The New York Times reports today that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing substances in 2003. Their names were on the now famous list of positive tests from 2003; a list that was supposed to be destroyed.
What does this mean for the Dodgers? Well, honestly, not much. I think that most fans have developed steroid fatigue and have long accepted that most of the accomplishments of the past 10-15 years were tainted in some way. Fans have also shown they still love the game, and baseball attendance and TV ratings remain strong. Manny Ramirez has shown remarkable resilience after his first positive test, and he continues to be a popular figure here. This is not a surprise to people, and I don't think LA fans views on Manny will change.
That being said, this news does do two things.
First, there were some who tried to frame Ramirez's first positive test as a "one-time mistake." Now that assertion looks silly and some may have the impression that Manny is a habitual steroid user. Secondly, if Ramirez's Hall of Fame hopes were on ice before, then, well that ice has melted.
I've long said that MLB should establish a commission to review the "steroid era" and provide clear recommendations to the Hall of Fame. But short of that, it appears the current crop of baseball writers are determined to vote "no" on anyone who has even the slightest steroid suspicion. This will further dampen the Hall hopes for guys who have not been publicly linked, such as Jeff Bagwell or Jim Thome, because the entire era is tainted. My guess is that the vast majority of players who earned their great success in the past 15 years will not make it. Greg Maddux could be one of the only exceptions.
This news will also lead to continued banter between Yankee and Red Sox fans about the legitimacy of the 2004 and 2007 World Series titles, but we live in LA, and I don't really care for either team.