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Manny to keep mum regarding his suspension

Talk to my lawyer

Manny Ramirez plans on taking a modified Jason Giambi approach to addressing his steroid suspension:

Ramirez's strategy for how he'll address the media appears to be taking shape, as sources in his camp are indicating that he'll apologize for violating baseball's drug policy but won't detail the events that led to him being suspended for 50 games. One source said that Ramirez might cite legal reasons for remaining silent on the matter, noting the possibility of suing the doctor who prescribed him HCG, a female fertility drug that is on the baseball's list of banned substances.

I don't think that Manny has a duty to explain himself to anyone -- he's doing his time for the crime and that should be the end of it -- but you know and I know that the world expects something more from him. And to that end this "I can't talk because I might sue my doctor" is a pretty bogus excuse. Manny Ramirez -- like anyone else subject to drug testing of any kind -- is the person responsible for ensuring that what goes into his body is permitted under the rules. Not his doctors, not his pharmacists, not anyone else but him, which renders any kind of lawsuit here a losing battle.

And unless there's a heck of a lot more to this story than we already know, Manny's HCG prescription isn't even what set this all off to begin with. Rather, it was his testosterone levels that came in four times higher than average and caused the baseball's investigators to look further in the first place. If Manny were to file a suit against his doctor, the doctor would, in all likelihood, defend himself by going into great detail about why he prescribed HCG. That would probably shed a lot of light on what, exactly, caused Manny's testosterone levels to be so high. At present, Manny is merely suspected of taking steroids (his ban is for having the HCG prescription). Does he really plan on opening the door to sworn testimony from a doctor confirming that?

Of course he doesn't, and if he sues his doctor over this I'll eat my hat. This is a P.R. move designed to cast Manny in a J.C. Romeroish light rather than a Roger Clemensish light. And to that extent, hey, good strategy! Most people will probably buy it and let Manny off without giving anyone an explanation.

But they probably shouldn't buy it.