In what comes as little surprise to anybody here in the northeast, or any Red Sox fan in general, Manny Ramirez has decided to call it quits and retire from MLB. Currently hitting .059 for the lowly (again) Tampa Bay Rays, Manny was reportedly facing a 100-game suspension from MLB for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs (again).
I hate to say it, but I think this seals Manny’s status as career-long doper. Unfortunately this also means that my beloved Red Sox of 2004 were more than likely the biggest group of roiders in baseball history. With Manny and Big Papi leading that team, I must thank HGH and steroids for breaking the curse.
Last year saw Manny serving a 50-game suspension as an LA Dodger for his first infraction involving the league’s PED rules. Now, rather than serve his time again, Manny decided to take his act on the road, and I can’t blame him. The guy’s got nothing left to prove, and with 2 PED convictions on his resume, Manny would certainly be center-stage in Media Land, and for a social pariah such as Manny, that wouldn’t have been an enjoyable experience. Manny reportedly said that he’s cool with walking away now, and that he’s going to Spain to kick it for awhile with his “old man”. Assuming he means his father, and not his ‘roid deal, I wish him the best.
Where does this leave Manny in the annals of baseball history? A career .315 hitter, Manny also has 555 home runs, a .585 career slugging %, and 1831 RBIs. Those are Cooperstown number, no doubt. But, will he be voted in? Tim Kurkjian says there’s absolutely no chance of Manny getting past the notoriously fickle hall voters, and I think I’d agree, which is bullshit. Without the ‘roids, Manny would have still been one of the greatest right-handed hitters in history. With the ‘roids, Manny is still one of the greatest right-handed hitters in history. I voiced my opinion regarding steroids and the old fogies of baseball history in a Some Quickies segment regarding Barry Bonds here, but again, steroids does not make a hitter hit better. It gives them a little more power, and an ability to recover from injury/fatigue. That’s it.
Manny deserves to be in the hall just because of his down-syndrome like actions on and off the field. Whether it was sneaking Ipod headphones into his dreads ON THE FIELD (I’m also pretty sure he was flyin high on tweeds and Jamaican Rum 75% of the time he was in the field), or his notorious cut-off of a Johnny Damon throw, the guy was a moron. But a lovable one, who could coincidentally smack the SHIT out of a baseball. It’s unfortunate that a lot of Latin baseball players in this current generation have seen PEDs become a part of life in their rise to the big leagues. It’s also unfortunate that HOF voters are so adamant in refusing PED users into the hall, when Bud Selig himself has described it as a generational matter, that should not ultimately lead to severe asterisks and punishments levied upon past users.
I’d love to run into Manny someday, away from baseball, and I’m confident he’d roll up a fat dooby and burn it down with me as we listen to the sweet sweet sounds of Caribbean Rumba.
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