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Manny Ramirez Crushed My Kid's Dream

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And I'm mad as hell!

manny ramirez LA dodgers

Jay Brown: When Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games for a positive drug test, I wasn't sure I would have to talk about it with my son Holden. He's only 8, so I figured he probably wouldn't hear about it.

The problem is, he's a HUGE Dodgers fan. And Manny is his favorite player. There are posters and billboards of this guy all over the place in L.A., and Holden is really getting into baseball now that he's playing little league this season. I decided to wait it out. If he brought it up, we'd talk about it. If not, we wouldn't.

A few days after the suspension was announced, we were out to eat at Holden's favorite restaurant, uWink, and Holden was facing the television set in the restaurant. I didn't think much about it, but I guess the news was on.

Suddenly, he said, "Dad, how long is 50 games?"

Uh-oh. I said, "Well, 50 games is a long time. That's already to the middle of July."

Then he said, "Dad, Manny did drugs."

He just kind of blurted it out and looked confused, hurt, upset.

I said yes, he did -- then asked him if he understood what that means.

"Yeah," he said, uncertain.

"What do you think it means?"

"He did something bad."

I tried to tell him that maybe it wasn't intentional, but that he didn't follow the rules. I talked to him about steroids, and told him that taking steroids was like cheating.

I was pissed off -- that Manny let my kid down, and that I had to have this conversation with my 8-year-old at all.

Manny's not getting all this money just to play baseball. He's a sports hero ... that's what he gets paid for.

You don't really realize how much these people affect your kids. Before I had kids, I always thought, "Well, it's really not their responsibility to be a role model." But once you become a parent, and you see how much your kids look up to people like Manny, you realize it really IS their responsibility, like it or not.

This is the first sports guy my son has really looked up to. He knew his name, he knew his jersey number, he even called him by his first name. Just a few weeks ago, I heard him tell a kid at baseball practice that his favorite player wasn't Babe Ruth, it was MANNY.

He believed the hype, and Manny crushed his dream.

A few days ago, Holden said, "Manny took steroids, Dad." I asked if someone told him that at school, and he said HE was the one telling the other kids. Now their parents will have to have this conversation, too.

Maybe Manny didn't know there was an illegal steroid in what he was taking, but when you make that much money, and have that many kids looking up to you, you better be damn sure.

My kids and thousands of others like him look up to this person, and he let them down. And now as a parent I'm forced to talk about steroids with a second-grader. Talk about innocence lost.

Thanks for nothing, Manny Ramirez!

next: A Partridge in a Playboy?
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
rugbymom May 14, 2009, 3:16 PM

Art Modell crushed mine! Welcome to the wild world of sports.

L May 14, 2009, 4:26 PM

That is the problem when people, children escpecially, have role models. They are looked at as if they are larger than life and are put on this pedestal where they must meet certain expectations. I understand that he did do steroids but seriously role models are pointless. If you are looking up to a star or celebrity what does that say about you?

Jill (the other one) May 14, 2009, 6:01 PM

My only role model as a child was Kermit the Frog, and he has never let me down.
Real human beings are fallible, they make mistakes. That’s why we make such lousy role models.

Anony-moose May 14, 2009, 6:59 PM

It might be a hard lesson, but I think it’s important for kids to understand that all people make mistakes, even their heroes/role models. Not to defend Manny, but as far as legends like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron are concerned, both of these guys took amphetamines. Baseball has a long history of performance enhancing, from amphetamines to steroids, and all the corked bats in between.

Nomad May 14, 2009, 11:05 PM

for Manny’s case (and everyone in his position) the “I didn’t know” excuse expired a long time ago

Pastor Rick May 15, 2009, 3:47 AM

Yes, YOU can blame Manny for as YOU said Crushing Your Sons Dreams, it’s always easier to blame someone else.

However if His dreams are really crushed, you should blame yourself for teaching your kids to idolize.

Manny is just as his name says, mearly a man, and I don’t idolize man… Any man! Nor should you and your kids.


Pastor Rick

kevin May 15, 2009, 10:15 AM

Just to let you know…manny didn’t test positive for steroids…Thought you might want to know that considering that is what you are saying. please do me a favor and know what you are talking about before you say stuff…I’m getting this sent to my work e-mail and have to read this…

Kirstie May 15, 2009, 4:39 PM

He did not test positive for a steriod, FYI. It was a blacklisted prescription, but not a performance-enhancing steroid.

However, he should have double-checked to avoid this issue regardless.

Anonymous May 15, 2009, 6:17 PM

HCG, is not an anabolic/an-drogenic steroid but a natural protein hormone which develops in the placenta of a pregnant woman. HCG is manufac-tured from the urine of pregnant women since it is excreted in un-changed form from the blood via the woman’s urine, passing through the kidneys.

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