Charlie Manuel doesn't get riled up by much. In fact, his level-headed and even-keeled demeanor tends to play up his charm.

Steroid rumors don't make for exceptions. Even the baseless ones, and the baseless ones that hit the mainstream and go viral.

"Today, I don't think a whole lot about it until I find all the information," he said Friday.

More likely than not, Manuel won't be thinking a lot about it, whether "it" be from-the-hip tweets about Robinson Cano having failed a steroid test from a Charlotte (that's right, North Carolina) TV guy, or skepticism slipped on ESPN about Derek Jeter's age-38 season by Skip Bayless, or, basically, everything said about Jose Bautista the past few seasons.

More often than not, there's nothing to them. Not that the blemish on the game is gone entirely; the 2012 PED suspensions of Melky Cabrera (who Friday pulled himself out of consideration for the batting title), Bartolo Colon, Guillermo Moto, Marlon Byrd and Freddy Galvis and 70-plus minor leaguers speak for themselves.

But it's worth noting that the news of those suspensions spread from, you know, real reporters with real beats and stories and information and stuff. Never once from someone thinking aloud.

To say that baseball could've have used more of that during the early 2000s is an understatement. But this, guys seemingly more interested in getting publicity than protecting the game's integrity, doesn't seem like that.

Hence, Manuel says, the lack of credence/attention/time of day he gives them.

Though he said that's not how he always reacted.

"A couple of years ago, if you had asked me the question, I (might've)  answered it different," he said, now seemingly anesthetized. "Once I get all the information and proof and things like that, then I react to it. But a couple years ago, I probably would've reacted different. Now, I just wait and see exactly what the whole thing was all about, the story."

Manuel, a lifelong baseball man whose eyes glisten when he gets started on the game's glory days, doesn't get bothered even when there isn't one, something that blemishes the game he so loves and the players who so make it what it is.

Though he did offer advice to players and their handlers.

"You've got to be careful who you meet and who you deal with and talk to."


--Matt Hammond



1. Rollins, SS

2. Pierre, LF

3. Utley, 2B

4. Howard, 1B

5. Ruiz, C

6. Brown, RF

7. Mayberry, CF

8. Frandsen, 3B

9. Kendrick, P