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The joyless swan song of Manny Ramirez

Manny-ramirez_275 So maybe there finally is an end to Manny being Manny.

Apparently all it takes is getting busted -- remarkably, somehow -- for drugs yet again.

Manny Ramirez notified Major League Baseball on Friday that he was retiring after he was notified of an "issue" under the league's drug-prevention program.

Out went a terse statement from MLB announcing his retirement, which included this: "Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player."

What a miserable way to go. It’s one thing to leave without fanfare, but quite another to have to slither off in the shadows.

Manny had already, of course, served a 50-game drug suspension with the Dodgers in 2009 when he tried to get in touch with his feminine side. A second violation would have meant a 100-game suspension.

It points to a man desperate to reclaim the magic that deserted him last season with the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. He finished the season with a career-low .460 slugging percentage (he has an impressive career mark of .585). He was giving it one last go at age 38, but he seemingly didn’t feel that he could regain his bat speed and power the natural way.

Not that it helped. Manny was one for 17 for the Tampa Bay Rays this season. Wednesday, he was benched and did not make the team’s trip to Chicago, with Manager Joe Maddon saying he wanted to give Ramirez a break because he was trying too hard. By Thursday, Maddon was saying Manny had to deal with a family issue.

By Friday, the jig was up. And Manny was done. There was no more fight left.

Such a sad exit. Manny was headed to the Hall of Fame. He was one of the great hitters of his time. He ends his 19-season career with 555 home runs, 1,831 runs batted in and a .312 batting average. Numbers better than Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson.

And in the end, he’ll best be remembered as a drug cheat. If it’s not Barry Bonds’ territory, he’s cruising the same neighborhood.

Manny was always something of a conflicting presence. When he first arrived from the heavens free of charge from the Red Sox in 2008, he was absolutely incredible. Cast away by Boston, he was relaxed and outgoing. He immediately changed the entire culture of the Dodgers' clubhouse. And in my 30 years of being around the Dodgers, I have never seen a position player so electrify a stadium. Every at-bat was an edge-of-your-seat happening.

The Dodgers don’t go to the National League Championship Series in consecutive years without him.

Then last spring he unexpectedly, and without giving reason, stopped talking to the media. He became a more reserved presence in the clubhouse. And though fairly effective, by his standards he struggled at the plate. The love affair with L.A. had run its course, and by the end of August he was waived.

Now it ends in shame, the story of a phenomenal hitter who tried to hang on too long and by any means. There’s no final Manny quip, no dramatic last at-bat, no last chapter to make it right.


Manny Ramirez tests positive for performance-enhancing drug

Who is more deserving of the Hall of Fame: Mark McGwire, Manny Ramirez or Pete Rose?

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Manny Ramirez waits his turn to take batting practice during spring training in Florida. Credit: Dave Martin / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (31)

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Another great player taken down by the evil flax seed oil ...

Anone who considers Manny Ramirez to be a "phenomenal hitter" and "one of the greatest hitters of all time" is an idiot. How can someone who is a sports writer for a huge newspaper be an idiot?

Manny has been cheating at hitting his entire professional career, and probably has been cheating with using drugs since at least high school, to the detriment of all of his competition. Cheated in every game he ever played in from high school until today when he finally, thankfully, got lost.

Comparing this hopped up cheater to Mantle is a travesty, and absolutely idiotic.


I doubt he just got on the juice late to stave off his decline. I find it more believable that Manny was on the juice from day one with Cleveland, and his entire career was steroid induced.

It was great while it lasted.

If anyone thinks Manny wasn't doing drugs his entire career, you're probably smoking whatever he was. He should be erased from the annals of MLB and wholly discarded like he was by Boston. There's a reason the club got rid of him when they did, and it had nothing to do with his poor attitude.

i agree w/ these guys..i was a big manny fan but i doubt he was ever clean...

Good Riddens he is bad for baseball what a waste.

I guess you hav never ben a fan of Manny, Steve ! I still think he was one of our best for a decade

Regardless of whether Manny was juicing from the beginning or not, he served baseball a purpose. He was entertaining to watch and difficult to understand. Above all no significant amount of drugs will deny the fact that he was a talented player. What I find really laughable are all these haters. These are the same clowns who probably cheered for him in boston and followed him in LA. It is much too easy to point a finger nowadays...

Manny = Exposed!

as the cheers of the Dodger faithful still echo around the Ravine

As today folks in this forum dance on Manny's grave, let it be resolved than whenever anywhere here is tempted to speak fondly of, say, Eric Gagne, or Paul Lo Duca, that it be recalled that without PEDs Gagne was a Triple A hurler, and that without PEDs, which he pushed, as well as used, Lo Duca was a second-stringer. The way those two men "slither[ed] off in the shadows" was pretty pathetic, too. Without drugs, they were nothing.

I don't think MLB we ever be able to eliminate the PED problem, especially with marginal players trying to make the cut. Yet, my hope, that by keeping arguably the 3 best players of their generation out of the HOF, MLB's best players will be deterred from using more by this than any penalty imposed. Most of the great players of the past never made millions and all they and their families have are the legacy left in the stat sheet that colors the memories in our hearts. Maybe keeping them out of the Hall will eventually take them out of the conversation and eventually they will be come nothing more than a detached piece of trivia.

Previous comments posted by morons who probably never played the game, have no clue what it takes to HIT a baseball? If you talk to any MLB coach, manager, etc, they will tell you that his WORK in the cages is unmatched! A PURE HITTING MACHINE, in baseball terms... Yes, I agree, he's a cheat, like BONDS, a narcissit if you will, but YOU yould be to if teams paid you hundreds of millions of dollars... The man sucommed to the pressure of being great, Mantle was drunk, womanizer, but could hit with the best of them... Manny successfully accomplished the most difficult feat in sports, hitting a round ball with a round stick, steroids did not help him hit the ball, perhaps hit the ball farther, but actually hitting the ball. Last, I checked STEROIDS of any kind, does not help eye sight or hand eye cooridnation... Look it up! But when its all said and done, TOP 5 right handed hitters of all time! Regardless if he never sniffs the parking lot of HOF! But then again neither will Big Mac, ARod, Bonds, etc.......

Go back and look at the historical records of Ramirez, he got on the juice with Bonds in the late 90"s, around '98 or '99. He was one of the infamous 103 players who tested positive. He has been a steroid cheat for over 12 years, just got caught because he is either stupid or has incredibly bad timing on his injections. Next up, Ortiz.

They were all juiced, and some of them probably still are. More than anything Manny is just not smart and somehow thought he wouldn't be caught. Either that or he was too cheep to buy the good steroids.

I am an idiot.

Haters! quit hating! He's no longer a Dodger or MLB player! They guy raked for 15 solid years. As a Giants hater, I turned blue in face, telling all Giants fan he was a cheater... what did it get me?? a whole not of nothing!... Get over it! As everyones saying here, everyone was juicing! Yes, Manny being Manny, means Manny is a idiot, especially getting caught twice... Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on you.... Deal with it!

Extra. Extra... Baseball star Manny Ramirez unexpectedly retired from the sport Friday amid more controversy regarding drug use. He was the greatest juiced hitter in Dodger history!

There isn't much to say except Manny will never be forgotten. Neither will the excitement he brought to the Dodger fans and I doubt if we could've won the NLCS in '08 & '09 without him. Good Luck Manny where ever you go.

"Above all no significant amount of drugs will deny the fact that he was a talented player."

- so why use them if your greatness is second nature and cannot be denied nor in need of a boost?

I think of Armstrong (Lance, not Louie) & his instrument of choice, biking... of a Bonds, McGwire, Clemens, Palmiero, Sosa, Gibbons, Anderson and (sorry, can't recite every name from memory) all the proud members MLB '104 club' , or all the others who've admitted, been convicted of or remain suspects in various sporting endeavors.

Everybody was doing it?

Not true.

Even were it so, a mob validates nothing.

If it does, then all the aforementioned athletes & many more need no trial: they've been found guilty in the court of public opinion (as of April 2001, 6,910,984,219 world, a measly 311,129,843 US alone...pick your poison.)

The only way those guys (and gals any/every same) would look good today is if they stood next to obama... or maybe the two thugs assaulted the Giant fan near dudger stadium.

And what about the long-lasting effects? Not just on the record books via the aforementioned manipulating said, not just on their public image and not just their health.

What about an even worse affect: chronic and acute Ricky Vaughn disease.

Now I am left to wonder: what would Sheen (Charlie, not Fulton J.) be sans his 'juice' of choice? A less marginal actor even than he was when he had an place to sleep it off weekly? More suited to 'My Mother the Car' than 2 1/2 Men?


The self-ascribed Adonis DNA has seen himself torpedoed by this truth - he has managed to bottle stupid, and now wears it like an birthright. That's not called winning any more than the aforementioned sporting frauds nee jokes.

L-O-S-E-R-S with less than six degrees of separation one another, each.

Manny is the only dude to live by his own rules...I respect & admire his attitude....there is NO ONE in baseball like him.....he will be missed! Unless you never eva smoked a cig, joint or any other drug, then don't judge. God don't ugly!!!

It figures that 86blowschunks would interrupt his latest drooling incoherent rant to take a shot at Obama, comparing him to the thugs who assaulted the Giant fans in the parking lot. Everything about 86blowschunks screams knuckledragging know-nothing teabagger.

Remember when Manny first came to the Dodgers and that idiot Matt Kemp said, "we can relate to him, he's one of us"...

Kemp and Loney couldn't relate to the work ethics of future HOFer Kent, but they could relate to Manny-being-Manny.

why don't we all wait until we hear the kind of drug he was using? If it's weed, it's not a performance enhancement drug (actually the opposite), and then at that point he shouldn't be subject to ridicule. Pretty obvious to me he never played by the rules and it's also obvious that he wasn't interested in being anyone's role model so who really cares? I do hope it's only weed. Weed jokes are fun and playful... like think about all that time he was standing in left field for LA, staring at the grass... and then the grasses' grass...and then the ball lands

Could've compared the 'magic' one to the darkest of black days in US history but then, what's the difference?


Not unlike baseball era same ramirezoids & his ilk.


Your pal


So, 86blowschunks, you write, in this sports forum, in re Obama: "Could've compared the 'magic' one to the darkest of black days in US history but then, what's the difference? None."

It will be interesting to see how long Dilbeck tolerates your gratuitous, knuckedragging, teabagging racism in this forum.

" A phenomenal player that tried to hang on too long."

But how do we know that? He was busted for drugs twice in 3 years, in the twilight of his career when it really didn't matter so much. The second time he got busted, he'd already been through a suspension that obviously troubled him, yet he kept doing it.

There is strenuous testing now. There are penalties. Even the baseball commissioner is finally paying attention. Do you really think Manny was NOT resorting to PEDs before the testing and penalties were this strenuous, and before he knew what it was like to get caught? He has demonstrated time and again that he has no ethical center, only a desire for appearances.

Manny did have a good batter's eye -- we thought -- but his defense sucked, always. Can we really be sure this "phenomenal" player was anything other than a phainomena in the ancient Greek sense: a show, an appearance only?

so very tired of this head-in-the-sand mentality that steroids don't help you hit it, don't help your hand-eye coordination...steroids help your body recover more quickly from physical activity, help you overcome and eliminate can anyone not get that? So yes, it does help you hit. Yes, it does help hand-eye coordination (from being slowed as you get older). And on top of that, yes it does help you hit it farther, or higher to drift over short fences, etc. Quit listening to the cheaters like Bonds or those who defend him try and brainwash you. There were players who were fine hitters - Bonds and Manny among them - before they took steroids but to deny that steroids didn't help their hitting is wrong. Otherwise, they wouldn't have minded the fatigue, the slowing of motor skills past the age of 35.

Manny has just given us another meaning to the phrase "Walk-Off"

Oh dear, now I've upset you Nancy P (more hormone therapy needed, you & ramirezoids).

: )

"Then last spring he unexpectedly, and without giving reason, stopped talking to the media. He became a more reserved presence in the clubhouse."

The media CRUCIFIED him. He was no more guilty than HUNDREDS, if not thousands (include the minor leagues and college level), of others. After enough "Manny is trying to get preggo" jokes printed over and over and OVER again, he did what anyone would do, shun the media. At the time, Baseball had virtually forgiven everyone else, save Roger and Barry. Aside from the government's retarded "roid scare" with those two, baseball and the media saved their harshest criticism for Manny.

DON'T say he went silent without reason.

From the beginning of the game, players drank alcohol & took pills. The players of the 50's & 60's took amphetamines, and that's a fact. In the 70's & 80's it was coke. It's heartbreaking to realize that players aren't perfect and as a fan, and we have to understand that either we leave the game behind, or see these guys for what they are: the best in the world at what they do. I can't believe that Nolan Ryan did what he did at the age he did it without some "help", but does that diminish witnessing it? Or Barry Bonds? Face it, both of these guys were THE BEST IN THE GAME long before the drug question came up. There's no question Manny had a great swing, and we should stop treating this whole thing (drug issue) like a reality show with a new villain every year...I saw someone post "next up, Ortiz." OK, then what? Are we trying to shame players in to good behavior? I don't think that's working!


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