Most people were surprised when Manny Ramirez retired yesterday out of the blue. While I was not expecting Manny to retire “yesterday” it was one of those times where I was surprised, but at the same time I was not surprised. Ever since Manny left the Boston Red Sox things have been slowly going downhill for him. In 2009 while playing for the Dodgers Manny was suspended for 50 games for violating the leagues’ drug policy. At the time that it happened Manny stated that his physician unknowingly prescribed him a banned medication. The fan in me wanted to believe that story. I wanted to believe that Manny was different from all the other baseball players and that he accidently ingested HCG. I, like most people, knew that was not the case. During the time that he was suspended it also came out that he had tested positive performance enhancing drugs in 2003 while he as a member of the Red Sox. Now fast-forward into the present and once again Manny has violated the drug abuse policy. This time though he decided to retire instead of taking a 100 game suspension.
So now I ask the question; Is Manny a Hall of Famer? Looking past the obvious blemishes on his record Manny was a pretty good baseball player. Since making his MLB debut in 1993 Manny has accomplished a lot. He is one of only 25 players to have at least 500 career homeruns. His 21 career grand slams is only second behind Lou Gehrig who has 23. He is a 9 time silver slugger and has appeared in 12 all star games. Those sound like Hall of Fame numbers to me. I guess the real question is does the numerous violations of the MLB drug policy keep him out? If Manny had retired after leaving Boston it would probably be no question of whether or not he was a Hall of Famer, but he did not and now his legacy in undeniably tarnished. As a Manny Ramirez fan this is disheartening. It’s sad when your entire career becomes over shadowed by the use of steroids in your final years of playing. There should come a point in an athlete’s life when they realize that they are not the same person they were when they were in their prime and they should retire instead of resorting to cheating. I’m not sure whether or not Manny will be voted into the Hall of Fame, but I seriously doubt it.