Thu May 07 12:07pm EDT
According to a bombshell report released this morning by the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez will be suspended 50 games starting today for testing positive for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It is his first offense.
The news completely derails all the good vibes generated by the Dodgers during their current 13-0 undefeated streak at Dodger Stadium and since the club traded for Ramirez at last year's deadline.
Ramirez is by far the biggest star to be suspended by MLB under the new drug policy. The unpaid suspension will also dock him $7.7 million in salary.
The LA Times has more:
Ramirez is expected to attribute the test results to medication received from a doctor for a personal medical issue, according to a source familiar with matter but not authorized to speak publicly.
With the suspension taking effect with tonight's game at Dodger Stadium, Ramirez will not be eligible to return to the team until July 3.
And Red Sox bloggers? You can start writing those "See, we told you so" posts ... now.
UPDATE: Confirmed. MLB just sent this statement via email at 12:03 ET:
"The office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that outfielder Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been suspended 50 games for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Ramirez is effective immediately."
UPDATE #2: Ramirez has issued this statement:
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and
passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.
"I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."