Manny, PEDs and the media

It’s interesting to me, in light of Manny Ramirez’ suspension for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), how certain media elements are handling the story.  While some like ESPN or Sports Illustrated are taking a more hard line approach, MLB.com not surprisingly is towing the company line and taking a more conciliatory approach. 

Compare these two articles that came out the day the suspension was announced, one from Sports Illustrated and the other from MLB.com.

Both are factual and to my knowledge, accurate.   However, the SI makes some clear or at least implied allegations that go beyond Mr Ramirez:

Ramirez is the first major star to be suspended under baseball’s stricter drug-testing rules that went into effect in 2003. Until now, baseball and the players union have portrayed drug use as having been nearly eradicated in the past few years, pointing out that the major drug-related stories — involving Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez and the revelations in the Mitchell Report — involved drug use prior to the 2003 tightening of the program.

It’s also interesting to note the tone of the headlines of “Related Articles” from SI.  Manny saga no longer funny, the sarcastic Didn’t see this one coming and Do you buy Ramirez’ excuse?

MLB.com’s initial article, predictably and I guess blamelessly, has a very official and almost apologetic tone to it.  There are quotes from Ramirez about his “doctor’s excuse “ and his statement of apology to the owner of the Dodgers; Joe Torre, his teammates and of course, the fans. 

We also read the requisite statements from other baseball officials on how “saddened” they are. 

Links to other articles on MLB.com point to official documents such as Major League’s official drug policy and the official statements by Ramirez and the player’s union and the MLB. And more articles about how others are sad about this…. but not angry. 

Where am I going with this?  Do I think MLB is evil because they don’t tell the whole story or because they sugar coat the issue?  Not really.  Do I think ESPN, USA Today Sports and others are the bastions of sports freedom because the speak the truth?  HARDLY. 

Just this and maybe it’s painfully obvious, baseball fans need to diversify their sports news input.  Since MLB.com obviously has direct access to the information, it’s a great place to go for the hard facts like stats, boxscores, game wrapups etc.  But for good analysis, I’ll read the columnists on the more independent (but not as independent as I’d like) media outlets. 

But for straight out-and-out opinions, I’ll read the blogs.

One Response to “Manny, PEDs and the media”

  1. FINALLY!!! MLB has caught a “star”, although he is Hispanic. Now MLB needs to find a white “star” to suspend 50 games. I’ve been outspoken in my criticism of MLB for only suspending marginally talented Hispanic ballplayers.

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