The only thing I can say about the Manny story is that at least it’s better than the ever-so-fascinating speculation about whether the 26th-best QB in the league will one again unretire and make a team mediocre by his very presence. And there is at least the comedy of sportswriters climbing over themselves to be more moralistic. There are the inevitable explanations about how taking steroids is OK if a player you like did it. Claims that a first offense should mean a lifetieme suspension and players who used PEDs should be treated like scabs, even those who (unlike Ramirez) didn’t even “cheat” in any meaningful sense (i.e. by breaking an actual rule that is actually being enforced.) The Dodgers should release him. (Could you trade him to the Mets instead? We have a recent 15-game winner to give up!) Manny should not be voted to the HOF even though excluding steroid users would be completely incoherent. Etc. Etc. Etc. Gawd.
…as part of his comprehensive link roundup, Keri notes this from Bill James: “You give me the opportunity to earn $22 million a year by taking steroids, I’ll shoot the pharmacist if I have to. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying I shouldn’t be punished for shooting the pharmacist. I am saying it is self-righteous to pretend that I don’t have the same human failings that these guys do, and further, if you are insisting that you don’t have them, I don’t believe you.” And, more to the point, leaving aside the fact that the sainted players of the Greatest Generation who are the only legitimate HOFers ever did use PEDs (except that for some reason it was kinda charming when they did it) anyone who thinks that many players from the Era of Integritude wouldn’t have used them if they weren’t available is dreaming in technicolor.