I was at the Portland airport today getting ready to write a blog about the Dodgers 13 straight wins at home when I got a text from a buddy, what are they going to do without Manny? Instantly I though he must be on the DL.
Well the DL would have been a good thing in this case. This was not a fender bender, this was a head on collision. I am not naive enough to think that my blog is the first place you go for sports news, so I am assuming that you know that Manny can make his July 4th plans early.
Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games by MLB for testing positive for testosterone that was not natural in his body. The tests showed that Manny used the female fertility drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG. Of course Manny defended his situation by saying his doctor prescribed this for a “health condition (cough, cough)”
Let me translate, players use HCG after a steroid cycle.
This is not just going to affect Manny, no this will affect the whole team, from the pitching staff to the way Torre manages.
Orlando Hudson may not be seeing so many fastballs, right now he is hitting .342, let's see where he is come July. Some hitters like Ethier may put some extra pressure on themselves. This also has to affect the morale of the team, Manny added confidence and he was also instrumental in keeping the players loose. And how will Manny handle the press when he comes back?
Chad Billingsley may think that he has to hold teams to one run now (which he may be able to do).
We all know what the Dodgers were until Manny showed up from Boston last year, so right now with a 6.5 game lead, we shall sit back and see what happens. Of course this is why it is important to win in April, so now you have the division lead with room for error, and I believe it should get a little rough for the Dodgers without Manny.
I am also interested in listening to the “tainted Manny numbers” conversation start. Before this I had Manny as the best right handed hitter of my generation, Now, mm? If baseball purists are going to ignore Bonds' accomplishments, what now with Manny?
Now I will say this, if there is one manager I would want right now leading the charge with the media storm and distractions, it is Joe Torre. He had practice with the Giambi and the Sheffield's. I am real eager to see tonight's game.
More on this subject as more info becomes available.
Jon La Bella can be reached by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Written by Jon Bella