Manny Should Fire Scott Boras

Not to excuse Manny Ramirez's own culpability, but Scott Boras really, really failed Manny on this whole steroids thing. An agent is supposed to protect his player and pay attention to the details so the player doesn't have to worry about anything. Boras, and/or his staff, dropped the ball big time.

Essentially, this whole thing comes down to botched paperwork. Had Manny applied for a "Therapeutic Use Exemption" the world would have gone on believing that he was only quirky, not dirty.

Players get waivers for banned drugs all the time (see Question 3). Had Ramirez's people filled out the proper paperwork, Manny could have taken HCG and no one would have said anything. And when his testosterone levels came up high in his spring training drug test, MLB would have given him a pass because it would have known he was taking a drug that increases testosterone levels.

Instead, the bad test set off a chain reaction in which Manny perhaps could have been suspended for longer than 50 games.

According to ESPN, MLB determined Ramirez's off-the-charts testosterone level came from an unnatural source. In preparing a defense, Boras dropped the ball again when it was revealed to MLB that Manny was also taking the banned substance HCG. See, Goose, Cooked.

It's like a guy who's pulled over for speeding, and when the cop asks for his license and registration he hands him a bag of weed.

Now, the story says MLBPA turned over Manny's health records per the CBA, but the MLBPA would had to have gotten them from Boras, who could have conveniently edited potentially damaging information for his client.

In any event, it all could have been avoided if Ramirez just filled out the waiver to begin with. Which makes you wonder just how many players have TUE's to cover up their steroids use.

It also makes the usual media reaction -- from both the outraged and the deniers --  look a little foolish. As long as there's a "Therapeutic Use Exemption," we know that performance enhancing substances are a part of baseball.


By: vtadave
On: 5/11/2009 9:48:00 PM
How would Manny have justified a TUE for a female fertility drug though? I don't understand this stuff obviously as Will Carroll, but while perhaps Boras could have handled this better (guessing we don't know all the details), but despite Manny's "aloof" personality, he knew exactly what he was doing and should bear 100% of the responsibility.
By: bdunn20
On: 5/11/2009 10:25:00 PM
Applying for an exemption wouldn't have excused the failed test for synthetic testosterone.

Maybe it's just me, but editing medical files probably wouldn't be considered ethical and how do you know Boras handled Manny's personal medical files?
By: Jason Thornbury
On: 5/11/2009 10:44:00 PM
Manny took HCG because he had low testosterone levels, which can be perfectly legitimate, and likely would have earned him a TUE waiver.

Bdunn, the first test showed high levels of testosterone. A second test was then ordered to determine whether it was natural. Had Manny had a waiver, that second test never would have occurred because the high level of testosterone would have been chalked up to HCG. And yeah, obviously editing medical files isn't ethical, but when has ethics stopped a sports agent, especially in such a sensitive situation as this? I don't know for a fact that Boras handled his medical files, but I can't figure how the MLBPA would get them if not through Boras.

By: signal1
On: 5/12/2009 4:28:00 AM
This whole issue goes to show how far standards of fair play, ethics and duplicity are rated today. Plain and simple ...he is a cheat. All this talk of whether Boras or anyone else should have "taken care of business" is irrelevant. Manny ( and no doubt countless others) are cheats who manipulate the system. Stop pussy footing about and suspend cheaters for 1 year the first time and a total ban if caught again. All these Manny types think, no believe, they are above the rules/law. It's about time someone shows them they are not.
By: iceguy
On: 5/12/2009 6:25:00 AM
How about Boras and Manny "deciding" not to appeal the day before ARod came back? Who represents ARod again?
By: Charlie Zegers
On: 5/12/2009 6:48:00 AM
You're right -- MLB is ridden with exceptions to the drug policy. I remember a story about some astronomical percentage of ballplayers that were formally listed as having ADD and being treated with Ritalin and similar. (Oddly enough, this happened shortly after MLB banned all stimulants stronger than coffee.)
By: herbilk
On: 5/12/2009 8:01:00 AM
Boras really only dropped the ball on this if you believe that Manny had some sort of medical condition that required an infusion of testosterone. It's one thing to claim your client has ADD, an actual medical condition that is well documented and wouldn't raise any red flags with MLB. It's something completely different to go to major league baseball with some medical condition, I don't know what, which requires HCG. I'm pretty sure MLB would do a little bit more investigating than with a player who claims to have ADD. It's likely that they would go back and check Manny's past urine tests to see if he had low levels of testosterone and probably also contact the doctor who diagnosed him.

Now, if you believe that Manny really did have such a condition then yes, Boras didn't do his job. If that isn't the case though, and Manny just needed the HCG to get his testosterone levels back up due to PED use, then I don't see how you can blame Boras. Applying for a TUE in that situation would have brought more scrutiny to his client and in the end there's a good chance major league baseball wouldn't have even given it to him. I'm sure Boras knows this. He's a lot of things, but dummy isn't one of them.
By: Jason Thornbury
On: 5/12/2009 11:23:00 AM
That would be true if baseball was really intent on ridding the game of PEDs. It's not, though, because doing so would discredit hundreds of players, including many of the major stars -- it would ruin the sport. So, MLB has taken the approach of trying to wean the game off steroids instead of going cold turkey. Thus, it hands out waivers to cover PED users until they cycle out of the league. We don't know how many waivers are handed out or for what reasons (because neither MLB nor MLBPA have any desire to release it), but it's not a stretch to think waivers are lightly scrutinized, if not rubber-stamped. Boras just didn't jump through the right hoops for Manny.
By: herbilk
On: 5/12/2009 12:55:00 PM
If what you are saying is true, then every player would request a waiver on just about everything. What's the harm if it truly is rubber stamped?

Obviously, the answer is somewhere in between. Some requests actually are going to be denied or raise suspicion. As stated in the article that you link, no waivers for HGH have ever been allowed, according to the MLB.
By: Jason Thornbury
On: 5/12/2009 1:47:00 PM
The article said a TUE has never been given for HGH, not that HGH TUE requests have been denied. Why would a player request a waiver for a drug that MLB doesn't test for?

My point is that known users like A-Rod have been grandfathered into the system. But they must do it within MLB's system. They can't freelance on their own like Manny. Had Manny played by MLB's rules, he wouldn't have been suspended.
By: jtopper
On: 5/12/2009 8:12:00 PM
Sorry, but I don't get the 106 exemptions for banned ADHD drugs the league gave at the end of the 2007 season. That's 106 major league players! Here's the story link

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