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Pirates react to Manny Ramirez suspension


Pirates react to Manny Ramirez suspension
ST. LOUIS -- Reactions to Los Angeles Dodgers star Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension drew wide-ranging responses from within the Pirates clubhouse at Busch Stadium.

From terse "no comments" to drop-jawed "no ways," there were varied emotions when the relative calm was rocked Thursday morning with the breaking news.

"Very shocked," Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth said. "It sucks for him."

A couple of former Ramirez's teammates -- the Pirates' Delwyn Young and Brandon Moss -- were among two of the most surprised that the All-Star outfielder tested positive for a banned substance.

"I love Manny," Moss said. "When I was in Boston, he was one of my favorite people I've ever played with. I don't know what to say."

Said Young: "He's a great teammate (in Los Angeles), and I'm surprised by the whole thing."

Pirates manager John Russell said he doesn't know Ramirez well enough to make a comment, but he said, generally, "there are so many things that are banned. Players have to be very careful about what they do."

Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche was, by far, the most outspoken and candid of the players. He said he doesn't hold the use of performance-enhancing substances against anyone, keeping a nonjudgmental, laissez-faire approach.

"Does it bother me personally? No," he said. "It's part of it. Guys make decisions. We are grown men. You're going to do what you want to do. Some guys make good (decisions). Some guys make bad ones.

"I'm not one to judge on what anybody does. It's their career, their teams, their future. I don't hold it against any of them that did it. Period."

LaRoche noted that the issue keeps popping up, but he doesn't view it as a threat to Baseball.

"I don't see it like they are taking food off my plate or taking money away that I should be making because they choose to do it," he said. "I don't hold it against any of them.

"Some of my friends are the ones that were caught doing it. I don't look at them any different, and I never will. It bothers some guys. It doesn't bother me."

Over in the Cardinals clubhouse, players and coaches were equally surprised.

"I'm stunned -- unbelievable," catcher Jason LaRue said. "It goes to show that the system works. If you're doing it, you're going to get caught."

Before the game, a clubhouse attendant leaned into Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's office with the news, "Manny Ramirez, 50 games, steroids."

"You're kidding me," La Russa said.

La Russa wouldn't comment, but afterward, he said: "It came out of nowhere."

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols made no comment.

Digits

.396 Ramirez's batting average last season after being acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2008. He led the Dodgers to their playoff series win in two decades.

2 Years left in Ramirez's $45 million contract with the Dodgers, which he signed March 4.

$45 Million, two-year contract Ramirez signed with the Dodgers on March 4.

12 Times Ramirez has been selected to the All-Star Game.

2004 Year Ramirez was named World Series MVP. He helped lead the Red Sox to a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

533 Career home runs hit by Ramirez, which ranks 17th on the all-time list.

4 Player suspensions this season for violations of the Major League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

14 Player suspensions of 50 or more games all-time for violations of the Major League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

MLB drug scandals timeline

Aug. 22, 1998 -- A jar of androstenedione is discovered in the locker of St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire, who, along with the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, is chasing Roger Maris' single-season home run mark of 61.

May 28, 2002 -- Ken Caminiti is quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying he used steroids during his 1996 MVP season with the San Diego Padres. He estimates half the players in the big leagues were using them.

December 2003 -- Ten players, including the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds and the New York Yankees' Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, are called to testify in front of a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO).

Dec. 2, 2004 -- The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giambi testified to a federal grand jury that he had used steroids for at least three seasons and had injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003.

Dec. 3, 2004 -- The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bonds testified to a federal grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him, but he said he didn't know they were steroids.

Feb. 6, 2005 -- The New York Daily News reports that Jose Canseco says in his book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big" that he injected McGwire with steroids and introduced several other sluggers to the drugs.

March 17, 2005 -- At a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, McGwire evades questions about steroid use as he testifies alongside Canseco, Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, who denies having used steroids.

Aug. 1, 2005 -- Palmeiro is suspended for 10 days for testing positive for stanozolol, becoming the most prominent player to be penalized for steroids.

June 7, 2006 -- Federal IRS agents raid the home of relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, who admits using performance-enhancing drugs and accuses Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada of also using the drugs.

Dec. 13, 2007 -- Former Sen. George Mitchell releases a 409-page report on performance-enhancing drugs in Baseball that implicates seven MVPs and 31 All-Stars. It identifies 85 players, including Gary Sheffield, Eric Gagne, Troy Glaus, Clemens and Giambi.

May 13, 2008 -- Bonds is charged in a indictment with 15 felony counts alleging he lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and that he hampered the federal government's doping investigation.

Feb. 7, 2009 -- Sports Illustrated reports New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids during his MVP season with Texas in 2003.

Feb. 11, 2009 -- Tejada becomes the first high-profile player convicted of a crime stemming from Baseball's steroids era, pleading guilty in federal court to misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

May 7, 2009 -- Manny Ramirez is suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers star says he didn't take steroids and was given medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 9, 2009

jeff-suppan
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