Manny Ramirez Cements Legacy as Cheater and Quitter

There are several different ways to describe Manny Ramirez during his fun, entertaining, aggravating, and tumultuous 19-year Major League Baseball career. After the way he exited the game for good on Friday, there are only two ways to characterize his legacy: Manny Ramirez was a cheater and a quitter.

Ramirez of course was informed by MLB of his second drug-related offense in spring training, and rather than sit out 100 games which is the penalty for a two-time offender, Manny decided to retire. The Tampa Bay Rays had invested in him, given him a spot in the lineup and clubhouse, and built a few marketing campaigns around him. All that had to be scrapped after Manny unceremoniously dumped the team, and now they are left with a hole in the lineup.

It doesn’t matter that Manny was struggling to start the season — with plenty of reason as we now know. The man who faked injuries several times and faked a knee injury to force his way out of Boston did what he has done throughout his career — put himself first over the team (a charge for which he later admitted). The consummate “I guy,” Manny decided to take the year off and run away from baseball after his second positive test instead of apologizing, going clean, and trying to help the Rays like the “leader” they made him out to be. Nope, Manny is walking away from the game, likely to be heard from sparingly throughout the rest of his life.

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Manny Ramirez Retires from MLB After Second Drug-Related Suspension

Manny Ramirez has shockingly announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. The news came in a press release from MLB, and it comes after Ramirez started off the season 1-for-17 with the Rays. I’m sure getting booed by Rays fans to start the year didn’t help his confidence, but Manny’s retirement is almost certainly related to a second drug-related offense.

Manny missed 50 games with the Dodgers for testing positive for a fertility drug in 2009, and a second suspension would have cost him 100 games, which would take care of most of the season.

LA Times writer Bill Shaikin wrote on twitter that “Manny tested positive for banned substance, would have been facing 100-game suspension had he not retired (or succeeded in appeal).”

The Rays said in a statement “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter.”

The news of his second drug-related offense likely will permanently harm his reputation. Many people were forgiving after his first offense, but a second offense shows a blatant disregard for the rules and integrity of the game, and it further proves he felt he could not play well without performance enhancers. If he tested positive a second time, one has to wonder how long he was using to begin with before finally being caught.

Rays Manager Joe Maddon: It’s Unfair to Boo Manny Ramirez

Tampa Bay Rays new DH Manny Ramirez has been hearing it from fans after starting the season 1-for-16. The offseason acquisition was booed Tuesday during Tampa’s 5-3 loss to the Angels and didn’t help matters by striking out three times and leaving three men on. After the loss, manager Joe Maddon defended Manny saying it was “very unfair” of fans to boo him over his poor start, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Topkin says Maddon wanted to make it clear that Ramirez works really hard and that it’s too early to get down on him. Outfielder B.J. Upton, who’s no stranger to slumps, said it was “unbelievable” that Ramirez was hearing it.

I completely understand why Maddon defended his player, and I agree it’s too early to get down on a proven slugger like Manny after just four games. But here’s where I’ll disagree.

If fans are booing Manny because they don’t like how he acts or the way he cheated the game, that’s completely within reason, and I might do the same. But if they’re booing because he’s not performing and they’ll start to cheer when he does, then I think it’s far too capricious on their behalf and will side with Joe and B.J. It all depends on the fan motivation for the boos.

Scott Boras Billing Manny Ramirez as Potential Mentor for Young Players

Scott Boras is an agent and his job is to make his clients seem as appealing as possible to potential employers. I understand that. But some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is just unbelievable. Going back a few years ago, what he said about Jason Varitek’s contract was laughable. Now, the way he’s billing free agent Manny Ramirez belongs in the same category. During an interview on MLB Network on Sirius XM Radio, Boras described some of the selling points of a veteran like Manny via Ben Maller:

I think the things that benefit Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez and players of that type is that they’ve been championship players, they played in big markets. They can go to young players whose careers are just beginning, who have a lot of expectancy associated with them, they’ve had success and now for the first time they’re being asked to repeat that success. That often doesn’t happen because there haven’t been mentors around those young players to give them a pathway where they are not out there trying to do too much to try to replicate the quality year that they’ve had. I’ve always felt those types of players are very helpful.

He’s exactly right — those types of players are extremely helpful and make a difference in the clubhouse. Johnny Damon does have that presence. Manny Ramirez does not. Are you kidding me? How can he actually place Manny Ramirez in the “mentor role” category? What’s next Scott, pitching Bengie Molina as a speed coach? You going to turn Tim Lincecum into a D.A.R.E. officer? Suggest Tommy Lasorda shills for a weight-loss company? Oh weight, forgot about that. Gimme a break Boras, go sell that stuff on another block because we’re not buying the spiel here.

Earth-Shattering News: Manny Ramirez Says Something Sensible

If you haven’t already heard this, you may not believe it.  I had to clear the haze, fog, smoke, and whatever else from my eyes before realizing what I read.  Is Manny Ramirez a changed man?  First we hear that he’s getting his dreadlocks cut off, but that is more about team policy than his own personal choice, right?  Maybe not. 

In interview with NESN, Ramirez admitted that the way his tenure in Boston ended was his fault.  I’m speechless (or should I say type-less).  After all the things this guy has said — which have led to teammates to calling him a clubhouse cancer and the media to ripping him to shreds — he actually says something that we can respect?

I think everything was my fault,” Ramirez said. “You’ve got to be a real man to realize when you do wrong. Hey, it was my fault, right? I’m already past that stage. I’m happy. I’m in a new team.”

If I saw those words written on a blog — even one as credible as LBS — I wouldn’t believe them, either.  For those of you skeptics (who I don’t blame), here’s the Manny Ramirez “my fault” video:

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Manny to Say Bye, Bye to his Dreads

Now that Manny Ramirez is a member of the Chicago White Sox, owner Jerry Reinsdorf has asked the slugger to do something drastic — cut off the dreads. Manny is doing as he’s told and flying his personal barber to Boston so that his hair will be ready for the first game of the White Sox-Red Sox series.

Though the dreads are Manny’s signature look, he said that it doesn’t bother him having to cut them off “It seems like everywhere I go, people worry about my hair. I just want to go out there and play the game.”

I would figure he’d be a little more upset, I know I would. I love having Manny sporting the black and white, but in all honesty who really believes he’ll be a member of the team next spring? Anyone? Yeah, me neither. He’s a member of the White Sox to help their playoff run. They may have convinced him that he’s auditioning for next year, but I really don’t see that happening. My point in all this is that it’s not worth cutting my hair if I’m Manny knowing that I’ll only be on this team for the next 29 days (if they don’t make the playoffs).

I do appreciate the fact that Manny’s being a team player and doing what is asked of him. Manny is used to having that hair though, Mr. Reinsdorf. If your decision to make him cut it some how throws his swing off balance then Sox fans will be blaming you. As for now, I can’t wait to see what happens with the hair. Manny is a character, for all we know he could walk out tonight with an inch off his hair (technically he would have “cut his hair”) or with a completely shaved head.

Reports: Manny to Cut His Hair Friday [Fox Sports]
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark Duncan

Manny Ramirez Gives a Heartfelt Farewell to Another City

I must say, there’s nobody that can leave a town quite like Manny Ramirez.  As his days were dwindling down with the Boston Red Sox, Manny made a habit of pretending he was injured in order to stick it to the team and be taken out of the lineup.  That’s probably one of the main reasons Jonathan Papelbon called him a clubhouse cancer.  No. 24 forced his way out of Boston and embarked on a new journey as No. 99 in L.A., where “Mannywood” became an immediate hit.

After being placed on waivers and claimed by the Chicago White Sox, Ramirez has officially worn out his welcome in another big city.  Once again, he managed to shorten his stay, this time by getting himself ejected after the first pitch of a sixth-inning at-bat in Colorado Sunday afternoon.  Here’s the video of Manny Ramirez getting ejected in his last Dodgers at-bat, courtesy of You Been Blinded:

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