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Category: Manny Ramirez

Ted Green: Selig needs to redeem himself for allowing steroid era

Bud So we all know major leaguers did and still do drugs to get bigger, better and make more money, and to also cheat the game and ruin the record book, the holy grail of baseball.

Yeah, the boys have all their bases covered.

So now I have a question for both Deep Throat and for New York Times writer George S. Schmidt, who broke the story today that both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, those onetime Red Sox bookend power bats, revealing they are two of the names on the not-so-secret list of performance-enhancing abusers compiled by the commissioner's office in 2003.

First let me say Deep Throat is what I'm calling whoever is leaking these names to reporters like Schmidt of the Times.

Now the question: How do you decide, either you, Deep Throat, or in concert with your trusted writer and conduits to the world, the scoop-hungry press, which players to bust, which to call out, which names you make public?

Why just the big fish? Why was it A-Rod first, a story broken by Selena Roberts? And now Manny and Big Papi, info apparently slipped surreptitiously to Schmidt? Why just the superstars?

Is it because their names make the biggest splash? Is there some other agenda involved, something personal?

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Conte rails at leaks, says baseball should just release names

Victor Victor Conte read that the sources who leaked to the New York Times the names of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz as performance-enhancing drug users in 2003 were lawyers and immediately suspected his old nemeses were involved.

"This isn't coming from baseball, it's more likely coming from the government," said Conte, the former head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), whose client list included Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield.

The federal government's investigation of BALCO was also besieged by leaks, most notoriously by Conte's former attorney, Troy Ellerman, who served more than a year behind bars for his transgression of giving the San Francisco Chronicle grand jury transcripts. Conte served four months in federal prison for steroid distribution and money laundering.

Conte says this latest leak, which followed prior leaks of the names of New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and former Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa earlier this year from 2003 samples that were supposed to remain anonymous, said the motives of the anonymous sources must be assessed.

"What is the motive? The same motive you have with Barry Bonds being charged with perjury when others have done the same thing and not been charged," Conte said. "It seems to be about publicity, [the government] justifying its existence after spending all these millions on this case."

The government did get access to the 103 names of those who tested positive in 2003 as a result of its BALCO/Bonds investigation. A retested sample of Bonds' sample came back as being positive for performance-enhancing drugs, the feds reported in court records.

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Manny Ramirez talks, but not about report of positive drug test

Red sox

When reporters entered the Dodgers clubhouse this afternoon in St. Louis, Manny Ramirez sat at his locker. He spoke briefly with Times reporter Dylan Hernandez and other reporters, but not about today's news that he tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003.

"You guys want to talk about the game, what is happening now, we can sit down and talk for two hours," Ramirez said. "If you want more information, call the union."

The New York Times reported that Ramirez and his former Boston teammate, David Ortiz, tested positive in a year in which results were supposed to be anonymous and penalties were not imposed.

"Me and David, we're like two mountains," Ramirez said. "We're going to keep doing good no matter what ... . Only God is going to be able to move those two mountains."

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Sneak peek: Manny Ramirez poster

MannyPoster Never got your hands on one of those Manny Ramirez bobblehead dolls the Dodgers gave away on July 22? How about a Mannywood poster instead?

For those not present to witness Ramirez' post-suspension return to Dodger Stadium and who didn't get to take home the souvenir bobblehead after his pinch-hit, game-winning grand slam, here's another chance to grab a memento of that historic night.

The Dodgers are going to hand out limited edition Mannywood posters -- featuring artwork from that 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds --  to the first 20,000 fans at next Wednesday's 7 p.m. home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It was one of the best moments of my career," said Ramirez on his first pinch-hit home run.

Yes, it was one of those "Hollywood Moments." Oops, "Mannywood Moments."

--Athan Atsales

Instant history: Dodgers set Manny Ramirez grand slam poster giveaway

Ramirez_240 The debate had barely started about where to rank Manny Ramirez's home run on Wednesday night -- a first-pitch, pinch-hit grand slam on his bobblehead doll night -- among the Kirk Gibson, Steve Finley and other memorable home runs in club history when the Dodgers decided to commemorate the event.  

On Aug. 5, the Dodgers will give away a "Mannywood poster which will commemorate last night's game," according to the team blog. The Dodgers play the Milwaukee Brewers that night.

-- Bill Shaikin 

Photo: Fans cheer after Manny Ramirez came out of the dugout to pinch-hit against the Cincinnati Reds on July 22, 2009. Photo credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press.

Manny Ramirez bobbles his way on to EBay (updated)

Manny2.250 If nothing else, Manny Ramirez has a sense of the dramatic and an impeccable sense of timing. He picks Manny Ramirez bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium to hit one of the most memorable home runs in Dodgers history.

Pinch-hitting in the sixth inning, bases loaded, sidelined at the start of the game because his hand still hurt from being hit by a pitch the night before ... and he wastes no time at all, drilling the first pitch to him from Nick Masset to left field for a grand slam. Naturally, the line drive ended up in Mannywood.

Now a piece of that history is all over EBay. Right now, there are 198 Manny Ramirez bobbleheads on EBay, and bidding seems pretty brisk. Not all are the bobbleheads from the giveaway at Dodger Stadium.

Manny.140 The older collectibles don't seem to be drawing as much attention. But top bid as of about 1:15 p.m. PDT for the giveaway from last night is $57.00 for a single bobblehead, with most fetching somewhere in the $30 to $40 range. And if you're interested in a lot of 10, opening bid there is $529.

In May, the Dodgers had a Casey Blake bobblehead giveaway night. There are 15 listed on EBay right now. You can get one for about 20 bucks.

-- Mike James

Andrew Kamenetzky: Manny Ramirez talks about his game-winning grand slam

Bottom of the sixth inning. One out. Bases loaded.  Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds tied at two runs apiece. Manny Ramirez, to this point, seated on the bench, having suffered a hand injury during the previous night's contest. Before the game, Joe Torre informed us that, unless circumstances dictated a pressing need, No. 99 would be given a breather to heal his paw, despite it being Manny Ramirez bobblehead night. These being circumstances that could be described as "pressing," however, Torre elected to send out his biggest bat.

The crowd was immediately buzzing, and I turned to another reporter.  "Manny is already a rock star in this town as it is. Think what happens if he comes through here." And by "comes through," I was thinking something along the lines of an RBI-single. Maybe even a double to clear the base paths. Basically, breaking the knot in favor of the Blue. Well, Manny had other plans.

Without the benefit of batting practice or even a session off a tee, dude rakes the first offering from newly inserted reliever Nick Masset (a 96-mph fastball) into the "Mannywood" section of left field. Grand slam. Dodger Stadium is louder than I've ever heard the place. Manny takes two curtain calls, then plays real-life bobblehead by briefly bouncing his head up and down to the amusement of his teammates.

As I noted to Ramirez after the game, it's almost ridiculous that so many circumstances would collide to create one of the coolest athletic achievements I've ever witnessed. You just can't make this stuff up, in large part because you'd feel stupid even trying. To say the least, this cat is worth the price of admission.

Here's what Manny said about a moment he described as "one of the best moments in my career."

-- Andrew Kamenetzky

Manny Ramirez blasts pinch-hit grand slam into Mannywood

Manny

Vin Scully called the reaction of tonight's pinch-hit grand slam by Manny Ramirez off the first pitch by Red reliever Nick Masset the loudest he's heard Dodger Stadium in 20 years.

Much more, including video and many photos after the jump...

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Manny gets warm, unremarkable reception at Dodger Stadium

Mannywood_500 

It seemed like just another Dodgers game.

Manny Ramirez made his much-anticipated return to Dodger Stadium tonight after his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy and received the warm welcome from Dodgers fans that he and many others had anticipated.

With the stadium about half-full as the game began between the Dodgers and Houston Astros, Ramirez -- batting in his customary No. 3 spot in the lineup -- got a loud yet brief ovation as he walked to the plate, with many fans standing as he clapped.

Ramirez then flied out to right field.

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Manny Ramirez: 'Can't wait' for Dodger Stadium welcome

Ramirez1 The Dodgers' Manny Ramirez said he looked forward to a warm reception at Dodger Stadium tonight, the slugger's first game at Chavez Ravine since his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.

“I’m excited," Ramirez said this afternoon as he sat next to Manager Joe Torre in the Dodgers' dugout and took questions from two dozen reporters. "These are the best fans in the world and they’re behind me, so I’m looking forward for this game. I’m ready. I can’t wait.”

Torre, in fact, was holding his normal pregame meeting with reporters ahead of the Dodgers' game against the Houston Astros when Ramirez came out of the clubhouse and sat next to him.

"There goes all the attention I get," Torre joked.

Ramirez returned from his suspension July 3 in San Diego when the Dodgers began a nine-game road trip. The team went 6-3 on the trip and remained atop the National League West, while Ramirez batted .379 and hit three home runs over that span.

Asked what type of reception he expected from the Dodger Stadium crowd tonight, Ramirez said, "Maybe the same thing [as] when I came from Boston. Maybe something better."

After reiterating that he wouldn't discuss his suspension -- "That's in the past," he said again -- Ramirez praised his teammates for supporting him during his absence.

“They’re the best teammates that I’ve ever had," he said. "They backed me up the whole year round, they received me with open arms. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I love these guys."

Ramirez also was asked whether he wanted the spotlight from his suspension to fade away. "No, actually I like it," he said. "It makes me want to do better."

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Dodgers' Manny Ramirez hopes for a warm welcome tonight during his first game back at Dodger Stadium. Photo credit: Justin Lane / European Press Association.

Ted Green: Was Manny's ejection a result of his suspension?

Manny1 Funny/weird/curious ejection of Manny on Tuesday in New York.

Now, I'm seriously wondering if the umpire wasn't sending a bigger message about steroids and those in baseball who've been busted for using.

Did you see it?

Manny was tossed for arguing a called third strike in the fifth inning.

The pitch was at least 4 inches outside, according to multiple instant replays. Maybe 6 inches off the plate.

Home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck, a 25-year big-league veteran, also punched Manny out in the first inning on a more borderline pitch. Replays showed that one was outside by maybe 2 inches.

On the second one, Manny was not emotional at all, but he did toss his protective elbow pad toward home plate, in Hirschbeck's direction, and that's when the ump ran him, ending his 2-for-4 night with 3 RBIs.

Now there could be a history between those two; that's certainly a possibility. But Hirschbeck has been calling balls and strikes since 1984, and he knows the difference. He can recognize pitches in his sleep.

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