to have some compassion for the guy. It's one thing to take performance-enhancing drugs to make you bigger, faster, stronger. That's macho.
But I can't recall the sexual health of an active athlete being splashed all over the headlines like this. Sure, there were anecdotal allegations of Barry Bonds' shriveled testicles, but that would have been a by-product of steroid use.
shortcomings difficulties, on the other hand, are all too human. Can you imagine your most sensitive medical condition broadcast to the world?
[UPDATE: Steroids are now a factor. See above post.]
Earlier I wrote that this would be the time to see how the Dodgers respond to adversity. But with all the mudslinging going around, this is also the time to see how Dodger fans can handle being the butt of the sports world's jokes.
Manny is eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 3—unfortunately, the first day of a nine-game road trip, followed by the All-Star Break. Meaning that July 16 will probably be Manny's first game back at Dodger Stadium.
How will Dodger fans greet him? Heckling and jeering? Or a standing
Giants fans had their Barry. Now Dodger fans have our Manny. Let's see how we deal with it.