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Manny Ramirez has requested his outright release from the #Athletics and the team has granted his request.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) June 16, 2012
The last we heard, Manny Ramirez was in Triple-A Sacramento, not impressing the scouts. His stats in Sacramento weren't overwhelming, either:
It depends on the curve you want to grade him on. What you'd expect from Manny? No power, and an ugly strikeout-to-walk ratio. Not the same hitter at all. But from a 40-year-old after a year away from the game? Well, not that bad, I guess.
But when the A's signed Manny in the offseason, they might have been hoping he was a part of a surprise contender -- a veteran thumper that could help a pitching-heavy team. With the rough start to the season, and an outfield that's hitting, the A's might have figured there was a better use for their DH spot.
Now we get to see if there's another team interested in a 40-year-old, twice-busted DH who used to be one of the greatest right-handed hitters in history.
Manny Ramirez is 40, and he hasn't played baseball in a year.
Seems like every Manny Ramirez update should lead with those salient facts. Manny is not a young man. And he's missed a year of baseball. Either of those things would be kind of a big deal when anticipating how a player will perform. Both of them together are deadly.
So it's not that much of a surprise the scouts who have watched Manny's time with the Sacramento Rivercats aren't besmitten. From Susan Slusser:
The A's do have one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time at Triple-A Sacramento, but scouts and baseball executives who have seen Ramirez recently agree with Oakland's assessment that he is not ready for the majors. In addition, Ramirez has been bothered by left hamstring tightness that limited him to one at-bat in the past four games, but Ramirez is hanging in there, he said Sunday.
Manny's suspension is up, so the only impediment to him reaching the majors again is how well he plays baseball.
The Oakland A's were looking for some lineup thump when they signed Manny Ramirez. Actually, I'm not entirely sure what they were looking for. Some wig concessions. A little power. A good eye to teach the kids the virtue of plate discipline. Could be that Billy Beane was dreadfully bored, and he wanted to watch Ramirez try to buy sodas with Canadian money after a road trip to Toronto.
Whatever the reason, things didn't go well for Ramirez in his first rehab start in AAA on Saturday, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
On Monday night, though, the old Manny showed up, taking a walk and hitting two singles against the Round Rock Express. Considering that the last time we saw Ramirez, he was busy flailing away at major-league hitting in Tampa, this is the first time Ramirez has been successful in a game since the end of 2010. He'll take it.
The plan is still to have Ramirez play in AAA until his 50-game suspension expires at the end of May.
Remember the old Bugs Bunny line?
For some reason, Manny Ramirez would seem to be exactly the baseball player who would take a wrong turn at Aibuquerque. And starting Wednesday, he’ll get his chance to do just that:
#Athletics announce Manny will officially begin stint with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday in Albuquerque.
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 15, 2012
Manny will be starting a 10-day rehab assignment with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, who play Saturday at Albuquerque. If he plays the entire 10 games on the rehab assignment, the first day he’d be eligible to be reinstated to the major league Athletics would be May 29.
Manny’s most likely to spend time at DH if he’s promoted to the major-league squad. If so, he’d take playing time primarily from Seth Smith (.253/.395/.396) and Jonny Gomes (.236/.375/.472), who have had the bulk of playing time (26 starts) at DH for the A’s this year.
Will it work? Who knows?
UPDATE: The A's officially announced the date of Manny's first game with the team:
Release says Manny "is scheduled to play his first game with the A’s May 30 in Minnesota."— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) May 15, 2012
He's coming. One day you'll be watching Sportscenter and you'll see live footage of a player trapped under the tarp in the upper deck of the Oakland Coliseum. Your brain will struggle to comprehend what's going on. And then it will click.
The A's plan to send Ramirez, who remains at extended spring training in Phoenix, on a 10-game Minor League assignment before they call him up.
Ramirez was originally suspended for 100 games for violating MLB's substance-abuse policy, testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time. The sentence was reduced to 50 games, though, with MLB considering his surprise retirement as "time served." He'll be eligible to come off the suspension on May 30.
And the new wrinkle? The A's are doing quite well, considering. They're a game over .500, and close enough to the fifth wild-card spot to start thinking big. How will Manny hit, and who will make room? The A's will figure it out. And it might be a failed experiment, but it isn't going to be boring.
It's getting to the point where I'm starting to doubt the instances of Manny being Manny. They're too perfect, too calculated and cynical. No one can be that Manny. There's just no way.
Though I guess if anyone can, it's Manny. Manny Ramirez opened spring training by asking Brett Anderson if he was the team's video coordinator. And just a couple of days later, he tells CBS Sports this gem:
One year ago in the Rays' camp in Florida, I remind him, he playfully asked me to put in a good word for him. Then, a few weeks later, he tested positive.
Is that going to happen again?
"Only God knows," he says.
It was the softballiest of softballs. Are you going to do the stupid thing that got you in trouble in the first place? Simple question. Simple answer. For 99 percent of the world. Instead, Manny wasn't quite sure. God knows, of course. Text him and he'll probably confirm that Manny probably isn't going to test positive again. If everything works out.
It's not news -- it's a good read, though, that article -- but every Manny being Manny moment should receive some sort of award. We can't spring for that, so we'll just have to write a few words whenever it happens instead.
Manny Ramirez, who has twice failed drug tests, recently signed a minor-league contract with the Oakland Athletics. Tyler Kepner elected to write about it. You can kind of get the whole gist from his headline, which I suppose makes it a good headline:
Quitters Never Win. Well, Almost Never.
But, why don't we read beyond?
Fifty games? What happened to 100? When a fugitive skips town, shouldn't the same punishment apply if he tries to come back? Not in the case of Ramirez. He was reinstated last December when the union persuaded Major League Baseball to reduce his sentence because Ramirez had missed almost all of 2011.
Those are the facts, but this is the feeling: a two-time drug cheat really has no place on the field. The next labor agreement should eliminate the 100-game suspension and equate a second failed test to a lifetime ban. A second chance is fine, but a third chance makes a mockery of the policy.
In case you can't tell, Tyler Kepner doesn't appear to be a big fan of Manny Ramirez. Which, well, that's perfectly understandable. What would it take to be a big fan of Manny Ramirez, at this point? The man brings trouble. He hasn't always brought trouble, or he at least hasn't always brought more trouble than he's been worth, but some people age gracefully, and other people don't.
Ramirez is a symbol of an era baseball's trying to move beyond. He might still have some productivity left in the tank, and Oakland's going to try to find out, but there's an argument to be made that baseball will be better when Manny Ramirez is no longer a part of it.
Monday, the Oakland Athletics made official what had long been expected by signing Manny Ramirez to a minor-league contract. Manny brings with him a suspension and a recent retirement. Manny also brings with him one of the most impressive statistical track records in baseball history.
There have been some questions about how the A's are going to fit Ramirez in, given their wealth of younger options at DH. Manager Bob Melvin isn't too concerned. Via Susan Slusser:
With Ramirez sitting out the first 50 games for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the team should get plenty of time to evaluate other options, Melvin said. And there will "waves" of evaluation for Ramirez – first during spring, including exhibition games, then at extended spring training, and finally in 10 minor-league games.
Manny's expected to suit up in the minors in the middle of May. So he could push his way to the majors at the end of May or the beginning of June. That would give the A's two months to evaluate what they have, and that's if Manny looks good. If Manny looks bad or otherwise unprepared, the A's probably wouldn't bring him right up, if they brought him up at all.
The A's gave a lot of thought to Manny Ramirez, and decided there weren't any compelling reasons not to sign him. If he's good, that's good. If he's not good, there's little lost. Manny might seem like kind of a weird fit, but let's give this time to play out. Let's at least see where things are when Manny's done serving his suspension.
On Monday, the Oakland Athletics acquired a guy with 555 career home runs and a .996 OPS. Also on Monday, the Oakland Athletics acquired a guy with 39 tree rings, a PED suspension, and a 2011 retirement. They're the same guy! Haha, I tricked you!
Second, Manny is suspended 50 games so the A's don't really have to make any decisions with him until then. If the A's find that Chris Carter oror someone else can be a beast as a DH prior to then, then you just release Manny.
To me it's classic Billy Beane.
It's true - because of the suspension, Manny won't see the majors for a while. That'll give the A's an opportunity to play, I don't know, Chris Carter or Brandon Allen or Kila Ka'aihue. There'll be trial time. There just won't be much trial time. Manny isn't directly blocking anybody, but he could potentially interfere. We'll see how the A's manage that. It does help that the A's are in complete control, having signed Manny to a cheap minor-league deal.
And as Bleszinski points out later in his post, you know who might really be able to learn something from Manny Ramirez? A certain Yoenis Cespedes. Even if Manny doesn't have much left in the tank - and he might not - he's long been one of the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history. Guys like that can impart some knowledge. You don't think of Manny as being the leader sort, but as a helper? Manny could probably help. If he's willing.
manny gets minor-league deal with a’s. just wants opportunity
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 20, 2012
He just wants an opportunity. That is unintentionally humorous, as Manny Ramirez has an entire luggage-cart full of baggage to bring with him to Oakland.
Besides the 50-game suspension he is going to have to serve presuming he makes the major league roster (and MLB is being nice to him by not making him serve the 100-game suspension he should be serving by being caught a second time using PEDs), Ramirez has simply not been very productive for the last two teams he’s played for.
He was 1-for-17 for the Rays in 2011 before “retiring” because he didn’t want to serve the 100-game suspension.
Before that, he hit .261/.420/.319 with one home run in 88 plate appearances for the White Sox late in 2010. The on-base percentage is good, but that slugging percentage — ugly.
And, he hasn’t played at all in nearly a year, and will be 40 years old in May, and probably shouldn’t pick up a fielder’s mitt at all, not even to hand it to a teammate.
But it might provide some entertainment at A’s spring training, if nothing else.
Manny Ramirez recently worked out for the Oakland A's in Florida, sources tell MLB.com's Jane Lee. The A's are reported to have a strong interest in signing the free agent slugger to a one-year deal worth slightly more than the league minimum of $480,000, according to the Associated Press.
If he signs, Ramirez wouldn't be eligible to play for the A's until at least May 30, as he still needs to serve a 50-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He tested positive for a banned substance five games into the 2011 season after signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. He opted to retire rather than serve a 100-game suspension, which Major League Baseball eventually reduced by half.
Ramirez, who turns 40 years old in May, hasn't played more than 104 games in a season since 2008. He split the 2010 season between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, hitting a combined .298 (.409 OBP, .460 SLG) with nine home runs and 42 RBI in 265 at-bats over 90 games. The A's would most likely use him as a designated hitter. The A's finished 2011 ranked No. 12 in runs scored and home runs out of 14 American League teams.
It took just a single call from the Cave of Mystery, and Yoenis Cespedes became an Oakland Athletic. The world was stunned. Well, you were, anyway. But the A's aren't done. Buried in an article on the state of the A's outfield ...
The A's are likely to sign former Boston star Manny Ramirez just before or soon after the start of spring training.
Ramirez wouldn't add to the A's outfielder total. He'd come aboard as a designated hitter after serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.
The way Susan Slusser writes about this makes it seem like a done deal being held up by red tape. Slusser is an excellent beat writer -- head of the BBWAA, even -- so she's not likely to get coy with her readers. There's a reason why she can't write that Manny is officially the A's DH, but it isn't a good enough reason for her not to hint that it's basically happening.
Again, the article is about the A's outfield, and the mention of Manny and the outfield conjures up all sorts of awesome memories. Coco Crisp played in the same outfield as Manny, for example, which leads to this amazing quote:
...the first person I saw was big old Manny, waving his arms. As I was throwing, I thought, 'Oh my God, it's Manny!' Afterward, I was like, 'Manny, look, you can't do that again.' "
Oakland A's Baseball: Oh My God, It's Manny!
Oakland A's Baseball: Manny, Look, You Can't Do That Again
The slogans write themselves, marketing department. Enjoy the week in Tahoe.
The other day, we passed along a column from Sports Illustrated arguing that the Baltimore Orioles were by far the most sensible fit for Manny Ramirez. Now, from general manager Dan Duquette, we hear that the Baltimore Orioles are not a very sensible fit for Manny Ramirez. Roch Kubatko:
Duquette says he doesn't see a fit for #orioles with Manny Ramirez.
Recently, reports suggested Ramirez would end up with the Orioles, Blue Jays or A's. The Orioles appear to be pulling out. We haven't heard much of anything about the Jays. And, also on Friday, we got the following tweets. Buster Olney:
OAK scouts saw Manny Ramirez work out recently and they are interested. Final decision whether to try to sign him will happen in next week.
Beane says #Athletics looking to sign middle-of-lineup DH -- most specific he's been on the record. But wouldn't address Manny or Magglio.
I don't know about you, but it sure seems to me like the stars are aligning for Manny to end up with Oakland. It's no guarantee, of course, and for all I know the A's might be looking in other directions, but based on the latest information, or at least based on what's been said most recently, the A's look like the Manny favorites.
It would be weird, since the A's have younger players you'd think they'd want to check out. But Ramirez will miss the first 50 games with a suspension, and he's a pretty easy guy to move if he's doing well, or if he's not doing well. Additionally, the A's could conceivably sign Ramirez to a minor league contract, which would mean zero commitment. God only knows what Manny has left in the tank, but it's not a complete surprise that Oakland might want to find out.
The A's have varying degrees of interest in Manny Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez, which makes only a bit more sense than them having interest in Peyton Manning.
Manny Ramirez is currently a free agent. Manny Ramirez ranks 32nd all-time in OBP, ninth all-time in slugging, ninth all-time in OPS, and 14th all-time in home runs. Wow, Manny Ramirez must be generating a ton of interest!
Of course, he is not, for a variety of reasons with which you're already familiar. Recent reports have Ramirez trying to decide whether to pursue a contract with the A's, Blue Jays or Orioles. Which of those would work the best as a destination? Cliff Corcoran has an idea:
The Orioles, however, might be the perfect team for Ramirez. Wilson Betemit is in desperate need of a right-handed platoon partner at DH (he's a .246/.299/.385 career hitter against lefthanded pitching), and that arrangement would allow Ramirez to ease himself back into the major league grind, reducing his chance of injury. Besides, there are no prospects like Chris Carter or Michael Taylor that he'd be taking at-bats away from in Baltimore the way he would in Oakland.
The man in charge in Baltimore is Dan Duquette. Dan Duquette is in charge of a mess. Dan Duquette is also the guy who gave Manny Ramirez an eight-year contract worth $160 million many moons ago. If anybody makes sense for Manny Ramirez, it's probably the Orioles, who could use the attention. Signing Ramirez would do little to contend claims that the Orioles are a baseball sideshow, but I've heard that any publicity is good publicity. Manny could bring people to the park, at least for a little while.
Manny's facing a long suspension. After that, he's going to be rusty. He's 39 years old. At this point, Manny Ramirez doesn't deserve much more than a job with the Orioles. And at this point, the Orioles might not be able to do a whole hell of a lot better.
With Edwin Jackson having signed with the Nationals, there are but two big-time free agents remaining on the market: Roy Oswalt and Yoenis Cespedes. However, if this were several years ago, then Manny Ramirez would count. Also if this were several years ago, then other things. Hard to specify without identifying a particular number of years.
Yes, Manny's still floating around, and according to ESPN Deportes, he's close to making a decision - kind of. Translated quote:
Manny Ramirez is waiting for God to enlighten him to decide between Baltimore, Oakland and Toronto to begin negotiating a contract that allowed to return to the majors in 2012, two sources said Friday at ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.
The Orioles, A's and Blue Jays have all shown interest in Ramirez this winter. However, none of them has made a formal offer. If I'm understanding this correctly, then Ramirez will decide on a team with which he'd like to pursue a contract. Presumably that team would then be willing to give him a contract.
Probably a minor league contract. I can't actually imagine that a team would give him a major league contract at this point. For a bunch of reasons, not the least of which being that Ramirez will miss the season's first 50 games. That's kind of a thing.
Ramirez has been working out, and a source in this report says that the A's could give him the best opportunity. Pretty exciting for Manny. Kind of sad for the A's.
According to the Associated Press:
The Oakland Athletics are open to signing slugger Manny Ramirez but the team is not actively pursuing the free agent.
That was the message Sunday from assistant general manager David Forst, who talked during A's Fanfest held at the Oakland Arena, next door to the Coliseum. A's owner Lew Wolff had suggested the move last week.
"We're open to it," Forst said. "We do have other things going on and we do expect other additions between now and Opening Day. We have never been in a situation where we had too many good players."
Hey, who's running this club anyway?
Alternate Question: Where's Brad Pitt when you need him?
We kid because we love the Athletics. It's been obvious for years that Billy Beane has stepped away from many of a general manager's day-to-day duties, with David Forst taking over. But in Beane's relative absence, owner Lew Wolff has become the face of the franchise, which might not be the best thing in the world, considering that Wolff has for some years expressed his eagerness to desert Oakland for richer (and warmer) digs.
Of course it's odd that the Oakland A's have become one of Major League Baseball's most famous franchises -- thanks to a certain little Oscar-nominated movie -- while at the same time they've become Major League Baseball's least popular franchise -- last season the A's edged the Florida Marlins for worst attendance in the majors, and this season they're not likely to have any competition at all for that slot.
Maybe Manny Ramirez would help a little in the attendance department, particularly if he actually, you know, did some actual hitting. But I don't know if a 20-game winning streak could excite the fans, who have essentially been told for some years now that they're just not good enough.
Of course they are.
The Oakland A's spent the first part of the offseason trading away their young pitchers. They spend the second part of the offseason acquiring all sorts of veterans. So which one was it -- rebuild or stopgap? Well, you can't spell "rebuild" without "holy hell what do you want with Manny Ramirez?", so that's the way they're going. From ESPN Deportes:
Oakland interesa a Manny Ramírez
You can go to translate.google.com if you need to, but it means what you think it means. And in no way is this surprising. If you take away all of the baggage and nonsense, Ramirez is very much like Frank Thomas, who resurrected his career in Oakland after injury-plagued final seasons in Chicago.
But saying "take away all of the baggage and nonsense" is like saying "if you remove all of the words and pages, Ulysses is a quick read." It's Manny Ramirez.
Things are likely complicated by Ramirez's need to serve out his suspension for banned substances, which was why he retired in the first place. He'll miss the first couple of months in the season no matter where he goes.
Manny Ramirez is willing, and probably able, but is that going to be enough for any team?
Manny Ramirez is looking for a job. He says he's changed! Teams are now lining up around the block to have him mentor their best young players.
Manny Ramirez announced that he wants to come out of retirement. Will anyone be interested in him?
Manny Ramirez retired from baseball early in the season because he didn't want to face another drug-related suspension. Now, however, he's reportedly trying to make a comeback.
Manny Ramirez, in terms of temperament, has nearly always been on the easygoing side. It isn't surprising, then, to hear him sound content with his decision to retire from baseball. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Dave Skretta:
"I'm at ease," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com by phone from his home in Miami. "God knows what's best (for me). I'm now an officially retired baseball player. I'll be going away on a trip to Spain with my old man."
As usual, it doesn't sound as though Manny is apathetic or dismissive... those descriptors don't quite hit the mark. Simply enough, he sounds genuinely content. Whether the rest of us our content with his retirement and the circumstances surrounding it is, of course, a different question entirely.
Check out the rest of this StoryStream for the fully story on Manny Ramirez's retirement.
With Manny Ramirez's retirement official, the sentiments on the slugger's legacy are flowing in. From Craig Calcaterra:
Manny Ramirez will almost certainly be characterized, at least in the short term, as a creation of PEDs. This conclusion likely won’t explain how he was able to play at an elite level for four years after PED testing came online, and it will overlook the fact that, if his skills were purely the stuff of chemicals, few if any other players were able to do what he did. I mean really, if one could take drugs to become a baseball player like Manny Ramirez, wouldn’t you expect to see more Manny Ramirezes around?
From Tom Verducci:
Ramirez has written a new modern day exit song. It is a sad one. His career ends by choice, but also in shame.
And from FanGraphs’ Jonah Keri:
The makeup of Hall of Fame voters will change over the years, and opinions will soften over PED use as time goes on. Still, there’s practically no scenario that sees Manny get 75% of the vote on his first ballot. If he does get in at some point in the future, he might have to wait a long time for it to happen.
One of the more salient points, though, comes from Kevin Goldstein, who tweeted:
I've never seen a hitter who could let the ball travel deeper into the zone than Manny. I have no idea how PEDs could help with that.
Yes, Manny Ramirez apparently was a twice-busted benefactor of modern chemistry, but it’s worth remembering just how special of a baseball specimen he was. His mix of right-handed power, patience, and gentle buffoonery isn’t something we can expect again to see for a long, long time.
If you’ve ever wondered where the expression "Manny being Manny" came from, this video does a pretty good job explaining it all:
It’s possible that the greatest highlight in baseball history comes at about 1:00 of that video. On a ball hit to the outfield, Johnny Damon chased it down, turned, and fired to the cutoff man. Ramirez, who apparently was in his very first inning as an outfielder, dove to prevent the throw from reaching the cutoff man. Actually, "dove" doesn’t do it justice. Ramirez reacted as if the baseball were filled with liquid explosives and thrown at a schoolbus that had just entered an intersection.
While his legacy will be debated for years to come -- the Hall of Fame debates five years from now will be absolute anarchy -- there is absolutely no question that the game of baseball is much, much duller without Manny Ramirez around.
The latest news about Manny Ramirez doesn't really impact his legacy so much as it impacts the Tampa Bay Rays' 2011 season. And not in a good way.
Ramirez's legacy was already pretty well set: Great hitter, lousy outfielder, Manny being Manny, just another drug-fueled slugger who will take his place in the Hall of Fame line behind a great number of other drug-fueled sluggers. Considering the number of them, Ramirez figures to get mostly lost in the shuffle, especially considering his lack of major awards or "black ink."
Considering his inability to stay in the lineup in recent seasons, it seemed exceptionally unlikely that Ramirez would have changed one word in that last paragraph, playing this season for the Rays.
On the other hand, he might have changed something for them.
Given the losses of Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, and (essentially) their entire shut-them-down relief corps, this year's Rays never figured to win their third division title in four seasons. But this season didn't seem hopeless, either. The club seemed to have capable replacements for Pena, Crawford and Garza. Rebuilding the bullpen wouldn't be easy, but wasn't like the organization had never rebuilt a bullpen before, or that manager Joe Maddon doesn't know how to handle one. And this team did win 96 games just one year ago.
So there was hope. Or there should have been.
The margin for error was not large, though. Some things were sure to go wrong -- some things always go wrong -- but too many things couldn't go wrong and more things would have to go right.
Well, just look. They've opened the season with six straight losses. They've lost Evan Longoria, easily their best player, for at least a month. And now they've lost Manny Ramirez, who was supposed to replace some of the run production lost with the departure of Crawford, for the entire season.
Granted, that's only three things that have gone wrong. But it's the 8th of April. There will be more. And the Rays may well shift into rebuilding mode a lot sooner than anyone expected.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Manny Ramirez's sudden retirement has to do with a failed drug test in spring training:
Ramirez's failed test was in spring training. He was notified about a week ago and decided he would rather retire than fight
Though there's no word on whether the drug test picked up performance-enhancing drugs, recreational drugs, or a few poppy-seed bagels, but it's worth noting that Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in 2009 for using performance-enhancing drugs. Well, if you want to be technical, the drugs were identified as the female fertility drug, human chorionic gonadotropin. But who here hasn't needed a little pick-me-up like that after a tough day?
Ramirez was supposed to be the designated hitter for the Tampa Bay Rays this year, who have started the season 0-6. To fill Ramirez's roster spot, the Rays have called up Casey Kotchman. Will Kotchman provide the same amount of hi-jinx and hilarity that Ramirez was good for? Only time will tell.
For more on Manny Ramirez's retirement, and reflections on his career, check out the rest of this StoryStream.
Manny Ramirez has officially retired at age 39, only a few games into the 2011 season. His Hall of Fame candidacy will be largely impacted by his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, of course, but Manny produced the sort of statistics that would otherwise merit a shoo-in to Cooperstown.
One of the very most dangerous hitters of his era, Manny produced statistics that should more than qualify for the Hall of Fame. Through 19 seasons, he has maintained an unbelievably impressive on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .996. That is the ninth-highest career OPS mark of all time, and among active players, that number is second only to Albert Pujols' 1.084.
He was a very patient hitter at the plate, drawing walks and waiting for quality pitches to hit. As a result, he's finishing his career with a .312 batting average and .411 on-base percentage. He was also a very powerful hitter; his 555 career home runs place him at 14th on the list. These are the sort of digits that Hall of Fame voters tend to look at.
Of course, Manny's Hall of Fame fate is tied to that of many of his fellow players, including Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and all the other otherwise-qualifying sluggers who have been associated with PED use. Manny's numbers are PED-induced, but they are still outstanding.
For more on Manny Ramirez's retirement, and reflections on his career, check out the rest of this StoryStream.
"Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the statement said. "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."
Ramirez retires after just 17 at-bats and one single with the Rays. He will finish with 555 home runs, good enough for 14th on the all-time list. He played for Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and the Rays in his 19-year career.
The Rays released a statement about the retirement. From MLB Trade Rumors:
We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter.
It wouldn't be Manny being Manny if you had expected it.
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