Poor Mike Lowell. The Miami native has already been through a lot. In between World Series wins with the Marlins and Boston, he endured testicular cancer, a massive John Henry fire sale, and a badly fractured hand.
But now he has really invited a true stain on his good name: He gave Manny Ramirez a prime blurb on the cover of his new memoir.
Would you invite Mike Tyson to babysit your child? Would you call up Gary Busey and ask him to be your designated driver for the night?
Why in hell, then, would you ask Man-Ram -- a man with only a passing acquaintance with reality, much less the English language -- to write a blurb for your book? As if that decision wasn't bad enough on its own merits, Ramirez had to really grind it in Lowell's face by getting caught with 'roids in his system just a few weeks after the book hit the stands.
In hindsight, this is not a ringing advertisement for your character when coming from America's most famous juicer:
Mike Lowell is such an honest man, a man who plays the game hard, and plays the game right, the whole time. -- Manny Ramirez
Ouch. Blurb choices aside, Lowell's memoir does have some interesting snippets about his time with the Marlins, his (intense) hatred of all things Fidel Castro, and his own flirtation with steroids.
Lowell, who is Cuban, made headlines in the Boston press a few years ago when Castro was ill and he noted in the locker room that "I hope he dies." Lowell defends the quote in his book, noting his grandfather served time in an internment camp.
If I had said that same day, 'I hope Osama bin Laden dies,' everybody would have nodded their heads in approval because his evil is in the here and now. But for me, Castro's evil is always present. If you get to know my story, get to know my family, and what they have had to endure, you will understand why I have this utter hatred.
Later in the book, Lowell says he began taking heat from suspicious baseball writers about steroid use in 2003, when he mashed 25 home runs by June. Lowell says he never took any performance enhancers -- but said he asked doctors if he should take testosterone after he lost one of his testicles to cancer.
The reality was that I never took steroids, although one time I thought I might be forced to. After my cancer surgery, I asked the doctors with the Marlins if I needed testosterone supplements because my body was supplying less testosterone now that I had only one testicle. I was sure that if my body needed it, MLB would give clearance. And if that was the case, and my own well-being was at stake, I wasn't going to turn away from a solution.
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And finally, his thoughts on Manny:
Manny is the savant everybody says he is because he's ready for everything, and the big moment simply doesn't faze him. I thought it was pretty fun when he said in the post-game press conference [after hitting a home run off Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez], "Rodriguez is one of the best closers in the game, and I'm one of the best hitters in the game." Part of Manny being Manny is that he is brazen enough to go where others might not.
Such as that illegal pharmacy in Tijuana that A-Rod told him about, maybe...