The somewhat cryptic statement issued by MLB states:
Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 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.
Will Carroll is tweeting that Ramirez again tested positive for an illegal substance.
Sources confirm to me that Manny Ramirez tested postive for a banned substance and rather than appeal, he retired.
The saying goes fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I feel a little bit fooled by Manny Ramirez, but for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to get angry at the player. If Alex Rodriguez were to suddenly get caught for a banned substance, my reaction would almost certainly be different, so I’m completely aware of my double standard when I write that I’ll be very sorry to not see Manny anymore.
He was great. And fun. And maybe the best hitter I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing play in person.
I think the best writing on Manny came from this New Yorker piece from 2007, written by Ben McGrath.
This quote seems most relevant:
Hey, I don’t know. Baseball, you know, one day you’re here, the next day you’re in another place. So you really cannot say, ‘Oh, I’m going to be here for a long time.’
According to MLBTR, the Tampa Bay Rays have also issued a brief statement:
We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter.
Ken Rosenthal has more details:
Source: Manny’s positive test occurred in spring training. Evidently did not appeal. Otherwise #MLB would have just announced suspension.
If indeed it was another positive test, Ramirez would’ve faced a 100 game suspension. Perhaps the only thing sadder than not being able to see Manny play again, is considering what a second positive drug test means to his future Hall of Fame candidacy. Given the way that Jeff Bagwell, a player that never reportedly tested positive for a banned substance, was treated during his first year of eligibility, what chance does Manny Ramirez have of ever entering the Hall of Fame?