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Manny Being Manny
April 9, 2011 - Al Stephenson
The phrase used to elicit a smile from me. Whether it was high fiving a fan (while the play was still ongoing) or disappearing into the Fenway Park scoreboard during a pitching change (potty break was rumored), Manny Ramirez was a little different in a humorous sort of way. A talented hitter, his ability was fequently overshadowed by his quirky behavior.
There is no doubt that he could hit a baseball. One of only five players in baseball history to hit 500 home runs and average .300, Ramirez was destined for the Hall of Fame when his career was over. That all changed abruptly. His career is indeed now over, but the Hall of Shame is what awaits him.
Ramirez was tested for performance enhancing drugs during spring training and MLB recently informed him that the test was positive. In the middle of an appeal, he suddenly changed his mind and decided to retire. He informed MLB of his decision rather than his current team, the Tampa Bay Rays. Ouch.
Supposedly Ramirez was informed that he would be suspended for 100 games since he had already served a 50 gamer with the Dodgers a couple of years ago. Rather than go through that, Ramirez decided to leave the game. This was the ultimate Manny being Manny.
It is hard to believe that a player would consider using banned substances these days given MLB's efforts to rid the game of performance enhancers. Manny gets caught twice in two years. That begs some questions. Had he been using them for years before getting busted? Are all of his records tainted? Did he just start using them to boost his game that is deteriorating with age?
All good questions. Probably won't be answered.
Manny exuded charm everywhere he went, at least at first. That quickly evaporated with his antics and he had to head for greener pastures. Now he is gone.
Manny Ramirez was never considered the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe that was too hasty of an opinion. If he was willing to used banned substances to extend his career and draw a few more huge paychecks knowing that if he got caught he could walk away from the game - then maybe he was smarter than we think.
The view from my seat would suggest that I've seen enough of Manny being Manny. He and his stats will soon be forgotten.
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