May 7, 2009
Major League Baseball officials just announced that Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for violating the ban on performance-enhancing drugs. That means he will miss the rest of this month and
almost all of June, while losing about $7.7 million of his salary. He is the first big-name star to face the harsher penalties adopted by MLB in 2006. The circumstances and timing are still a little unclear, but it must have been based on a recent drug test, which makes you wonder how smart Manny really is. See MLB.com.
As David Pinto notes, Manny's excuse that it was his doctor's fault for not making sure the medication was MLB-approved "smells fishy." Last year Manny practically begged to be traded from Boston, and maybe he was doing the Red Sox a favor. The Dodgers have the best record in the majors right now, 21-8, and it will be hard for them to maintain such a pace without Manny in the lineup.
Once again, a fine outing by a starting pitcher was ruined last night by relief pitchers who can't seem to throw a pitch straight or fast. Daniel Cabrera pitched 5 1/3 solid innings, was then yanked, and the Dodgers scored seven runs in the sixth inning. Manny Ramirez (!!!) capped the rally with a two-run double. Final score, L.A. 10, D.C. 3. For the life of me, I can't figure out the acquisition of reliever Logan Kensing from the Marlins. The Nationals need to hire a full time general manager SOON. (Bring back Jim Bowden?) It's a bummer, coming in the midst of Ryan Zimmerman's 24-game hitting streak and on the heels a rare pair of consecutive wins for the "DC-9." The Nationals' [Monday] night come-from-behind 9-4 win over the Astros was hugely satisfying, while the rain-induced suspension after 11 innings the next night was hugely frustrating.
The NFL Saints will be staying in New Orleans at least through 2025 under the terms of a tentative agreement with the state of Louisiana, which agreed to help fund major upgrades to the Superdome. That's good news, but I'll wait until all the contracts have been signed before I'm totally convinced. See neworleanssaints.com; hat tip to Mike Zurawski.