Is Manny the tip of the iceberg?

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The doctor who allegedly prescribed Manny his drugs is under the federal microscope:

As Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez nears the end of his
50-game suspension, Drug Enforcement Administration investigators are
looking at a Miami doctor and his son as the source of his banned
performance-enhancing drug, sources familiar with the investigation
told ESPN . . . Investigators believe the prescription for human
chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio
Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida
since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a
contact between his father and Ramirez . . .

. . . Anthony Bosch is well known in Latin American baseball
circles, sources say. His relationships with players date at least from
the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with
players and known to procure tickets to big league ballparks,
especially in Boston and New York.

If a doctor is writing improper prescriptions, that’s usually a state
matter (i.e. the medical board). As far as a federal drug crime matter,
the case of Manny Ramirez in and of itself is so small its almost
non-existent. I mean, yes, there’s the suggestion of illegality here,
but there aren’t exactly hordes of marauding female fertility drug
lords shooting up the streets of border towns.

But read that last-quoted bit again — the part about the doctor’s son
knowing lots of ballplayers — and realize that the feds have generally
had their PED-interest limited to those cases in which there are
multiple athletes involved: BALCO, Radomski, McNamee, etc. Then realize
that, despite the fact that Latin players have constituted a
disproportionate number of positive drug tests since the beginning of
the testing program, very few of them were named in the Mitchell Report
or have had their names mentioned in any of the other high-profile
investigations.

Taken together, these facts lead me to wonder whether the Manny
Ramirez affair isn’t the beginning of the next big PED story. The
Latin-BALCO, if you will.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
Getty Images
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.