Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Manny, briefly

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.
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.
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:
  1. Be eligible for an All-Star game for 12 months from the end of the suspension
  2. Be eligible for any after-season (MVP, Cy Young, etc.) awards for 12 months from the end of the suspension
  3. 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:

  4. 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).


Jason said...

I disagree - it's a 50 gamessuspension. Not allowing them to prepare in the minors effectively turns it into a ~55 game supension (or however many games he spends in the minors getting back).

I'm surprised people are as worked up about this as they are.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

This is not getting worked up. Just that I believe a 50 game suspension should be just that.

The player can get ready to compete on his own.

There would be much more spittle on my monitor if I were worked up.

Ron Rollins said...

It's a 50 game suspension at the major league level. Manny Ramirez is a major league player, not a journey man who goes back and forth.

He's still serving a 50 game suspension at the major league level.

Maybe the wording is wrong, but he is fullfiling the letter of the law.

If it was guy in AAA, then he should be suspended 50 games at the AAA level and be allowed to rehab at the AA level.

To me, this line of thinking means Fausto Carmona should have only been demoted to AAA and forced to pitch there, and not the instructional league. This is why the make such a big distinction between levels.

Ron Rollins said...

And, Jason, just to clarify. You know I'm not picking on you, but I have to ask.

If a guy was suspended for the entire season, the day before Opening Day, would he then not be allowed to attend Spring Training the next year to get ready for the season, or have to either start cold or do a rehab assignment then?

Because that then amounts to more than a seasons worth of games?

It just seems to me that this is a non-issue. Manny is being punished, and the game is not better by having him sit out 50 games, let alone 60.

In my opinion.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I don't know how I feel. Both sides have an interesting argument. The one thing I don't agree with is Ron talking about the letter of the law. I don't think anyone's disputing that he CAN do this. They're wondering if he SHOULD be able to do this.

That is a tougher question, but I think it's just a rephrasing of another question that we've been asking. Shouldn't the sentence be longer or tougher? If you want it tougher, then Manny shouldn't be allowed back, even in the minors, before his suspension is up. If not or don't care that much, then just the 50 MLB games is enough.

The meaning of the suspension is to keep him out of 50 games, to not be able to help his team for 50 games. If he can't have a minor-league rehab assignment, it becomes closer to a 52-55 game suspension. Yeah, he can probably roll out of bed and hit, but he will be rusty. The idea isn't to screw up his value when he gets back.

Then again, over the course of an entire season, these 5 games won't make much of a difference. He'll be worth 5 to 6 wins a season, which means that him being slightly disabled for 5 games brings his value down .18 wins. I think I'm with the first Jason. I don't think it really matters all that much.