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Category: Manny Ramirez

Number of major leaguers on ADD drugs up again

The number of major leaguers approved to take drugs for attention deficit disorder rose to 108 last season, up from 106 in the 2008 season and 103 in the 2007 season.

The significant use of ADD drugs, perceived as a way to skirt baseball's amphetamine ban, emerged as an issue in Congressional hearings after the release of the Mitchell Report. Baseball responded by toughening the requirements to obtain approval for ADD drugs, but the number of players authorized to use them has yet to decline.

The annual report on baseball's drug policy, released today by the commissioner's office, reveals that 108 players received a so-called therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for ADD drugs and another 11 tested positive for Adderall, a prominent ADD drug. Under the policy, players testing positive for stimulants the first time are not suspended.

In 2008, baseball granted 106 players a TUE for ADD drugs, with six players testing positive for Adderall.

Of 3,722 tests administered last year, one revealed "an adverse analytical finding (for a performance-enhancing drug) that resulted in discipline" -- specifically, a positive test for the steroid Nandrolone. The only two major leaguers suspended for performance-enhancing substances were San Francisco Giants pitching prospect Kelvin Pichardo -- and Dodgers star Manny Ramirez, whose suspension was described in the report as "one non-analytical positive."

After Ramirez tested positive for an unusually high level of testosterone, baseball officials uncovered a prescription in his name for a banned substance, HCG, most commonly used as a female fertility drug. Ramirez accepted the suspension based on the prescription for a banned drug, with no TUE to use it.

Although experts say men using HCG most often do so to replenish testosterone levels after a cycle of steroids, men can sometimes be prescribed HCG because of an abnormally low sperm count or a poor quality of sperm. A player with such a prescription could obtain a TUE, but Ramirez did not have one.

Today's report cited the six conditions for which a TUE was approved last season: 108 exemptions for attention deficit disorder, two for hypertension, two for hypogonadism and one each for narcolepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-concussion syndrome. 

-- Bill Shaikin

Dodgers: Manny Ramirez to return in 2010

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Manny Ramirez will return to the Dodgers next season, according to his agent, Scott Boras.

Boras said that he informed General Manager Ned Colletti today that Ramirez would not exercise the escape clause in the two-year, $45-million contract he signed in the spring.

Ramirez will earn $20 million next season. 

"Obviously, he enjoys L.A.," Boras said. "If he went into the marketplace, the real negative was that he could end up playing in a place he wasn't comfortable playing."

For the full story, stay tuned to latimes.com./sports.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez tips his cap as he returns to the dugout after hitting a two-run home run in Game 1 of the NLCS. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

Bill Plaschke: While Dodgers were losing, Manny was taking a shower

FabforumJonathan Broxton was sweating. Russell Martin was fearing. Joe Torre was grumbling.

The Dodgers hanging on the dugout rail were clenching. The Dodgers fans watching at home were dying.

Manny Ramirez?

He was bathing.

While the Dodgers were taking on the brunt of postseason pressure in the ninth inning here Monday night, their star was taking a shower.
While his teammates were wilting under the spotlight, their leader was relaxing under the spray.

By the time the Dodgers had finished staining themselves with a ninth-inning collapse in a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Ramirez was just scrubbing clean.

“I come out of the game early, I take a shower,” he said Tuesday, his feet propped up in front of his locker at Citizens Bank Park before an off-day workout....

You can read Plaschke's full column here.

Dodgers: Manny Ramirez homers, gets ejected

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Manny Ramirez hit a solo home run to start a three-run second inning for the Dodgers in a game against the Diamondbacks but was ejected after striking out and arguing with home plate umpire Doug Eddings an inning later.

Ramirez appeared to be upset about a called second strike, which put him behind 0-2 in the count. Upon striking out swinging, Ramirez tossed his bat and helmet, which led to an exchange of words with Eddings.

Ramirez was replaced in left field in the bottom of the third inning by Juan Pierre with the Dodgers ahead, 3-0.

Ronnie Belliard hit a home run in the top of the fourth to increase the Dodgers' lead to 4-0.

-- Dylan Hernandez in Phoenix

Photo: Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez argues with home plate umpire Doug Eddings after being ejected for questioning a strikeout Monday. Credit: Matt York / Associated Press

Dodgers: Manny Ramirez rests

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CINCINNATI -- Manny Ramirez is out of the Dodgers' lineup today, as Manager Joe Torre said the former All-Star outfielder looks tired.

"I think his legs are a little heavy right now," Torre said. "I think it's from playing every day. He had spring training, then he was gone for 50 games, close to two months. I don't care how much you're doing, you need another spring training, and he didn't have that."

Torre wanted to rest either Rafael Furcal or Orlando Hudson today but opted to play them both because of how they looked in the Dodgers' win on Saturday.

In other news, Torre said that there's a strong possibility that Hiroki Kuroda could pitch on Tuesday for Class-A Inland Empire.

Here's the Dodgers' lineup:

Rafael Furcal SS

Juan Pierre LF

Andre Ethier RF

Matt Kemp CF

Casey Blake 3B

James Loney 1B

Russell Martin C

Orlando Hudson 2B

Clayton Kershaw P

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Manny Ramirez takes a break during batting practice at Dodger Stadium earlier this season. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

Bleacher Report: Manny Ramirez really is to blame for Dodgers' offensive woes

Manny From the Bleacher Report:

Before we get started, I want to note that this is a legitimate response to Eric Karros’ comments on my article about Manny Ramirez’s lack of production.

On his Wednesday afternoon show, ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd addressed the arguments I asserted in regard to Manny’s inability to drive home runs and his poor average against off-speed pitches.

Later in the show, former Dodger and current FOX baseball analyst  Karros joined Cowherd to discuss the recent struggles of the Los Angeles offense.

(Listen to the entire podcast here; Karros comes on in the 11 a.m. segment.)

Karros argued that Rafael Furcal and the top-of-the-order production is the real culprit for the run-scoring swoon and the poor Dodgers record that accompanied his downturn.

This goes against what I argued, that the second-half troubles of the Dodgers are due to Manny’s slump.

As Karros was about to get off the air, he made a snide remark that specifically caught my attention.

Karros said, with Cowherd chuckling in the background, "I don’t know who wrote that thing on Manny, but I’d go redo that report."
Continue reading »

My dinger with Andre Ethier

Above Andre Ethier's locker stall is an autographed Manny Ramirez trading card.

It features Ethier too. But when mentioning most players alongside Ramirez, they tend not to receive the same attention.

On Thursday, however, Ethier made certain he would not go unnoticed and turned the star slugger into a footnote of sorts. Ethier delivered a walk-off home run – his third of the season – to lift the Dodgers above the visiting Atlanta Braves, 5-4.

It came at a moment when the crowd was anticipating Ramirez to do something to salvage the game. Instead, it was Ethier who emerged with his fifth walk-off hit of the season.

“Knowing the situation … knowing that Manny’s up,” Ethier said, you’ve got to "be aggressive.”

In one fell swoop, Ethier dug the team out of a two-run deficit and supplied a one-run lead to preserve the Dodgers' lead atop baseball. For a brief moment, it helped fans forget earlier miscues, like when Ramirez struck out in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Dodgers trailing 4-2.

Continue reading »

Tonight's Dodger walk-off heroics, as tweeted by Bill Plaschke

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Not only did L.A. Times sports writer Bill Plaschke provide a great service by live-tweeting tonight's game to his 17,241 followers on Twitter, some of whom might not have the game on, but he single-handedly proved why ESPN is missing out on a great opportunity by forbidding its writers and experts from sharing their experiences with their fans.

In 16 minutes he delivered a live, interesting play-by-play that not only told the story, but taught us a little something as well.

Click here for the complete list of ways you can follow sports from your favorite writers at the L.A. Times.

-- Tony Pierce

Screenshot of Bill Plaschke's Twitter account. Click image to enlarge.

Ted Green: Steroids in baseball are more than just a problem

Manny2 Turned on the radio and heard a host say it's time for everyone on the List of 104 to "clear their consciences and purge their guilt."

Picked up the paper and read about the "stain" Manny Ramirez could bring to the Dodgers.

If Manny "stains" the Dodgers, then all of baseball is now discolored beyond recognition.

Memo to the moralizers: Stop the soap-box sanctimoniousness. Save your outrage.

The steroid "problem" in baseball isn't a problem. It's a culture, a way of life. It's how they roll.

The issue runs oceans deeper than Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. A-Rod is in the rearview mirror. It's way beyond Manny and Big Papi. And it far transcends names on some secret list from six years ago that is now being slowly leaked to the press like Chinese water torture.

From the fair number of people I know in and around the game who will talk but not be identified by name, the best guess is that more than 80% of all big leaguers, recent past and present, have used and, in many cases, are still using performance-enhancing drugs.

Eighty percent is a big number, one that is so embarrassing, the commissioner's office won't even entertain it. But is there any reason left to think otherwise? If so, I'd love to hear it. If the number of PED'ers is only 20%, as the game's officials and apologists claim, making 80% blameless, then why aren't so many more players coming forward, with vigorous aggressiveness, to say, to scream, to shout from the hilltops: Test me all you want, test me 10,000 times. I swear by everything dear to my heart, I'm clean!

Continue reading »

Time for Manny to pass the gravy

Saying he's reached the point in his career where "everything is gravy," Manny Ramirez shrugged off the worst funk of his Dodgers tenure.

The left fielder was hitting .167 with no runs batted in over his last 10 games before the Dodgers played the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. But the only numbers that mattered to Ramirez are the ones he's posted over his 17-year career.

"I'm one of the best hitters out there, so why should I worry?" said Ramirez, whose 538 homers rank 15th on baseball's all-time list. "We've got two more months and if not, I'll come back next season and try again. I've got nothing to prove.

"I've already accomplished a lot. So I just go play the game and move on. I don't have to put it in my mind to try to do a lot because how many more years can I play? Three? Four? Who knows?

"Maybe you worry too much when you're young and you're trying to get that big contract and you're trying to have a good year and don't do this and don't do that. Now, in my career, everything is gravy."

Not that Ramirez doesn't want to excel.

"Everybody wants to be good," he said. "Everybody wants to step to home plate and make it happen.... But I'm not going to worry about my numbers anymore."

Ramirez acknowledged that he was swinging at bad pitches recently but said the bruised left hand he suffered late last month was not bothering him. Manager Joe Torre said he thought Ramirez had lost "a little of his patience lately."

With the Dodgers comfortably in first place in the National League West, Ramirez predicted things would be different in October.

"I'm pretty sure I'll be ready because in the playoffs it's my time," he said, laughing.

-- Ben Bolch

One Manny bobblehead apparently deserves another

Bobblehead_300 Manny, meet Manny.

The Dodgers announced today that they will distribute a second Manny Ramirez bobblehead doll to the first 50,000 fans in attendance on Sept. 16 during their day game against Pittsburgh.

The club is also offering a limited number of "Manny bobblehead packs" in which fans can purchase a four-game ticket package that includes the original Manny bobblehead and the second "curtain call" bobblehead. The new bobblehead shows Ramirez tipping his cap to the crowd after being summoned for curtain calls following his pinch-hit grand slam on on July 22, the night of his first bobblehead giveaway.

Dodgers officials initially said the first bobblehead would not be sold unless there were extras. So, apparently there were extras.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said there was a limited number of leftover bobbleheads from the first promotion but could not give an exact number. He said every fan who attended the first sold-out Manny bobblehead night left with a doll and that no new bobbleheads were being produced.

Prices for the double bobblehead package range from $64 to $120 depending on seat location.

The Dodgers are also designating the "My Town" section of the right field reserve level on Sept. 16 as "My Town Dominican Republic." Fans who pay $45 will be treated to Dominican-themed food and music in that section and will receive a limited edition My Town T-shirt in the colors of the Dominican flag.

-- Ben Bolch

Photo: Frank Fierro of Alhambra shows off his Manny Ramirez bobblehead doll at Dodger Stadium on July 22. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

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