Twelve-time MLB All Star and two-time world champion Manny Ramirez has retired rather than face possible disciplinary action, “continuing the process” of compliance with the Drug Program, as MLB put it.
Evidently, Ramirez is unable to compete in today’s cleaner version of America’s Pastime. Ramirez signed for $2M in the offseason with the Tampa Bay Rays and began the season 1 for 17. His presence in their lineup was expected to help offset the losses of Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena who both left via free agency in the winter.
Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in 2009 while a member of the Dodgers when he tested positive for a female fertility drug that is reportedly used to mask a depletion of testosterone. Ramirez production dropped off considerably after returning. The career .312 hitter only hit .269 with 13 HRs in 260 ABs after the suspension. Last year, Ramirez hit .298 with 9 HRs playing with the Dodgers and White Sox.
His power numbers are down considerably following his first suspension and this second documented incident now calls into question the validity of the latter part of his career, if not his entire career. Once considered a surefire lock for Cooperstown, Ramirez fully lumped in with the Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa fraternity of tainted sluggers.
Maybe this will lead to a special new hall of fame that can celebrate Manny being Manny, Barry’s bloated head, Palmeiro’s finger wagging, McGwire’s sobbing, and Sosa’s transformed skin color. It could be called the Doping Hall of Fame for dopes.
- Brian W.