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Why did Manny Ramirez retire instead of serve suspension?

Apr 11, 2011, 4:18 PM EDT

manny-ramirez-scott-boras Reuters

We covered Manny Ramirez‘s retirement from all angles here Friday, but I had one lingering question about the whole situation: Why did Ramirez retire rather than simply serve his impending 100-game suspension?

After all, if he served the suspension Ramirez could have conceivably returned to the Rays’ lineup in August and September. And even if the Rays wanted nothing to do with him, serving the suspension would at least get it out of the way should he somehow find another gig late this season or in 2012. Why not let the 100 games burn off just in case?

He wouldn’t have gotten paid during a suspension and forfeited his salary anyway by retiring, so perhaps Ramirez was informed of the coming suspension and basically just said, “Aw, screw it, I’m done.” And that certainly makes sense. By retiring he can also claim, technically, that he wasn’t suspended. For whatever that’s worth.

However, if Ramirez ever decides to make a comeback and beats the odds by actually convincing one of the 25 or so teams he hasn’t pissed off already to sign him, he’ll now have to sit out 100 games first. Which probably takes the odds of a comeback from 1 percent to .01 percent.

I understand the impulse of wanting to wash his hands of the entire situation and just be done with everything, but if the money is the same and the impact of not playing is the same, what is the upside of choosing immediate retirement over a 100-game suspension?

  1. aronmantoo - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    That and the fact that he’s done as a player without his “juice”

    • txrangers90 - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      yea he’s because he doesn’t have his “juice” not because he’s about to turn 39 or anything

  2. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Maybe he wanted to be free to pursue a dream of playing with Jose Canseco on the Yuma Scorpions?

  3. Jonny 5 - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I think he just wants to go home and count his money.

  4. writingfordigital - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    I think he just wants to go home and listen to Bob Marley records.

  5. trevorb06 - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I still think its funny how people act as if the difference between PED Manny and non-PED Manny was the difference between Manny and David Eckstein.

    • AK47 - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      Couldn’t agree more, those are the same people who forget that he is 39-years-old and his bat speed issues were probably more related to his age than PED abuse. Read the science people, “the juice” doesn’t really help you hit a baseball better, what it does is help the body recover more quickly.

      • largebill - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        Concur. For all the statistical analysis in sports, we have almost no way of predicting when the player will completely lose it. Obviously, we know after late 20′s aging is more likely to hurt performance than help. However, some players have very slow steady declines and others have dramatic drop offs. Certain positions (C, 2B, SS) tend to have more players have the quick sudden decline rather than the slow steady type. Basically, my point is we should not be surprised about a 39 year old player having his skills fall off a cliff even if he acts so immature it is difficult to realize he is pushing 40.

      • metalhead65 - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM

        you read the science I will watch the results and those would be a player going from say 48 homers to 75 or whatever bonds hit. as for manny that extra strength he got from roids had nothing to do with his his getting more extra base hits or homers that would have been outs without the extra power right? spare me your science and look at the results.

      • Glenn - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM

        Did you watch the PED Barry Bonds? He was superhuman. He hit every strike thrown to him out of the park. Recovery had nothing to do with that. I think he was, indeed, hitting the baseball better.

      • bleedgreen - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:55 AM

        I’m pretty sure that PEDs don’t enhance your vision and hand/eye coordination to hit the ball better. If he hit every strike out of the park, maybe they should have stopped throwing him strikes as often?

        Theres been other guys that have hit close to the number of HRs that Bonds hit. Tell me, how did these guys hit all those home runs? Hank Aaron and the Babe were obviously on a gram of test a week, eh?

        2 Hank Aaron 755
        3 Babe Ruth 714
        4 Willie Mays 660
        5 Ken Griffey, Jr. 630
        8 Jim Thome (1) 590
        9 Frank Robinson 586
        11 Harmon Killebrew 573
        13 Reggie Jackson 563
        15 Mike Schmidt 548

        The studies show it doesn’t help you hit better. PEDs don’t make you stronger. They allow you to work out more and recover quicker to get just as strong as you could become naturally, but much faster.

      • lanflfan - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but people take steroids not just to heal more quickly and efficiently, but also to get stronger (like a bodybuilder). So, if you are taking PED and are now stronger, would you now hit a baseball harder than a weaker person?

        Let’s look at the poster boys of PED’s, Bonds and McGwire. Both were fairly lanky guys in the young days. And both could hit for power. Then, by their mid-30′s, Bonds’ head covered all of San Fran and McGwire looked line an Abrams tank. And each hit tape measure/no doubt home runs every time at record paces for any age player, let alone high 30- and low 40-year olds. But PED’s only help you heal, right?

  6. mnguy07 - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    There may be some additional hoops that must be jumped through for violating a league’s substance abuse policy, treatment, additional tests, counseling, etc. He may not have wanted to participate in any programmming is my guess.

  7. paperlions - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    While suspended, wouldn’t he be required to be tested regularly, where ever and when ever MLB decided?
    .
    If think you are done anyway, having people watch you pee for the length of the suspension and the rest of your MLB career would probably be a deal breaker for most 39 yr old ballplayers.
    .
    You would think that Manny declining with age despite using steroids would indicate to people that steroids really don’t help bally players hit (as there remains no evidence that they make hitters more productive)….but no, the non-critical thinkers continue to make statements that contradict the data used to support those statements.

  8. baseballisboring - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    The “Aw screw it, I’m done” explanation works for me. I think the fact that he got caught again shows the fact he knows he’s cooked…just not the same player anymore, obviously.

  9. pisano - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Why did Manny retire? Who cares, just be thankful baseball is rid of this idiot.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    aronmantoo nailed it. Manny without steroids = beer league softball guy.

  11. txrangers90 - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    wow people really think it makes that much of a difference, steroids are more for recovering faster and it doesnt help you hit a baseball… manny arod barry clemens all deserve to be in the hall of fame as they are some of the best players to ever play the game

  12. jamie54 - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Don’t help you, then pray tell geeks, why do them? IF THEY DON’T HELP THEN WHY TAKE THEM? Answer me that all you who say, ahem, there’s no statistical evidence, bull crap. Then don’t take them, don’t get caught, see where your career is. I doubt you pull the 200 Mill Manny got since the numbers won’t be there. Prove they don’t help, I dare you.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:41 PM

      Why do people take echinacea, even though it does nothing to help you ward off colds?

      How about you prove that they actually do help? I’m not talking about anecdotes, I want actual, scientific evidence that it improves baseball performance. Because for all the hand-wringing we’ve had over PEDs, there isn’t one peer-reviewed study proving that PEDs actually E your P.

    • paperlions - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      Because people aren’t very bright and they will pay for hope or lies that tell them how awesome they are or will become.
      .
      Most multivitamins do nothing for you, yet people buy them.
      .
      HGH does NOTHING positive for a healthy adult, but people will take it.
      .
      Nothing reverses ages, but people will buy in bulk any promise that is consistent with their fondest wishes.
      .
      Why do people subscribe to diet scam after diet scam when the answer is to get your fat ass off the couch and do something and to eat a vegetable once in a while?
      .
      In short, people are gullible.

      • paperlions - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:18 PM

        I left out: “why do people still think steroids had a big effect on offensive production when so much publicly available research demonstrates that changes in ball manufacturing and composition are consistent with changes in offense…..to think otherwise is to think that all of MLB suddenly decided to take steroids in the middle on 1993.
        .
        Why do people deny evolution and call it a controversy when the debate in the scientific community ended 150 yrs ago? All research since then has aimed at understanding how evolution happens, not if it happens. Nearly all medical research is based in evolutionary theory….would people prefer 19th century medicine?

    • txrangers90 - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

      because they help you recover faster, less time on the dl more time playing, obviously you can get stronger off of them, but its not like that helps you hit a baseball or make solid contact, i think you can even understand that, also in the cases of barry bonds and arod they are both complete ball players, they could field and they could hit, barry could steal a base or two or 500

      • metalhead65 - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:23 PM

        nobody is saying they were not good ballplayers before they decided to juice up,but look at the numbers after. you do not need any sientific studies to prove they improve your performance.again bonds does not go from 48 to 75 without the juice. brady anderson and all those other guys who suddenly had career years did not do so before juicing,there is your study right there. if you are to stubborn to see the simple truths then there is no hope for you but do not try and cover it by spouting science and research nonsense. and if roids do not help your performance why hasn’t anybody come close to hitting 70 since they banned them and started testing?

      • lanflfan - Apr 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        PED’s won’t give you any baseball skills you don’t already have (hitting, timing, hand/eye coordination, etc). But they will enhance what you have, like consistently hitting mammoth home runs. Or can all 35+ year olds hit 500 foot home runs as an average?

    • dprat - Apr 12, 2011 at 2:02 AM

      For dog’s sake, jamie54, get a grip. Look at the scores of athletes now wearing those energy necklaces. Must be incredible to have one of those around your neck. ‘Cause after all… IF THEY DON’T HELP THEN WHY WOULD THEY WEAR THEM?

  13. Jack Marshall - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Why? He’s a coward, that’s why.

    By the way, discussing Manny, Johnny Damon today gave the smoking gun statement to prove his own idiocy beyond the shadow of a doubt. He said that he hoped the Red Sox would retire Manny’s number some day.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:44 PM

      Yeah, because it’s totally idiotic to think that one of the key players in ending nearly a century of misery should have his number retired. Reggie Jackson wasn’t a Yankee as long as Manny was a Red Sox, nor did he do as much for the Yankees as Manny did for the Sox, and while he didn’t outright quit on the team he pulled his fair share of shit… and he got his number retired. Time heals all wounds, and greatness trumps all the other bullshit.

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:05 PM

        In a word, you’re nuts; ignorant too. . Manny quit on the team not once but twice, proved when he went to LA that he had been dogging it all season, and thoroughly disgraced himself thereafter…and if that weren’t enough, the Red Sox require Hall of Fame status to have one’s uniform number retired, and Manny’ couldn’t get into Cooperstown with a ticket.You think the Red Sox would defile right field by insulting Ted, Yaz, Cronin, Fisk, Doerr, and Jackie Robinson with the likes of Manny Ramirez, or that the fans would stand for it?

        Dream on.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        Nice. Disagreeing with Jack Marshall makes one an idiot, nuts and/or ignorant. Never mind any of the superlative things Manny did with the Red Sox, two instances completely nullify those. Can’t even have the opinion that the second-greatest hitter in Red Sox history, who was a central figure in one of the greatest moments in Red Sox history, deserves to have his number retired. I’m also glad to know what the BBWAA’s view on PEDs will be 20 years from now – did you use a crystal ball or a DeLorean to figure that one out?

        Damon would like to see a good friend of his remembered for his highs rather than his lows. Just because you disagree with him doesn’t make him an idiot.

    • txrangers90 - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:05 PM

      kevin s wins this debate, because he actually uses facts and makes real arguments instead of just calling people who disagree idiots which pretty much disregarded everything jack marshall said

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

        Facts? The Red Sox criteria for retiring numbers is a fact. Manny quitting on the team in 2006 and 2008 is a fact. Manny running twice as fast on the bases and in the outfield once he left Boston for LA in ’08 is a fact. Not facts: that Manny’s stats make up for his disgraceful lack of sportsmanship; that he will ever be anything but a bad memory in Boston; that he has a prayer of making the Hall, and that Damon isn’t, as always out to lunch.

        Manny’s legacy in Boston guarantees that he will never be honored in the city. That’s also a fact. His drug use has tainted both the 2004 and the 2007 championships, allowing people to say that they were based on cheating. Fact. Pretend otherwise if you wish. If the fans now who saw Manny play agree that he’s a disgrace to the team and the city, I don’t know what you think is going to change in 20 years.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:36 PM

        Jack, I’ve always thought you were an arrogant SOB, but projecting your opinions as “facts” seals it.

        “The Red Sox criteria for retiring numbers is a fact.” Except when they made an exception to the criteria for Fisk. When the increasing transience of ballplayers makes it quite likely that they will again make an exception to the criteria for, at the minimum, Pedro Martinez, or risk ignoring one of their greatest players simply for a policy that made far more sense when teams had total control over player movement.

        “Manny quitting on the team in 2006 and 2008 is a fact.” No, it’s a likelihood. It certainly looked like he wasn’t trying in that plate appearance against Mariano. He also tore the freaking cover off the ball in July ’08. .347/.473/.587 is a fact. Yes, he went even more batshit crazy once he got to LA… but one doesn’t OPS 1.060 without giving a shit.

        “Manny running twice as fast on the bases and in the outfield once he left Boston for LA in ’08 is a fact.” Alright, I’m pretty sure you didn’t actually have a stopwatch on Manny and if you did, the differences wouldn’t be anywhere near “twice as fast.” We’ll leave aside the cognitive dissonance of referring to hyperbole as fact and allow that you meant Manny tried harder once he got to LA. Well… yeah. When he got traded, his options were declined and he had a contract to push for. It’s not admirable, but the phenomenon of the contract push is hardly unique to Manny Ramirez, and we don’t excoriate the players who engage in it nearly to the degree you have with Manny.

        “Manny’s legacy in Boston guarantees that he will never be honored in the city. That’s also a fact.” No, that is entirely your opinion. You believe that Manny’s legacy is how his tenure in Boston ended, that nothing else he did counted. That is not a fact. It is merely one of several viable opinions.

        “His drug use has tainted both the 2004 and the 2007 championships, allowing people to say that they were based on cheating. Fact.” People can say that virtually every championship has been based on cheating, whether it be steroids, amphetamines, ball-doctoring, sign stealing. Best thing to do is ignore those people. Your issue is it prevents you from slinging mud at the Yankee championships without either acknowledging Boston’s own issues or looking like a hypocrite. That’s really not my problem. Manny wasn’t the only steroid user on those teams, and singling him out is just as wrong as the way you singled out Bonds for all of MLB’s steroid ills a couple years ago. If you feel that steroids taint, then the entire era was tainted. One individual player doesn’t add to that.

        Now, on to the things you called “not facts,” but said with the tone of “false.”

        “that Manny’s stats make up for his disgraceful lack of sportsmanship;” He’s a jerk, but he’s our jerk. Plenty of jackasses have been forgiven for their jackassery if they put up on the field. Barry Bonds is a giant douchenozzle. He’s also revered in San Francisco. Performance matters, no matter how much you want to pretend baseball is just about sportsmanship and trying your best and butterflies and fairies and unicorns.

        “that he will ever be anything but a bad memory in Boston;” Without Manny, you’d still be hearing “Nine-teen eight-teen!” chants ten times a season. You’re not being honest with yourself if you think Boston fans would really rather go back to that.

        “that he has a prayer of making the Hall,” Right. Just like Bert Blyleven had no prayer of making the Hall based on how people judged pitchers at the time he retired. That changed. I can’t believe you won’t even acknowledge the possibility that perspectives will change as we gain distance from the steroid era. Some player who has been tied to PEDs will eventually have such a great case that he’ll be inducted – I don’t know if that player is Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, or somebody else – or somebody already in will be revealed to have used. And once that happens, people are going to have a hard time justifying the inclusion of some users and the exclusion of others. Some marginal candidates such as Palmeiro or Sosa might get squeezed out, but Manny has the bar well cleared.

        “and that Damon isn’t, as always out to lunch.” Johnny Damon’s said some pretty dumb things over the years – I’ve always thought he never fully recovered from that awful collision he had – but that doesn’t mean everything he says is automatically wrong.

        ‘If the fans now who saw Manny play agree that he’s a disgrace to the team and the city, I don’t know what you think is going to change in 20 years.” You ever been involved in a nasty breakup? I have. You don’t think about any of the good times you had together, you’re too busy being angry and bitter about how it ended. As you move away from the split and gain some perspective on the entire relationship, it’s certainly possible to appreciate it for the good times. It’s not guaranteed – people sometimes stay bitter at their exes for decades – but it’s not impossible to get over hating somebody for how it ended. I think the anger and bitterness will fade, and then people will be able to remember the ridonkulously awesome things Manny Ramirez did in Beantown.

  14. bigharold - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    “…but if the money is the same and the impact of not playing is the same, what is the upside of choosing immediate retirement over a 100-game suspension?”

    Because he’s pushing 40, he’s rich, if he came back he’d have to answer the questions over and over and over.. and even he is well aware that he can’t get it done without PEDs.

    The only question left to answer about Manny is when did the steroids start making the difference in his game? Clearly, he thought they were necessary back as far as 2003 which would be considered his prime. So much for him being one of the best right handed hitters ever in MLB.

  15. mplsjoe - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Aaron, your argument is entirely rational. But that’s the problem – it’s rational. Manny’s not a rational guy (I don’t mean this as a dig, just as a fact). My guess is that his agent or some other folks tried to talk him into just taking the suspension. But Manny said, “screw it.”

  16. Jonny 5 - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Glen is right. No evidence huh? You guys are in denial. Record breakers that we know used are right in front of our eyes. Yet some people are still in denial. Yes they help, We know they did. They work well enough that players will jeopardize their careers to gain the benefits of them. “the best of __” and We know they used ped’s. Do they work? It doesn’t take a scientist or a scientific study to come to a correct conclusion to that question. Unless you’re in denial and all.

  17. notdumb - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    why didnt bonds mcgwire and sosa get torn apart while they were still playing ? because they were to busy saving the game of baseball but after they have been used up and done damage to their bodies the greedy owners and media have a field day making an example out of them its probably the most sad and pathetic stories ever related to sports how these guys have been used up and spit out. bottom line PEDs are good for the game its called progress people these drugs should be available to anyone who wants to take them

  18. Jack Marshall - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    Kevin S, my boy, your denying facts doesn’t make them opinions. Fisk is in the Hall of Fame, the criteria to which I referred. Fisk never was anything but a credit to baseball. I didn’t cite the Sox “play one’s whole career with Boston” rule, because it isn’t a fact any more. So you rebut an argument I didn’t make. Clever; pointless.

    There is not a player with the Sox or a Boston scribe that doubts Manny quit on the team in 2006. The team had to play a limping Youkilis in left, but Manny refused to go out there. If your definition of “fact” is 100%, verified certainty, your weak argument to the contrary is more than nothing, I suppose, but facts are seldom that certain. You know he quit in 2008—are you kidding me? The Red Sox had to schedule an X-ray on both his knees to call his bluff. He intentionally struck out in a Yankee game with the division on the line. He threatened not to go on a road trip. He tanked it in the field, daily. The Sox took a vote as to whether it was in the best interest of the team to trade him, and the vote was 24 to dump him with one abstention.

    You’re really denying this? His act is on video, it was recognized at the time, I saw it with my own eyes—and it wasn’t the first time, either, by a long shot. Then Manny was in LA, taking extra bases, hustling after fly balls—OK, not running TWICE as fast, since you are hyperbole challenged—and that was a giant, intentional, in your face “up yours” to every Boston fan. How many players have done anything like that, after the kind of support Manny got in Boston?

    Your version of “fact” is ludicrous. I am saying that the current Hall, the one that has a character and sportsmanship requirement, will never accept Manny, barring a miracle. That is correct, since he is the most unsportsmanlike player since 1919. (Fact. Or find a worse one.) OK—when the criteria includes utter selfishness and contempt for the integrity of the game, Manny’s a lock.

    What that has to do with Bert Blyleven, I have no idea. You insult Bert by using him in the same paragraph with Manny.

    No other player’s conduct can make Manny’s conduct better or worse. He was a uniquely untrustworthy player, the only one I can find who was capable of trying to hurt his own team. That sets him aside from Bonds, Clemens, anyone. They always tried to win,

    When someone’s analysis is correct, it is opinion, but also fact. You are whistling in the dark….go ahead. Manny was never MY jerk. You are welcome, however, to your jerk worship.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 12, 2011 at 1:14 AM

      It’s not “play the whole career,” it’s “finish the career,” actually. Sorry for trying to guess at which one you were referring to. I went with the one we currently know Manny doesn’t meet. Clearly I was mistaken in not assuming you were equating assumptions as fact, despite the overwhelming evidence that you have no problem doing so.

      I’m not sure what other definition of “fact” there is besides 100% verified certainty. Sorry for not letting you re-define words so you can add bullet points to your argument. I also agreed that Manny gave up in that at bat against Rivera, not sure why you felt the need to emphasis that, unless you wanted to give the impression that I denied the incident. I also never denied that Manny tried harder in LA than he did at the end of his Boston tenure. But hey, whatever. Clearly subtle distinctions are beyond you, so I’m not going to give you the excuse to repeat yourself yet again.

      Whole lot of blah blah blah in there about how Manny will never be in the Hall of Fame. It’s mind-boggling to me that you can assert that as a fact what’s going to happen over the next twenty years. Maybe he won’t get in, but you do not know how steroid usage is going to be treated in the future. Stop pretending you do. Seriously. There’s a reason there’s a five-year waiting period and fifteen years of life on the ballot, and it’s precisely because attitudes and perspectives change with time. With Manny and company, it’s not reflections on their careers, but on their era.

      “That is correct, since he is the most unsportsmanlike player since 1919. (Fact. Or find a worse one.)”

      I don’t know… anybody who deliberately attempted to maim another player by going in spikes first or aiming a fastball at a player’s head? We celebrate Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for that. Or Hall of Famer Juan Marichal beating the opposing catcher upside the head with a bat. How about anybody who vowed to strike rather than play against Jackie Robinson? I’m not sure what ethics you learned, but where I come from, blatant racism is far worse than giving up.

      “What that has to do with Bert Blyleven, I have no idea. You insult Bert by using him in the same paragraph with Manny.”

      Only if one has such a pathetically small mind that they think any comparison of situations is a moral equivalence between the two players in question. When Bert Blyleven first went on the ballot, the prevailing opinion of the electorate on how a pitcher’s worth should be judged left him no hope of getting in. That opinion changed. Just like the opinion of steroids can change.

      ‘When someone’s analysis is correct, it is opinion, but also fact. You are whistling in the dark….go ahead. Manny was never MY jerk. You are welcome, however, to your jerk worship.”

      Oh man, the arrogance is so thick you can walk on it. I’m glad you’ve deemed your analysis so correct that it rises to the level of fact. I also think my use of the plural possessive indicated I was discussing the attitude of a fan base, or at the very least, multiple people. You, in your self absorption, have presumed to believe that your own feelings represent the entire fan base. Manny was Boston’s jerk until shortly before the end. By your standards of evidence, the thunderous cheers he received for the vast majority of his Boston career make that a fact.

      I enjoy a good argument. But when assertions are repeatedly presented as facts, and arrogance is wallowed in, there’s not much point. So I bid you goodnight.

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:47 AM

        You are wrong…it is not “finish his career.” All but Fisk played his whole career with the Sox, and that used to be the standard. Both are moot now. You really think Manny would ever be honored before Dom, Radatz, Dewey, Pedro, Tony C, Schilling, Big Papi, Tiant, Lee, Varitek, and all the other players who tried to win every single day they were in Boston, unlike Ramirez? Unbelievable.

        You just make up stuff. I have never denigrated the Yankees’ championships because of the participation of Sheffield, Giambi, ARod and Clemens, just as I think that Manny’s cheating doesn’t taint 2004 at all. Your claim that the team would never have won without Manny is the purest, most unprovable speculation…dumb, too. Sure, if nobody was in left and all the balls dropped in all season (instead of the ones Manny misjudged or just ignored), but I think it’s logical to assume that the Sox would have had someone else pretty good playing the wall, given 20 million a year to use—they always have, except for a year here and there with Cordero/O’Leary/ Billy C types.

        Repeat after me: “The Hall of Fame has character criteria.” Look it up. Manny FAILS. He failed before he was caught with steroids. His poor sportsmanship, selfishness and betrayal of two franchises is a matter of record, though I realize that people like you can only conceive of one kind of “fact,” the most frequently manipulated and distorted of all, statistics.

        I know you will still be claiming 30 years from now, after Manny misses the 5% threshhold in the first HOF vote and is languishing with the Veteran’s Committee, more likely to have Curt Schilling-types on it than Johnny Damon, that my assessment tha Manny has no chance is still “opinion.” Go ahead. I’m right now, and I’ll be right then, and asserting that one is right when one has heard nothing but fantasy in opposition isn’t arrogance.

        I like a good argument too, and you certainly don’t provide one.
        See ya!

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