Tampa, FL—Manny Ramirez, the two-time World Series Champion and current designated hitter for the Tampa Bay Rays has announced his retirement, and immediately followed up that announcement by saying his retirement has “nothing whatsoever to do with any possible failed drug test taken at the end of spring training, so let’s just get that notion out of your mind right now. Come on.”
Ramirez said that there are plenty of baseball greats who were in Major League Baseball’s Drug Policy Program and retired the opening week of the season right after spring training camp broke and having just taken a drug test. He said there’s nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever about his retirement, and that he just wants to do other things. In other countries. With different laws.
“I want to travel,” Ramirez said. “I’ll probably spend some time in Amsterdam, maybe Thailand. I’m thinking of getting some property down in Columbia. But to say that I’m retiring from baseball during the first week of the season after a drug test because I may have failed the drug test? Dude.That’s just nonsense.”
Ramirez served a 50-game ban for violating baseball’s drug policy in 2009, but insisted that comparing this situation to that one is “apples to oranges.”
Ramirez finishes his career with a .312 batting average and 13 seasons of 100-plus RBIs and 555 home runs, which puts him 14th on the all-time list, and 14 home runs behind Rafael Palmeiro, who probably has nothing else in common with Ramirez besides home run numbers.
Besides winning two World Series with the Boston Red Sox, where he was known for always giving 100% effort and leaving it all on the field, he also played his heart out for the Cleveland Indians; the Los Angeles Dodgers, where there is talk of naming an award after him for players “who just flat out hustle;” the Chicago White Sox, and five games with Tampa Bay this season.
The Rays lost all five games Ramirez appeared in this year, but there’s one thing the team said they’ve agreed on in the wake of this announcement: they didn’t lose because of Ramirez’s effort.