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Manny Ramirez’s career with the Rays ends after 17 plate appearances, as he has decided to retire rather than submit to a 100-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.

One of the game’s greatest personalities (and hitters) alike will end his stay with career totals of 2,574 hits, 555 home runs, and a slash line of .312/.411/.585. Ramirez’s other achievements include 12 All-Star game appearances and nine top-10 Most Valuable Player award voting finishes (though he never won the award). Ramirez will be remembered for his time in Cleveland and Boston, although he spent most of his final seasons in Los Angeles, with a brief cameo for the White Sox and an even briefer one with the Rays.

Most will recall that Ramirez was suspended for 50 games during the 2009 season for another violation, as he tested positive for hCG–a women’s fertility drug—that effects testosterone cycles. Initial reports suggest this latest failed test came during spring training and that Ramirez chose against appealing the process. It’s an unfortunate ending for many reasons, not the least of which is how his achievements will forever be questioned.

Ramirez reached base just once for the Rays, otherwise enduring a tough week. Ramirez’s final big league start included three strikeouts –the last of which drew boos from the Tropicana Field crowd. Joe Maddon decided to give him a personal day off that preceded another day off –this one for child custody matters. In the end, the deal that looked too good to be true was.

To replace Ramirez on the active roster, the Rays have purchased Casey Kotchman’s contract from Triple-A Durham. There is no word on exactly how the lineup will unfold, but imagination suggests they could place Johnny Damon in left field, Kotchman at first, and Dan Johnson at designated hitter, or, perhaps Sam Fuld in left, Damon at DH, and Johnson at first base.

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npb7768
4/08
I never liked this guy anyway.
mmcma007
4/08
I can't believe he never won an MVP. Tragic.
ScottBehson
4/08
One of the game's GREATEST personalities????????? How about worst.
dianagramr
4/08
Ummm .... greatest in this case meaning newsworthy. You always paid attention to Manny, good OR bad.
ScottBehson
4/09
Very clearly Manny was one of the greatest hitters. if the author meant unique, eccentric or noteworthy, he could have written that.
JukeboxHero
4/09
Ivory Tower, meet your newest tenant.
ScottBehson
4/09
I'll happily occupy the tower with JoePo anyday. http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/04/08/the-retirement-of-mannybmanny/#more-7201
dianagramr
4/08
chabels
4/09
and with it, my fantasy season. Sure am glad the drug test (taken in Spring Training) results didn't become official until after the season started so I could spend $23 on him in the draft.
dwachtell
4/09
There is absolutely ZERO way that having or not having Manny Ramirez could possibly be of that great importance to any fantasy team this year.
chabels
4/09
Very deep league. Alas, I have a soft spot for Manny, and he and Gary Sheffield were the two most "hang on a second, I got to watch this at bat," players in baseball for a decade.
JukeboxHero
4/09
The vitriolic rhetoric against Manny is shameful, misinformed, and spewed by people who like to pretend baseball is akin to politics or religion. Manny understands that baseball is only two things, entertainment and business, and he was excellent at both. The garbage talk about ruining teams, disgracing the game, and not meeting potential is asinine. He was true to his personality, like it or not, while delivering on the entertainment and business ends. Finally, it is SO easy to judge, to criticize, and to mock but I doubt very highly that many people will have as much fun while making as much money as he did. And I for one enjoyed watching him do it. Thanks for the titles Manny.
JeffreyLyon
4/09
Very well said. Seconded on all accounts. Except the titles part, as I'm a Twins fan and not a Sox fan.
bahays
4/09
There is a motto to live by that I can't take credit for...there are two types of people in this world. Those that want to hang out with Manny Ramirez and those that don't. I would love to hang out with Manny.
ScottBehson
4/09
One can admire his achievements but not like the man. i see no disconnect.
JukeboxHero
4/11
And one can be a hypocrite as well. If you lived under a microscope with the truth, lies, and everything in between broadcast to an ignorant public, you would admit to knowing nothing of the man himself, and then excuse yourself for making such a statement. People mistake knowing something about a person by reading what makes the mainstream media. You judge so easily pretending to understand something which you don't. Please do not even throw out words like "professional" either, for it is a mask placed upon certain players to convince the gullible of an untruth.
ScottBehson
4/12
I'm not sure why the fact that I do not like Ramirez is such an intolerable idea to you. I admire Ty Cobb's achievements and not the person, as well. Why is this hypocritical?
rawagman
4/09
Does this mean the current drug program is working? Or had Manny poorly hid what others have been more successful at concealing?
Scartore
4/09
I would think that it's the former. As a previous "offender" and a highly paid player, I would think that Manny would be one of the players most likely to be able to skirt the system if he so chose. His HoF case is going to be very interesting. A lot will hinge on how the voters treat Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
NHLfan98
4/09
"Great hitter" or "Really Good Enhanced Hitter"? I was a big Manny fan when he was in the Cleveland farm system and was thrilled to see him have a great career through the years. But I have to say that my opinion is that he was great because he was juiced like many of the late-90's early 00's players. The timing of his excellent seasons, including the Dodgers late season run, seems a bit too coincidental, no?
Drungo
4/12
There's no doubt Manny was a great hitter. How much of that greatness is attributable to PEDs is probably forever unknowable.
jj0501
4/09
No way on HOF for Manny. Or Barry. No matter what the home town jury decides. They just got greedy. They had the race won without getting the "boost".
JukeboxHero
4/11
Funny also how the vilified players are usually non-white. Disregard the statement with platitudes about "the race card" but look at how Bonds and Ramirez are treated as compared to other players. I would hope you would lump ALL accused, admitted, or suspected steroid users in with your HOF judgement. Otherwise the statement holds no weight.
ScottBehson
4/12
Actually, have you heard of Roger Clemens, mark McGwire or Jeff Bagwell? Also, I think there is a big difference among: -Suspected with no evidence against them: Bagwell, Piazza -Those with evidence against them: Sosa, Bonds, Sheffield, Pettite -Those who failed post-2004 drug tests: Palmeiro, Ramirez It is a perfectly legitimate position to say that the last category can have its PED use used against them for HOF purposes, while not holding the others to the same penalty.
redsoxin2004
4/12
Ramirez is actually in his own category. Those that have failed the PED test not once, not twice, but three times!!