Manny mostly mum about NY Times report

Manny mostly mum about Times report

ST. LOUIS -- Manny Ramirez addressed his latest controversy involving performance-enhancing drugs by not addressing it.

"If you guys want to talk about the game and what happens now, I can sit and talk for two hours. But something happened six years ago, I don't want to talk about that," Ramirez said Thursday, after a New York Times report that he and former Boston teammate David Ortiz are on the list of players testing positive for PEDs in 2003.

David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez

"If you want more information, you have the number for the union. Call them."

Ramirez -- suspended 50 games earlier this year for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy because he was prescribed a banned female fertility drug often associated with steroid use -- deflected a question whether the latest controversy taints the two World Series championships he and Ortiz won with Boston.

"One more thing: Me and David are like two mountains," he said. "We'll still keep doing good, no matter what. That's the way it's going to be. We're going to keep playing the game. We'll try to move forward. That's the key here. We're still going to be doing good. Only God can move those two mountains."

According to lawyers who spoke to The New York Times, and whose names were not revealed, Ortiz and Ramirez are on the list of 104 players who tested positive in Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing for performance-enhancing drugs, testing that was agreed to and conducted only on the condition that the results would remain anonymous.

Ortiz and Ramirez were members of the Boston Red Sox at the time and helped the club end an 86-year streak in which it hadn't won a World Series.

Results from the 2003 tests, which met a threshold that led to the establishment of MLB's current drug policy that includes random testing, were never destroyed and have been the subject of spirited debate among fans and media about what should be done with the names from that period in which, under collective bargaining rules, the substances were outlawed but use did not carry the penalty of suspension. The results have become a legal issue being contested by the MLB Players Association and the federal government.

According to the Times, new information on Ortiz and Ramirez sprang from interviews with persons connected to pending litigation.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said: "It's hard to know where the truth is on everything. It's speculatory."

After Thursday's game, Ortiz released a statement that indicated he had contacted the Players Association, which confirmed that he was on the 2003 list.

"Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive," Ortiz said.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre, initially saying he had no comment on Ramirez's latest controversy because "I don't know all the information," later repeated many views he had offered in response to Ramirez's 50-game suspension.

He said Ramirez had served his suspension -- "that's pretty good punishment" -- didn't deny "that he did something wrong" and didn't back away from taking responsibility of having to do that. Torre said once Ramirez had paid his penalty, "and he'd like to move on.

"I don't know what more you want from him," Torre said. "Go into his living room and undress him? He didn't deny it and took his medicine and here he is."

Since returning from suspension, Ramirez is hitting .300 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 21 games. On the season he is .327-11-37.

In a bigger picture, Torre again said he was saddened by the steady stream of these types of stories the game must overcome.

"I'm just sorry the story doesn't go away," he said. "The more it systematically leaks out, the more that question the game we play. I'd like to put the game on a higher plane so that one day it's behind us.

"Coming out a little at a time, it may be better if it was all at once. Then it keeps you from holding your breath every time you hear a news flash."

Torre said the repeated questions from the media are "annoying, but I understand it has to happen."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Tom Singer contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.