Typically when sports stars retire, there's a wave of sadness from fans and a nostalgic look back at their amazing athletic feats and careers. In the case of Manny Ramirez and news of his retirement yesterday, there's mostly just a collective refrain of relief and a look back at all his bad behavior over the years that blemished any greatness.
The news came yesterday afternoon when Major League Baseball issued a statement announcing his retirement due to "an issue with Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program." According to the Associated Press, the Tampa Bay Rays player tested positive once again for a performance-enhancing drug, and rather than face a 100-game suspension, he chose to retire. It's about time.
While he's considered one of the game's best all-time hitters with a 555-home run record, he also hasn't earned those home runs honestly. In 2009 he tested positive for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (the female fertility drug), and reports later showed he also tested positive in 2003. So all those home runs are tainted and perhaps brought home wins that never should have been won.
What gets me is how stupid and how arrogant this guy is to try it again, after he's already been caught and as the MLB struggles to clean up its image. As Bobby Jenks, a former teammate of Ramirez , told the AP:
Once you get caught once, I mean, you're already banned 50 games, why try again? I mean, it's a little stupid, but I guess he made his own choices. Now he's got to live with them.
And it hasn't just been the drugs that have soiled Ramirez's image. From pushing a team secretary over his ticket allotment, to slapping his teammate Kevin Youkilis, Ramirez's career has been filled with everything that's wrong with sports. But because he's brought in the runs, the sports world has largely turned a blind eye to him and his prima donna ways. It's just "Manny being Manny," but that attitude has done irreparable damage not only to Ramirez, but to the game overall. He's the epitome of a spoiled sports star who has marred the sport and tainted the dreams of little boys around the world. The best we can say now is: Good riddance!
Are you glad to see Manny Ramirez retire?
Image via ewen and donabel/Flickr