I've said plenty about Manny over the last several weeks. I enjoyed my 15 minutes with VoteForManny (PS: still time to vote!). Immensely. That it's remained a discussion within baseball means that perhaps MLB will look to change a rule or two. That's a success for me.
What I do have a problem with is something brought up the other day: That Manny could start a minor league stint in advance of his suspension being over. This is just plain wrong. Fifty games should be fifty games. Then he's allowed to participate in team-sanctioned events, either in the minors or majors. Not before his sentence expires. You don't get to sit in front of a parole board and get out early for good behavior, claiming you are rehabilitated.
So why should Ramirez be given the privilege of getting to play in minor league games before he has served his full suspension? There are no special privileges for minor-league players, guys who are playing for $25,000 or so a year, not $25 million, like Ramirez. When minor-league players face 50-game suspensions they have to serve their suspensions. Nobody finds a way to get them 10 games of competition before they return to the active roster.So Mr. Selig, please consider adding this to the list of loopholes that I firmly believe should be closed. Guys who are suspended for PEDs should not:
It isn't like Ramirez was injured. He was suspended for his own actions. So he should have to pay the full price. It's sad that he has even been allowed to work out at Dodger Stadium, although he can't be visible during the time the media is allowed in the clubhouse.
- Be eligible for an All-Star game for 12 months from the end of the suspension
- Be eligible for any after-season (MVP, Cy Young, etc.) awards for 12 months from the end of the suspension
- Be eligible to appear in any game, facility, event, function sanctioned by his major league team and the team's minor league affiliates until the conclusion of his suspension.
And if it's not too much trouble:
- Get rid of "This One Counts" for the All-Star game permanently. Keep the fan vote and mandatory representation. Let regular season record decide the home field advantage with the tiebreaker being interleague record (or some other tiebreaker).