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.