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Rays react to Manny suspension

Posted May 7, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated May 7, 2009 at 06:43 PM

NEW YORK—If there was a universal reaction among Rays players who would talk about Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension (and some wouldn’t), it was that he was the last guy anyone expected to be involved with performance-enhancing drugs. So you heard the word “shocked” quite a bit this afternoon, and no one took it harder than Carlos Pena, who idolized his fellow Dominican when he was a young guy trying to make his way up.

Here are some of the Rays’ reactions to the news:

Carlos Pena

“It’s just something that, when I had Sega Genesis, I used to be him. What can we say? It’s definitely bad news, and bad news is never welcome. It just makes all of us feel sad, because he’s one of our favorites. I think you go around baseball and guys in general speak great things about him.”

“It just devastates me, it really does. It’s just not good for the game. I’m a baseball player, but I’m also a huge fan of his – not only as a ballplayer, but he’s always been so gracious to all of us. So it just makes me sad.”

Carl Crawford

“I was shocked. I mean, seriously shocked. He worked out with me at API [a training center in Arizona] before and I’ve seen him work hard, just as hard as me. So that’s why I say I was extremely shocked when I heard that.”

Scott Kazmir

“He seemed like he would be the last guy. It’s unfortunate. It’s really putting a damper on a lot of years of good baseball. I mean, wow. I never would have thought.”

James Shields

“It definitely is bad publicity for the game; I don’t think any of that’s good. But the good news is that the drug testing does work and guys need to really pay attention to that. The game’s starting to clean up a lot now, and big-name players like A-Rod and Manny and a lot of those guys are coming out. I think the game’s starting to change a little bit.”

Evan Longoria

“I think the game has been a little bit tainted. Baseball isn’t as clean, I guess – the slate isn’t as clean as it used to be. I think with the testing in place, they’re doing a good job and it’s definitely proven that it works and guys are getting tested and caught. Hopefully within the next whatever it takes – 10, 20, 30 years – America’s pastime will eventually be cleaned up. It’ll be back to what it used to be and I think that’s why the plan is in place.”

Joe Maddon

“You just keep waiting for that moment where you get to that point where you just put it in the rear-view mirror and move on forward. We’re just not able to get there yet. All these little blisters keep popping up and remind you of that and it always creates doubt. It creates doubt among other players even though they may be fine and clean and whatever – there’s still going to be speculation based on maybe a lack of performance below what they maybe had done in the past. I’m looking forward to getting beyond that. We don’t need that stuff. The game is a great game when played without all the unnatural sources.”

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