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Shocker: Manny Ramirez retires following a second positive drug test

Apr 8, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT


Big news: Major League Baseball just announced that Manny Ramirez has retired. Major League Baseball said that his retirement came after he was told of “an issue” with the drug treatment and prevention program.  The statement:

“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter.”

Since the report of his retirement came out it has been confirmed by multiple sources that Ramirez failed a drug test during spring training. Thus his retirement preempts a mandatory 100-game  suspension.

Manny was 1 for 17 for the Rays this year.  This was preceded by competing talk over the winter in which most people doubted Ramirez’s motivation in light of his meager contract while some — this writer included — thought that he felt he had something to prove to himself or baseball.  The drug situation obviously impacts this in a completely different way.

I’m assuming we’ll get an official statement from Ramirez or his agent soon.  We’ll update as we learn more.

  1. monsieurbear - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    This makes no sense. No way Ramirez is 1-17 if he were juicing.

    • shadows in bloom - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      well roids don’t make you a better hitter they just give you more power from when you do connect to the ball and even that doesn’t necessarily help unless you hit it to the right place. your timing and swing have to be right to get base hits and juicing just doesn’t help you in that respect

      • monsieurbear - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        There is no doubt that Manny has the required hand-eye coordination. Increased strength lets a batter wait longer so fewer swings-and-misses. Increased power translates into more hard-hit balls. At least with Manny, we have ample evidence of the difference between juiced-Manny and unjuiced-Manny. Juiced-Manny was a better hitter than unjuiced-Manny.

      • monsieurbear - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        BTW, the original post was sarcasm.

      • shadows in bloom - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        still – more power does not help you connect with the ball. manny has had great hand eye in the past obviously but he just hasn’t been getting around on the ball and he has been merely a shadow of his former self with the sox and indians. and judging by the fact that he tested positive while with the dodgers and rays – for whom his skills noticeably declined – i would argue that “juiced manny”, or at least “positive test era manny” is definitely worse. either way i am glad the sox let him go and moved on.

      • monsieurbear - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:55 PM

        Juiced-Manny was unconscious with the Dodgers in 2008. There is evidence that juiced-Manny was also playing for the Red Sox.

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        Why do you think Manny grew out the dreadlocks in Boston and then kept them in LA? They just went with the tits he was growing from all the junk that he was on and he figured correctly that people would look at his dreadlocks and not notice his growing busum!

      • joregon - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:07 AM

        PED’s can make you a better hitter.
        HGH improves eyesight. It allows the batter to see the ball and rotation better.
        Some ‘roids improve the fast twitch muscles needed for bat speed.
        It was for the fast twitch muscles that Ben Johnson took steroids.
        Different PED’s do different things that is why a sprinter, that doesn’t need bulk can use them.

      • polt88 - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        okay.. then why the big bruhaha? After all, it appears it [juicing, if you will], did do anything for say, Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, etc…

        I understand your point believe or not, they also had an ass ton of strikeouts during these runs as well, however, you can’t deny that juicing had it’s benefits for them as well. The biggest issue with me, and other baseball fans that I personally know, is the ill effects that it has on them physically, as well as the fact that it takes away from the aesthetic of what this sport is really all about. I love the fact that there is an asterisk on Bonds’ record homerun ball in Cooperstown. Let’s face it, the guy turned out to be a farce, and when you look at his, as well as other’s physiques during these times, my goodness. It’s like looking at an Ethiopian vs a Samoan.

    • docpodder - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:29 PM

      The didn’t say he was juicing. All they said was that he “had an issue”. For all you know, it could have been meth, THC, or some prescription thing. The fact that he spontaneously “retired” seems to suggest that he knows he’s guilty of something, wouldn’t you think?

      • polt88 - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:10 PM


  2. aronmantoo - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Juicing don’t help you hit the ball, It helps you hit the ball farther, I hope all the cheaters get caught

  3. crankyfrankie - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    He was a talented ballplayer. Never a big fans of his but to suggest that PED were all that made him a successful ballplayer all those years is foolish. Any drug that could provide that degree of eye hand coordination,strength, among other attributes would be a miracle drug the likes of which the world has never seen.

  4. Soapy Johnson - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Another great player taken down by the evil flax seed oil …

  5. yankeesgameday - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Good riddance. This came about five years too late. And right about now I bet Rays fans are praying for Johnny Damon to join him.

    • florida727 - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:05 PM

      Friend of mine sat in left field for the Rays home opener. Said he couldn’t stop laughing when he saw Damon throw the ball. Said he looks like a girl throwing it, his shoulder is so screwed up. This “pick up” by the Rays will go down in baseball history as one of, if not THE, worst acquisition EVER.

      • cavredleg15 - Apr 9, 2011 at 3:38 AM

        Vinny Castilla, Jose Canseco and Greg Vaughn….The Hit Show Remember It. One guy can never outshine this.

  6. purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    It’s just sad that such a once feared hitter will be remembered more for going out a cheat and a coward.

    Those mid-’90’s Cleveland teams truly had a fearsome lineup, and look how they went (or are going), out:

    Albert Belle – Remembered best not for his incredible 10 year consecutive run as a great hitter, but as the guy who tried to run down trick or treaters in his SUV for egging his townhome;

    Juan Gonzalez – Slacker Juan will be remembered best for foolishly turning down a $140M guaranteed contract because he didn’t like the then big dimensions of Commerica Park (the fences have since all been pulled in 10 feet).

    Manny Ramirez – Will be remembered now as a liar and a cheat.

    Jim Thome – Thankfully still above reproach, but is now being viewed and could be remembered by an entire new generation of baseball fans as the guy who was a “hanger on-er”.

    Robby Alomar – Best remembered for his spitting on an ump because the ump accused him of being a fag (which at the time was fairly common knowledge within baseball).

    Omar Vizquel – Incredibly still playing at 44 and hopefully a first ballot hall of famer; hands down the best glove of his era in either league.

    How did a team with this lineup fail to win even one World Series?

    • genericcommenter - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      Juan Gonzalez wasn’t on any mid 90s Cleveland teams. He spent 1 season with them in 2001, though it was his last good/full season.

      Jim Thome had a 179 OPS+ last year. The league leader had a 179 ( Thome only had 340 PA). Sure, he wasn’t a complete full-time player, but that’s quite some production for a “hanger on.” It’s had for me to see one of the most productive hitters in the game, even in a platoon role, as much of hanger-on. He’s yet to have a below average season, unless you count the one he mostly lost to injury.

      Besides, guys like Mays and Aaron ( among others) had pretty lousy age 40+ seasons, and no one remembers them for that.

      Your comment about Alomar is interesting, as it implies it is OK for the ump to call him a “fag” if it is “known.” I’m not condoning the spitting, I’m just trying to understand your point. Is it OK for an ump to call a black player “the N word” because it is known that he is black?

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM

        generic…. in my opinion, there is nothing more despicable than hurling (be it in a balloon, a plastic beer bottle, mouth, etc.), human fluids/excrement at another human being for ANY reason.

        That’s not to say that the ump was in the right for what he called Robby, but Robby should have NEVER spit on him in retaliation, especially knowing that it was common knowledge that he had a tryst going with a couple of the underage clubhouse boys (he lived during his Toronto years in the hotel attached to the ballpark).

        If I had been the ump that he spit on, he would have hit the deck immediately and then all hell would have broken loose I’m sure.

    • dfensfelix - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      I like where you go with this, except that I wouldn’t label Thome a “hanger on-er”. Sure, the ride’s almost over. However, the guy can not only still hit, but can do it at clutch times as well. He’s great in the clubhouse and everyone loves him. No need to lump him in with these other guys…

      • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM

        I love Big Jim too and hope he’s a first ballot hall of famer; like Frank Thomas of the White Sox, he’s no roid user; both of ’em are built like a brick shit house and strong as an ox NATURALLY.

        I just hate to see Big Jim hang on one more year as a part time role player just to achieve his goal of getting to 600 career home runs. The roid boys completely destroyed any significance that the “500 club” once had, but then again Jim as we all know is “old school” too.

        It would have been nice to see him win a ring, but I just don’t see it happening this year as the Twins have too much mediocrity in their pitching staff and too many question marks about the overall season long health of their starting lineup. I still think that the Twins though will find a way (as they always do), to win 85+ games; I just don’t see them making the playoffs.

  7. halladaysbicepts - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Put him in the Hall of Shame. It’s where he, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens and A-Rod need to go. I would suggest they place the Hall of Shame in Atlanta, GA.

    Go Phils!!!!

    • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:45 PM

      Not a bad idea, but I think that a Hall of Shame would be better set in the lobby of the Watergate Office Building in Washington D.C., home of crooked politicians now for well over a century!

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:57 PM

        DC’s not a bad place either for the Hall of Shame. You’re right. That city is full of crooks, like Jayson Werth. He robbed them without a gun for 126 mil. to bat 2nd for them. Hahahahahaha!!!!!

      • Gardenhire's Cat - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:36 AM

        Watergate has been converted into a hotel

      • purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Doesn’t matter if the Watergate Building has been converted into a hotel, as it will take a while before enough former players get voted into the Hall of Shame and have their busts cast out of recycled tin cans. For example, should there be a mandatory waiting period before going on the ballot?

        Initially I’m sure that the hotel would be open to converting the G. Gordon Liddy Meeting Room into the Hall Of Shame Museum. After all, they found room at the Trop to take the entire Teddy Ballgame museum you know!

  8. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Why do you watch baseball if you have so much miserable thing’s to say about the player’s, if you don’t like the player’s why do you like the game.

  9. cleareye1 - Apr 8, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Who will miss this guy? Lie, complain, backstab, lie again…
    Fat chance for the Hall!

  10. indaburg - Apr 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Last year, American League East champs. This year, they’re the Mets. Man, it’s painful to be a Rays fan right now. I mean, we’re used to pain (see: first 10 years of their existence), but this is even bad by Rays fan standards.

  11. thepreacherbuck1 - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    Who knows why he would retire,maybe hes afraid of the drug test maybe not,but to give up a career in major league baseball cause they want you to pee in a bottle. Christ Almighty ? wtf? “come on man”!! lol .
    I don’t do drugs but if one person gets checked then they all should have to do it . Even the owners ,the trainers everybody. Maybe test the fans after all who wants a drug infested stadium .Well you can’t be critical about the players then go home and smoke pot or snort what ever the choice is for the day
    I was gonna quit my job because of the drug test also ,but i remembered the house payment so i pissed in the bottle,i know im weak.
    Bill Clinton started all this crap ,now he sits in an office in Harlem getting his pole greased .
    No body is worth the money that baseball and football and most sports lay out . Nobody no matter what you do.

    • mrznyc - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Why would you be upset with the salaries of ball players? They only get a share of what is spent by fans who are under no obligation to watch, listen to or attend ball games. I suppose in some convoluted logic you could make a half baked argument that because the stadiums are built with public assistance that in some arcane way the tax payer is footing part of the bill – But really?? – You voluntarily give them the money – Don’t like it? Stop giving them the money.

      • thepreacherbuck1 - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        That explains my absense from the game,i been to one major league game in the last ten years,Thank God my kids are grown cause i would of felt obligated to buy the family tickets.How much would that of set me back? A good alternative is minor league games ,baseball the way it should be.
        Your right about people being taken advantage of though i see it in all walks of life. Not just baseball, Technology there’s another ,buy a computer then 6 months down the road your almost obsolete. Intentional ,to make money from the people.
        Your answer is to stop spending money and your right. I say kill the economy. Lets start at the fuel pumps ,im going right now to buy a bike ,if i start a little early i should be ok.,its only 65 miles to
        I do agree with you thats why i don’t go its just to expensive,i was just amazed that people that have those lucritive contracts like manny and charlie can just give them up lol im worried about 60,000 a year .

      • purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        thepreach…. solid post!

        What bothers me more than the skyrocketing price of MLB game tickets is the fact that because of the large number of season ticket holders now you or I simply can’t even buy good seats in most MLB large market parks unless we are willing to add insult to injury by shelling out even MORE money to ticket brokers or pay the 10% stubhub fee.

        I can accept my budget being used to see fewer games than I used to for the same money, but I’m not about to drop a couple of hundred bucks or more just to take my family of four to sit at the top of the upper deck way down the left or right field lines, much less pay $60 or more per ticket just to be able to sit on an unreserved bench seat in the Wrigley Field bleachers over 400 feet away from home plate, yet people continue to do so and until such time as those overpriced tickets come down to earth, I’m not spending my money on them!

      • buccofan62 - Apr 9, 2011 at 6:24 PM

        Could always come to Pittsburgh and go to a buccos game. $36 for 1st and third baselines, only a few rows off the field. Or $8 for outfield bleachers. Guaranteed to have seats as well!!

      • purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        buccofan… while you make a good point, you also raise the question: “is it better to have an overpriced winning club, or a major league team that provides good entertainment value for the money?”. Many have posted here that they find minor league baseball to be a great family value, so what’s wrong with even better talent in Pittsburgh (compared to any minor league club), providing good entertainment value and seat availability?

        Sure, it’s no fun losing, but at least the best of the NL and some of the best of the AL (thanks to interleague play), come through your town and that’s a heck of a lot more entertaining than say watching the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes play ball!

      • buccofan62 - Apr 9, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        Couldnt agree more purdueman…got to see the yamkees play a three game set, and only paid $24 to see all three games. Losing sucks, but at least we get to see some what a good team looks like when they come to town.

    • purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      Manny is 38, obviously realizes that he’s done without a little help from his friends (I’m taking about his pill and needle friends of course), and was facing 100 game unpaid suspension for his third offense. He’s wasn’t making enough money on his base contract this year to bother with trying to come back late in the season after a 100 game layoff, and I’m sure realized that his chances of making it to the post season were slim at best playing for Tampa Bay this year.

  12. docpodder - Apr 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Then you didn’t hear! Clinton is leaving Harlem. His 10 year sweetheart deal there is over and he is moving his offices to lower Manhattan, presumably where he got another sweet deal to plant his fat ass. The funny thing is, the locals in Harlem now make it sound like Bill isn’t their favorite guy – they apparently expected that he would actually do something for Harlem, which he did NOT, and they also said hey expected to see him in person around town, which he also didn’t do. From the sound of things, it seems as though they see Bill as just another fat pol who took while the taking was good and then got out of town.

    Go look it up. This was only a week or two ago.

    • thepreacherbuck1 - Apr 9, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      Good old boy Bill,thank God he can play the saxaphone.
      Bill knows those black girls are the most beautiful women in the world,he more than likely has a full tank for the time being. I doubt if he’s finished

  13. purdueman - Apr 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Here’s the process for Hall of Fame election:

    1) Only Baseball Writers who have been in their little country club (the Baseball Writers Association), for 10 or more years are currently issued ballots. There’s no guidelines whatsoever for voting, so for example, if a writer doesn’t like the fact that Robby Alomar spit on an ump, he can simply not vote for him and ignore all of his impressive credentials. Given such latitude, Dennis Rodman would not have been elected to the basketball hall of fame this year despite having help lead 5 teams to world championships and being the most dominant power forward of his era;

    2) The player needs to officially file his retirement papers with the commissioners office. I don’t understand this silly requirement though; to me the clock should start ticking automatically based on the date of the last professional game the player appeared in. Barroid Bonds for example hasn’t filed his official retirement papers in the hopes that the whole roid issue would over time become less and less of an issue, so as to avoid the potential embarrassment of not getting voted in; this is wrong!;

    3) After the player files his retirement papers, the mandatory 5 year waiting period begins;

    4) Once the 5 year waiting period is up, the players credentials are screened and if it’s determined that the player was good enough, AND played a minimum of 10 years in the major leagues, then his name goes on the ballot for up to 15 consecutive years. The player remains eligible for up to 15 consecutive years so long as he continues to be on at least 5% of all the ballots cast every year.

    To correct a previous poster, this was Manny’s third (not second), positive test and he was facing a 100 unpaid game suspension. Because everyone is so worn out over the whole roids era and everyone desperately wants to turn the page and move on, the fact that Manny thumbed his nose at the new system I think might be enough of a turn off to where he might not even be on 5% of the ballots cast when his name first appears in 2016 or 2017 (not sure what the cutoff date is for consideration the first year of eligibility).

    As for the Veterans Committee? The current Committee makeup is about as useful as teats on a bull if you ask me. For decades the Committee met once a year, then it was moved about 6 or 7 years ago to meeting only every other year, and now it’s been moved again to meeting only once every three years. Do you detect the same pattern I do folks? (i.e., to keep players OUT, not let them IN!).

    Furthermore the Committee was revamped to now include all living Hall of Famers, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep any former player still living out, because they are mostly a bunch of selfish money grubbers who don’t want any new competition for lucrative signing appearance fees (which also are becoming fewer and fewer with more time in between).

    The Committee meets this year and there’s a strong push on for Minnie Minoso and Ron Santo. Minoso, although now 85 (and some say 88), is still alive, so he has about the same chance of being voted in this year as a snowball does making it through a trip to hell and back. Santo however of course just recently died, so my money’s on Ronnie to finally get the award that he so richly deserves and will now get voted in.

    What I don’t understand is why the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is totally independent of MLB and if therefore free to change election rules, hasn’t addressed: 1) Not providing any guidelines to the writers for voting; and 2) Not blow up the current Veteran’s Committee makeup all together.

    What I’d like to see is a new Veteran’s Committee formed as follows:

    1) First provide hard definitions of what years constitute an “era”. This was already set in motion when the current Veteran’s Committee was split a few years ago into three, one group being the “pre-modern era”, one being the “pre-1960 era”, and one being the “post 1960 era”, but I don’t think that’s nearly granular enough.

    For example, one clear delineation should be defined as “before and after the pitchers mound was lowered”, because that changed the dominance of pitching. We already all talk about the “dead ball era”, so how can you compare players from that era to any other? Just doesn’t make sense.

    I would propose that “era’s” are defined by a range of years, where each “era” is at least 10, but not more than 15 years in length. That would lead me to my next proposal:

    2) ONLY players who played in the newly defined era’s are allowed to vote for past players from that era, and all players who have at least 10 years of service time in the big leagues would get a ballot including those who aren’t in the hall of fame. It makes no sense to me for say, Cal Ripken Jr. to have a vote/say on say Steve Garvey when he likely never (or rarely), saw him play or played against him to know if Garvey was dominant during the newly defined era in which he played or not; and

    3) For all era’s prior to the advent of interleague play, players who played the majority of their games (say 67% or more), in one league, would be limited to only being able to vote for players from their era from the league that they played the majority of their games in (again, for example why should Steve Garvey get a vote on players that played the majority of their games in the AL during his era?); and

    4) The new Veterans Committee “bar” for election would be dropped from the current 75% down to 67%. It is often said the 20% of the people are against anything, which simply makes the current 75% too high statistically speaking, and it would minimize the type of stonewalling that we currently see from a selfish contingent as the current living hall of famers now have in the vote.

    The biggest thing missing in the current HOF election process is that it TOTALLY IGNORES the desires of the fans, without whom baseball couldn’t exist, much less be the $7 Billion Dollar industry it’s projected to be this year. I don’t know ANY true hard core baseball fans who favor keeping guys out, as is currently the case.

    Thoughts? Comments?

  14. lucky5927 - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Funny, I typed in “Shocker” on google and it showed me a much different picture than the one above.

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