Game 31: Toronto at Los Angeles pregame

Slow news day in the baseball world today, huh. I woke up with my blackberry buzzing and flashing, alerting me a hundred different ways that Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez was being suspended 50 games for testing positive for one of MLB’s banned substances.

Sheesh.

Before today’s game here at Angel Stadium, a few of us scribes chatted for a while with veteran Kevin Millar, who was a teammate of Ramirez’s in Boston. Millar said he was stunned to learn that Manny’s name became the latest to be thrown into the performance-enhancing drugs discussion.

“I was definitely shocked,” Millar said. “I think all of Los Angeles is pretty much in shock right now. I feel bad for the fans, man. That’s who I feel bad for, the people who had tickets to come see him play tonight or tomorrow. It’s kind of a bummer.”

“The guy is the best pure hitter we’ve ever seen — period,” he added later. “He’s just got the sweetest right-handed swing, I think, of our generation. Maybe the best the game’s ever seen from the right side.”

According to a statement from Ramirez, he went to a doctor and was prescribed something for personal reasons, and he didn’t know the substance he received was banned. Reports indicate that the substance was identified as the female fertility drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG.

Millar doesn’t see how there could be any excuses for what happened.

“Listen, the bottom line is it’s not rocket science,” Millar said. “We’re responsible for everything we take — period. It’s not about the ban. If there’s something that you’re taking, you ask the question. If you test positive, you’re responsible for it — that’s the bottom line.

“As Major League players, we know there’s a testing policy and if I want to go tomorrow to go to GNC and get something, I’m going to make sure it’s OK. I think that’s the normal thing. I think we’ve all got to be accountable for our own actions at some point.”

Millar then retrieved a plastic container from his locker that had seven days worth of pills inside.

“I take vitamins every day,” said Millar, opening the case and pouring some pills into his hand. “If one of these things tests positive, that’s my fault. That’s not the company’s fault.”

BLUE SKIES: While chatting with Aaron Hill on the field this afternoon, Scott Rolen walked over to us and pointed to the sky. “We’re going to try to get that moved before BP starts, OK?” Rolen said. He was pointing to the lone, sorry excuse for a cloud that was floating above the ballpark here in sunny Anaheim. That Rolen, always the joker.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (20-10)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Travis Snider, LF

Starter: RHP Robert Ray (0-0)

Angels.gifLOS ANGELES ANGELS (12-14)

1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Maicer Izturis, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Torii Hunter, CF
5. Kendry Morales, 1B
6. Mike Napoli, DH
7. Juan Rivera, LF
8. Howie Kendrick, 2B
9. Jeff Mathis, C

Starter: RHP Jered Weaver (2-1)

~JB

7 Comments

Kevin – there’s a reason we fans in Boston still love you! Thank you.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Millar’s right. Hey Julia, will you still love him if he hits the game winning hit. lol

I thought Rene said it best in the previous entry. Yes, some credit should go to Cito but as he said Cito has had some losing seasons before. As Bob McCown likes to say, “you can’t turn chicken **** into chicken salad.” so with that said, as much as people despise J.P. they have to take a second and realize that he’s done some really good things lately (not including his big mouth). Romero (who now looks more valuable than Tolowitski) Richmond, Cecil etc. were all drafted and brought in by Riccardi and he’s hirid what looks like when of the better pitching coaches in the leauge to bring out the best in them. Pitchers by the way, aren’t known to be Cito’s specialty yet they had the best staff last year under him and Gibbons and have a “patch work” rotation this year that is third in ERA.

Cito can get some of the credit sure, but don’t forget who’s giving him the peices to play with.

I agree with you, Enigma. The people that call JP stupid are really too stupid to realize what he has done for the Jays. You guys forget that when he took over as GM, this club was bleeding money, didn’t have a hope of contending, it’s farm system was in tatters, and was on the verge of elimination by MLB. During his tenure, he has kept the business afloat by being financially responsible, built up the farm system, the scouting system, and the minor league coaching and instructional staff, AND put a team together that has a better than even chance of beating any other club on any given day. So he is not only responsible for this year’s winning record, but also for the fact that we have baseball in Toronto at all. He should be appreciated for that.
I don’t believe a thing he says, either. I do believe that what he says in public is more carefully planned than most people realize. Me, I’m content to look at the W-L column.

The fact that Manny is playing in the NL West kind of makes him irrelevant to us. Too bad we don’t play interlocking games with them, because the Jay’s record in 08 was good enough for the Pennant in the NL West, but only good enough for 4th in the AL East.
I heard a rumor that the Jays were going to sign a player development contract with the Dodgers, but decided on the 51s because the opposing teams were better! LOL

JB
Congratulations to you and your wife on the news of your baby boy! Draft Class of 2030 watch out!

I managed to get tickets for tonight’s game and Thursday. It’ll be the first time i’ve seen the Yankees live, i’m really excited. Here’s hoping for a great atmosphere!

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