What did Manny take?

May 7, 2009 2:41:44 PM PDT
There's a great deal of interest in exactly what kind of drug Manny Ramirez's doctor prescribed him that got him suspended for nearly a third of the baseball season today.

There's also much interest and some skepticism about his statement that the medication given him by his doctor contained a substance banned by baseball.

What in the world kind of medication could that be - if it weren't, as the flamboyant but talented Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder insists, steroids? Powerful anti-inflammatories? Decongestants? Erectile dysfunction pills? What?

Ramirez says only that it was for a "personal health issue," which could be one of 346,584 conditions. Give or take a couple.

The fact that he's not challenging his 50-game suspension -- and that his union isn't either -- speaks volumes.

One report on the wire suggests that Ramirez took a drug called HCG, used to stimulate female fertility as well as testosterone production in men, and to treat delayed puberty in boys.

Now why in the world would he need that?

Come clean Manny.

And give baseball kudos for finally cracking down on a big name player who violates the game's better-late-than-never drug policy.

You can tell us what you think about all this, by clicking here to vote in our Question of the Day.

We'll have the latest on the Manny-being-Manny saga, including what it means for the Dodgers, who have the best record in the sport, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the nation's banks' "stress test" results were released today. Most banks would not do well if the economy continues to plummet, according to the findings. And 10 of the 19 studied need to raise more than $70 billion in capital.

But now comes a new investigation finding many big banks - which are now receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts - were most to blame for the current economic crisis.

Charming. We'll have the latest on the economy - and the bank stress tests, at 11.

We're also in Middletown, Connecticut tonight, where police are still searching for Stephen Morgan, the man suspected of shooting a 21-year-old Wesleyan University student yesterday.

They were both students at NYU in the summer of 2007, so university officials here are now involved. The victim, Johanna Justin-Jinich, received dozens of unwanted calls and e-mails from Morgan, and filed complaints against him.

We discovered one of them this afternoon. On July 17, 2007, Justin-Jinich filed a complaint with the NYPD, saying Morgan threatened her. One of the threats included this chilling glimpse of the future: "You're going to have a lot more problems down the road if you can't taking any f****** criticism."

Cops say she refused to pursue the complaint a week later - saying she just wanted to have an official record of the threats.

Meanwhile, tension at Wesleyan is high, because cops warn that Morgan had written in his journal disturbing and threatening passages about the school and its Jewish students.

Justin-Jinich was Jewish, by the way.

Jen Maxfield is there for us tonight.

We hear a lot about the tense military situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan - and the President's plan to move more troops to Afghanistan.

Tonight comes word that the latest weapon in the battle against the Taliban in those countries is --- drum roll please -- vegetable oil. The USDA donating $27.5 million in vegetable oil - or about 17,400 metric tons of the stuff - to be divided 60% to Afghanistan, 40% to Pakistan.

And health experts have discovered "Patient 1" in the current American outbreak of swine flu - or as it's politically correct to call it now, H1N1. The patient is a 10-year-old boy with asthma in San Diego County. He developed fever, cough and vomiting on March 30.

Also at 11 tonight, our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace updates her exclusive story about tens of thousands of small business owners - ripped off in a nationwide credit card processing scam. Tonight they're claiming a big legal victory: A judge in New York has authorized a class-action lawsuit.

And talk about your strange gathering: Today in the West Wing of the White House, an unlikely trio met with President Obama and Education Secretary Arnie Duncan. Rev. Al Sharpton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - talking education. They say the crisis facing the nation is so great - even they are willing to get together.

And Gingrich, hardly an Obama supporter, said that this President "has shown courage" when it comes to education.

Did Mr. Bloomberg offer Rev. Sharpton a ride back to New York on his private jet? We don't know.

What we do know is that the President's Press Secretary made it clear he's NOT endorsing Mr. Bloomberg, or anyone else, in the New York Mayoral election later this year.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

Late breaking news tonight....- MTA Executive Director and C.E.O. Elliot Sander has resigned. He had been in the office since January 2007. Sander is leaving in the middle of a financial crisis and his resignation comes on the same day that Gov. Paterson signed the state bailout of the agency.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in about the MTA bailout. One thing's for sure: many of our viewers are certainly opinionated. And they seemed to especially want more oversight for the troubled, bad-news-bear of a transit agency:

From Minnie Balaguer of the Bronx: "I live in the Bronx, on the #12 bus line. With all the money troubles that the MTA was/is having, who were the bone heads who came up with the idea of the new select bus service? This service had to have put stress on the budget, what with all the new lights on the fleet of buses on this line, the installation of machines that you insert your metro card into in order to get a paper receipt prior to boarding (that gets littered in an already not-so-clean neighborhood!), the new bus stops w/ shelters, the bus lane being painted red.... Now there's talk of instituting this system on the M15. Doesn't all of this cost $? These service lines worked just fine before they made these changes. It's much worse now because now the buses come in 3's and if you miss the last one, get ready for a 10 - 15 minute wait!"

Sharon-Frances Reynolds of Columbia, Missouri writes: "I am both a low-income individual and one who has worked for a public transportation company. Your ideas are right on and there are dozens more ideas. When I worked for public transit in the marketing department, it was difficult, but with some insight like yours - and there are plenty of ideas - NY public transit could improve. I believe you are right when you ask where the top management's heads are."

Kiten Harrington of New York says: "It's a slap in the face to all of us already suffering New Yorkers. The state government needs to start with there selves by eliminate there staff, government vehicles, sell vacant buildings that are eye saws and have been vacant for twenty years to bring in income, they can do just fine with less staff by looking at there staff dept. that are less needed and can manage with out and do with less. They can take a pay cut.

"They can afford to do with out. The biggest mistake the government makes is not going threw the MTA's book keeping. I mean, they are hiding the money in places that no one thinks of searching and I think they should go to court and get a court Oder to search every dept. in the MTA with a fine tooth come until they uncover all the billions of our tax payers money where they have it stashed away for years and lying to the government and to the tax payers and getting billions more that they don't need because it's fraud. The feds should also look in to and investigate the tax payers money spent on personal vacation recipes, money spent on personal purchases made out side of the MTA, investigate in to personal pay offs being in over there head, receipts in credit card pay off, purchase in cars, whirring money grams. They need to hold the MTA responsible and accountable to answer to fraud charges."

Irma Decclesiis of White Plains writes: "I agreed with you 100%. They keep giving money away like no tomorrow. They have to change the way they run the MTA; it's a mess."

Bob Edwards of New York says: "Please don't let up on this one. The underlying question is why has the MTA been a sacred cow for so long? There needs to be a top-to-bottom investigation. For years we've heard stories about lazy workers, projects that are ongoing for no apparent reason (how many times does an escalator have to be rebuilt? 5 times in 3 years? WHAAAT?) And really, where does all the money go? Enough is enough. Discounts for lower income riders would be nice, but how much is it going to cost to administer such a program? Some courageous politician needs to take this on as a prime project. Clean the house. Infuriating is too mild a word."

And Lee Storm from Madison, New Jersey writes: "This whole thing with the MTA is enough to make me glad I left NYC. They really need to start spilling how they're using our money and what happened to there excess millions. You say that $2.50 is a bargain for bus fair? Well, I suppose if you're taking a nice long trip it is, but for those who can't walk and need the bus for, perhaps, 10 blocks, it's robbery! Para-Transit for disabled people is good for appointments and to-and-from jobs, but if one wanted to pick up something from a store or visit a friend and couldn't walk 10 or 15 blocks, a $2.50 bus fair would certainly curtail any activity that isn't most essential.

"I don't know how the fares for disabled individuals work; I've been out of NYC for almost 24 years. But if they work like I remember from long years past (you pay full fare one way and get a ticket for a free return) it's still not a bargain.

"Thank God I can walk most of the time. There are times when my back acts up and I can barely get down the steps of my house. the thought of being in that condition and forced to walk maybe 10 blocks to pick up a necessity from a store would not be fun, especially if all I had available to me was $5.00 and knew that I'd have a choice between two bus fairs or struggling in pain to the store to buy my necessity. Just something to think about when weighing the increases by the MTA."

Tom Smith of Jamesport, New York: "From the Governor on down we have a dysfunctional state like no other in the entire United States. No one is held responsible, no one in office cares. Why? Because more then 99% of those officials are reelected. Agency's such as the MTA are responsible to no one. The only thing that any of these people care about is to stay in office and collect a salary, benefits & a pension the likes which aren't seen in private industry. We owe, we owe so its off to work we go, that's if we still have a job to go to, unlike public employees who never have to worry about being laid off."

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See you tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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