This is probably too optimistic to last as my position on the matter, but as someone who doesn't really care about baseball's alleged steroids problem I'm hopeful that Manny Ramirez's startling retirement announcement following another failed drug test is a catalyst for a bit of a draw-down on the steroids hysterics that have dogged the sport since the emergence of Shin-Barry Bonds in 2001.â†µ
I'm hopeful for this simple reason: Manny Ramirez couldn't get around the drug tests. Manny Ramirez, star hitter, major draw for the Tampa Bay Rays, couldn't mask his PED use well enough to avoid a 100-game suspension, despite having millions and millions of dollars with which to try.â†µ
Personally, it's not important to me whether baseball's PED regime is effective or ineffective. But it is important to me that the people who are scandalized by steroid use see that Manny Ramirez, one of their longest-term hobby-horses, wasn't able to beat it. That might just be Manny being Manny, but I've always considered him shrewder, off the baseball field, than he's given credit for being. Maybe baseball finally does have a handle on its steroids problem. Maybe we can finally take a look at those enormous, hyper-fast, often-unhealthy football players we cheer on 16 Sundays a year.