Manny Ramirez Retires

In case you missed it, Manny Ramirez has retired. The reason? Because he tested for banned PEDs for the second time, and thus was facing a 100-game suspension. Rather than serve the suspension, Manny decided to call it quits.

This news bothers me immensely, because I loved — absolutely loved — watching Manny hit, throughout his career. He was like a man among boys, with his tremendous eyesight, discipline, and bat speed. And now, it appears as though all those wonderful at-bats were likely enhanced by illegal drugs. The first time he was caught, I lied to myself and thought, “eh, Manny just did something stupid one time”. But now that he’s tested positive a second time, it’s clear that he relied on PEDs — it wasn’t just a one-time thing. And if he had the audacity (or stupidity?) to take these drugs while MLB was testing, then the chance of him taking PEDs when there was no testing seems incredibly high. And for me, that’s unacceptable. It’s cheating. Cheating me, cheating the players who weren’t “on the juice”, and cheating himself, because he’ll never know how good he was without the enhancement. I can never again watch a Manny at-bat the same way.

On the bright side, maybe this could turn out to be a good thing for Chris Carter, who did not make the Tampa Bay Rays out of spring training in part because of the free-agent signings of Manny and Johnny Damon.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. xDanTanna April 9, 2011 at 9:59 am
    This I think took many by surprise yesterday (including myself). I don’t know why I let these things bother me. They are so par for the course at this point. I have always been someone that appreciated the talent of Manny. He was always an arse to me. But, that bloody bugger could smash.

    The only thing I don’t quite get..If this was known about during ST, why was he even allowed to start the season playing for the Rays? Was it to give him time to decide what he wanted to do w/ his life? That is twisted!

    I have a hard to time believing he will see the HOF. But, if Manny is Manny (and when isn’t he?) I don’t think he would give a hoot anyways.

  2. Anthony April 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I’m not sure if you know this, but Manny was also on the 2003 leaked list of steroids users as reported by the New York Times.

    Thus, it appears he was caught actually three times, not two – he just wasn’t punished in 2003. And given that the three violations occurred in 2003, 2009, and 2011 – a period which spans more than eight years – he’s like a chronic user.


    • Joe Janish April 9, 2011 at 11:17 am
      Anthony, thanks for that. I didn’t realize Manny was one of those identified on “the list” … in fact I didn’t know that anyone was confirmed, other than possibly A-Rod.
  3. Anthony April 9, 2011 at 11:25 am
    • Joe Janish April 10, 2011 at 12:16 am
      Thanks. I do remember that article, and it is fairly ambiguous. Mainly, why were so few players indicated out of the 100+? There were rumors that Albert Pujols were on that list, and then that suggestion was immediately retracted. A lot of hearsay and backtracking from what I remember.

      In any case, it wouldn’t surprise me one iota if Manny was indeed on that list. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s now crystal clear to me how Manny was so incredibly dominant. And that’s upsetting, because all of those scenes of me thinking he was some kind of incredible talent are now tainted.

  4. JoeBourgeois April 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm
    Weird sense of entitlement that makes you think you can get away with this, it seems. And among many many prominent people, not just athletes. Guess it’s a function of having your butt kissed all day every day?
  5. Mic April 10, 2011 at 11:40 am
    How much does this affect the Mets? Market for Carlos B…?
  6. MMalone April 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm
    Here we are, a decade of seasons after McGwire’s improbable 70 HR season was explained, and we still get the same watery pablum from players/teammates [of course] and the media [inexcusable] about Manny’s ‘retirement.’ He’s retiring from baseball much the same way Dillinger retired from bank robbing. For god’s sake why won’t anyone man up and stop waxing lyrical about Manny’s perfect swing, what a happy-go-lucky man-boy he was, the perfect teammate, fan favorite, blah, blah, blah?!?? Even a “no comment” would be a breath of fresh air. Everyone flips out if an umpire misses a call but apparently the thin green line that separates baseball–and the majority of baseball coverage–from calling ’em like they see ’em is still very much intact. I understand players burying their heads up their butts, but the situation will never change if the media goes along for the ride and mourns his retirement like he’s Lou Gehrig. Some sportscaster actually wasted airtime to seriously answer the question “Will Manny Ramirez make it into the Hall of Fame?.” Seriously…??!?