We all know that the overwhelming majority of MLB'ers are using, and they get away with it because they are using undetectable substances. Ask Victor Conte(BALCO, Bonds): The cream and the clear are not the only undetectable things out there, and for every Victor Conte that got caught, there are plenty of other guys providing pro athletes with juice. Manny played in a dirty, dirty game. He was in the majority of players who use banned substances.
What made Manny great was his swing, not the juice. Manny is the best right handed hitter not named Pujols because of his natural talent, and his passion. When Manny played for the Sox(winning two rings) beat writers would note how early he arrived on game day. How he would tweak the pitching machine to throw sliders, away. Manny would do this all day and then go play.
Sure, the juice helped Manny to recover. It helped him get some extra power behind his opposite field hits. But what about the pitchers and fielders he was facing who were also juiced? The people most immune to this logic are Yankee fans. Yankee fans! These guys have won 5 Titles during the steroid era, yet their fans think they were somehow clean! Get over it Yank fans! Baseball is dirty. They are ALL using. As they say, if you aint cheatin, you aint tryin.
I'm not saying that steroids are good, or that we should celebrate Manny for using. I'm just saying that Manny deserves credit for his career in the form of induction to the Hall of Fame. Given all of the Haterade being passed around, it might take Manny a while to make it. He still has 5 years before he is eligible. After that, he can stay on the ballot for up to 15 years!
Within the next 20 years, two things are sure to happen: Current Hall-of-Famers will be outed as users(Gwynn, Henderson, among others), and Manny Ramirez(and Clemens, Bonds, etc) will be inducted to the Hall.
Tune in tomorrow, when I discuss why Bill Belichick is a fucking wizard!