Seemingly out of nowhere Tampa Bay Rays outfielder/designated hitter Manny Ramirez announced his retirement Friday. Well, it came out of nowhere until Major League Baseball acknowledged that it recently notified Ramirez of “an issue” under its drug prevention program.
“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issues 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 further comment on this matter.”
So what happened? Was Ramirez again caught using performance enhancers, or was he simply not complying with the program? I’m sure we’ll find out in due time.
As for now, what we know is that Manny will not be suiting up for the Rays anymore this season. Which doesn’t figure to be much of a disappointment to Tampa Bay fans, considering he started the season going 1-for-17 at the plate.
If this is indeed the last we hear from Ramirez, he finishes his career with a .312 batting average, 555 home runs, 1,831 RBI and one gigantic black mark against him.
*UPDATE: A source close to the situation has confirmed that Ramirez did indeed test positive for a performance enhancing drug. Because it was his second positive test, Ramirez would have faced a 100-game suspension, thus the reason for his abrupt retirement.