When Manny couldn't be 'Manny'...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

When Manny couldn't be 'Manny'...

...anymore, he upped and quit.

Remember Manuel Arístides Ramírez Onelcida, the oft-times quirky power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, for whom so much questionable behavior was excused with a shrug and the apologia, "It's just Manny being Manny?"

(When one is capable of hitting 45 homers in a season and driving in 165 runs, with a career batting average of .312, much is forgiven.)

Los Angeles Dodgers

When Manny wore out his welcome in Boston four years ago, he was fire-saled to the Dodgers, a trade which shocked him into behaving himself to the extent that he single-handedly carried Los Angeles into the 2008 post season where they actually won a series for the first time since 1988.

Los Angeles not only rewarded him with a two-year $45 million contract, but fashioned Dodger Stadium's left field pavilion into something they called "Mannywood"

That honeymoon lasted just over a month into the 2009 season when it was discovered that Manny was aided in being Manny by a regular intake of human chorionic gona­dotropin (hCG).

Ramírez was immediately suspended for 50 games, and upon returning, never reached his previous performance levels; he was foisted off on the Chicago White Sox via waivers toward the end of the 2010 season.

He was again busted five games into the 2011 season while a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and immediately an­nounced his retirement rather than accept the 100-game sus­pension that goes with a second violation of Major League Baseball's Drug Policy.

Somehow, earlier this year Manny induced Major League Baseball to reduce his suspension to 50-games so that he could resume his career... if anyone was interested.

In January, in an interview with ESPN's Pedro Gomez, Manny made a stunning statement:

"I'm gonna be a role model. A buncha guys're gonna look at me and say 'Hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn't quit. Look how he finishes.'"

He added:

"I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing."


At the time I was skeptical in the extreme! The "right thing?" That, I'm afraid, is something the man is constitu­tionally incapable of!

Ramírez gave it a shot in the Oakland Athletics organization, but after satisfying his second 50-game suspension and two weeks past his 40th birthday, he threw in the towel.

Manny Ramirez, wherever he is and whatever he's doing with or without the aid of performance enhancing drugs, was one of the most dominant offensive forces in baseball for 15 of his 19 years in the game.

But a "role model?" Pul-ease!


1. Hampton West said...

On a related issue, I'm watching Braves/Nats Sunday night - the "crawl" at the bottom of the screen says the Giants are not going to send Melky Cabrera to the minors for training or plan to use him five games into the playoffs - assuming the Jints make it that far. I'm not happy with MLB's policies and I'm not happy with the Giants about signing the guy in the first place (they must have known something) but at least it seems they are doing the right thing here - of course the more cynical of us might say - "gee, the guy gets suspended and the team goes on a run, so who needs him?" We'll see.

Not sure what you're saying here.

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