The big question in baseball right now is "Did Manny Juice?".
Well, the answer is painfully obvious.
Manny, after testing positive for HCG, a drug normally used by women for fertility purposes, stated that his doctor gave it to him and thought it was "OK" to take. The story is a tired one and doesn't make sense. Manny could have easily went to the team physician or could have even asked the league for an exception for his "personal health issue", which he didn't specify. He didn't try to sue like J.C. Romero to prove his innocence, he merely apologized to everyone and didn't want to disclose any details about it.
Since the drug is known to help the body make testosterone, many anabolic steroid users use this after ending a cycle of drug use for this reason since the body stops making testosterone when on steroids. But the drug is also used for weight loss. If the drug is used with a low-calorie diet then the user loses more body fat then muscle tissue, but this wasn't Manny's original excuse. He claimed he got it for a health issue, but the only way HCG is used as a medicine for men or women is as a fertility treatment. So there goes that reason.
So Manny's story doesn't check out, and isn't too believable.
The only explanation I can think of is that he would roid frequently in the offseason and use the drug to get it out of his system and take away the side effects when suddenly stopping. Whether or not he knew that baseball banned the substance last year is only known by him, but you got to give him credit, he almost cheated the system. But he should have known that when you're doing something you're not supposed to be doing that you're going to get caught eventually and deal with the consequences. Which he now has to do for the rest of his life.
The question of whether his reputation will be tarnished is not of my concern at this moment , right now all I can think about is the blatant betrayal. So many fans in Los Angeles have shown him so much love only to realize he's a cheater, the ones not covering their ears and saying "La La La, I can't hear you!" at least. I want to say very badly right now that I'm jumping to conclusions but the fact of the matter is that all signs show that Manny is a juicer. He's betrayed baseball, his colleagues, and most importantly his fans. I was looking forward to going to the game this Mother's Day but when I think about the whole situation I can't get away from the disappointment, I can almost smell it in the ballpark air, I can taste it when I take a bite out of a Dodger Dog. And I laugh to myself, is this how it feels to be a Giants fan?
So what lies ahead for baseball?
A lot of people knew Manny didn't roid until this morning, so who can we trust? I'm even hearing Albert Pujols name come up, that was never the case before. I almost feel like a description should be put for everyone who played in the steroid era, actually stating that they played in the steroid era and leave a question mark after all their stats. That's how much my trust for the players who played in that era, and the ones who are still lingering from that depressing era has been destroyed.
Juicing is an unnatural advantage on the competition and is cheating. No matter how many Dodger fans want to deny what Manny did, he cheated, and people are just going to have to accept that. Hopefully he learns from all this and not only comes clean about what he did, but plays clean the rest of his career to try to redeem himself. Steroids is just something not acceptable to me.
Through all these questions, all these uncertainties, one thing is certain, Manny Ramirez will never be viewed the same in the eyes of baseball ever again.