Manny Ramirez returned from his 50 game suspension for the use of performance enhancing drugs on July 3. Manny's suspension began on May 7, 2009 after he tested positive for hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin). Learning from Manny's suspension that hCG is a female fertility drug sometimes used when cycling off steroids, I looked for more information on the performance enhancing drug from Wikipedia:
In the world of performance enhancing drugs, hCG is increasingly used in combination with various anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) cycles. As a result, hCG is included in some sports' illegal drug lists. hCG is commonly used during and after steroid cycles to maintain and restore testicular size as well as normal testosterone production. In males, hCG helps restore and maintain testosterone production in the testes by mimicking LH and triggering the production and release of testosterone.
Manny Ramirez did not test positive for any steroids while serving his 50 game suspension, but hCG was on the list of banned substances by the MLB. The use of hCG to regulate testosterone levels after cycling off steroids does lead many to believe that Manny also used other performance enhancing drugs before.
Second Half Of Manny's Season
In his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 3rd, Manny went 0-3 with a walk. The following night on July 4th, Manny went 1-3, hitting a solo home run in his first at-bat. In his next two at bats, Manny grounded out to short. Although Manny has posted some all-star like numbers this season, I still feel that he shouldn't be allowed to play in the all-star game even if he is voted in by the fans.
Don't get the wrong idea, I am a huge fan of Manny Ramirez after his part in the '04 and '07 World Series for the Red Sox. I just don't feel that a player who missed 50 of the first 81 games of the season should have a chance to play in the all-star game. After the all-star game, Manny can play in every regular and post season game for the Dodgers if Joe Torre wants him to and I'll love every at-bat.
What Does This Do For The Hall Of Fame?
Similar to the other cases of players that have recently been found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs, what will this do for Manny when it comes time to vote him into the Hall Of Fame. Ramirez obviously has Hall Of Fame numbers and talent, but this use of hCG could taint all that he has done, including the two World Series wins with Boston.
Would you vote for Manny Ramirez if you had a Hall Of Fame vote? Let us know in the comments section below.
Thanks to Burns! for the picture of Manny Ramirez.