How Far They've Fallen

If you're a baseball fan, then you know that steroid-pumping quitter Manny Ramirez returned last night from a 50-game suspension, imposed for testing positive for drugs associated with a performance-enhancing cycle. Actually, Manny has not completed his suspension, but the rules allow him to begin his comeback in the minor leagues, so he suited up with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes (not to be confused with the Springfield Isotopes). The Ramirez steroids scandal is the biggest in pro sports this year. But on SportsCenter last night, there was a moment of politico-athletic scandal serendipity when it was reported that one-time Obama Commerce Secretary nominee Bill Richardson, who withdrew amid an ethics scandal, attended the game and pronounced Manny's joining the Isotopes "a fantastic day for New Mexico"...the circumstances of this "fantastic" turn of events being, let's remember, the entirely just punishment of an epic cheat who has forever tarnished baseball. Nice going, Bill! Ramirez went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. But on balance, I think Richardson proved himself the bigger sad sack.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Richardson e-mails to say that SportsCenter was wrong--Richardson never said it was a "fantastic day" for New Mexico. Richardson was at the game, but he didn't make any such comment, the spokesman said.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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