MLB announced today that Manny Ramirez is retiring immediately after a failed drug test. Many was facing a 100-game suspension.

The official statement from the Rays:

“The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner’s Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program.   We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news.  We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.”

Manny originally missed the last game of spring training to tend to a “personal matter.” He then missed the last game of the Angels series despite a career mark of 19-38 with 3 home runs off of starter Dan Haren, and was not with the team yesterday in Chicago.

Was Manny first informed of the positive test at the end of spring training? It certainly appears that way. And now we have to wonder if the Rays made the correct decision to start the season with Manny on the roster and the suspension looming.

[Update] Marc Topkin reports that the test was indeed during spring training. [/Update]

[Update] The Rays say they first found out about the drug test today.[/Update]

Manny ends his stint with the Rays after just five games, going 1-17 with 4 strikeouts.

How this affects the Rays

Don’t look for the Rays to say much on this topic. They will defer everything to Manny and Scott Boras and try to push as much of the stink in their direction.

Look for Johnny Damon to move to DH on a regular basis with Sam Fuld in left field. The alternative would be to call up Desmond Jennings and make him the most-days left fielder. And the Rays front office gets nearly $2 million back in their pockets.

[Update] Casey Kotchman has been promoted from Durham and Damon is at DH tonight with Fuld in left field [/Update]

How this affects Manny…

Did this just kill his shot at the Hall of Fame? Probably.

How this affects Rays fans

For those of you that already bought jerseys, Manny dreadlocks or even tickets to future games hoping to see Manny…sounds like you guys are screwed. We suggest sending your complaints directly to Manny via Scott Boras at THIS EMAIL ADDRESS.

[Update] The Manny Ramirez bobblehead day scheduled for May 29, has already been canceled. [/Update]

On a side note…

Here are all the Rays opening day DHs: Jose Canseco (2), Pat Burrell (2), Paul Sorrento (1), Jonny Gomes (1), Steve Cox (1), Greg Vaughn (1), Josh Phelps (1), Al Martin (1), Manny Ramirez (1).

Maybe it is time to just move to the National League. Geez.

 
 

59 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Could this season possibly get any worse?

  2. Gus says:

    You heard it here first. Swim with sharks, you get bitten.

    Good news for the bean counters upstairs is that rays owe him very little of the $2M 2011 salary.

  3. Scot says:

    NOW the we can start talking about a season that is over before the beginning of May. With Manny’s crashing and burning, that is several wins the front office was counting on disappearing. One of the main reasons the Rays aren’t completely out of it, the Red Sox haven’t done any better. Will be interesting to see what the probability numbers will be now.

  4. Joe says:

    What a garbage season, and we can’t even get Jennings in the big leagues. I’m sure Kotchman will save us….

  5. Jason W says:

    Well this sucks. And instead of bringing of Jennings they bring up Kotchman. Great. I bet he is no better than DJohnson offensively, but at least he brings some D, which has been bad so far. I was still hoping for Jennings though. It’s already looking like a lost season, might as well bring the rookie up now that Manny’s gone, but I guess the org. thinks he needs more time.

  6. Rumpy says:

    Email sent…

  7. Alex says:

    Oh god. Kotchman? Well at least his .200 ba will raise the team average

  8. Rumpy says:

    In other news…. Crawford goes 0 for 5 in the leadoff spot for Boston…

  9. PeteDutcher says:

    I’m not a baseball fan at all…for this reason.

    Even so, I had thought the Rays would never have anyone exposed for using drugs. They seemed a good and clean team.

    They probably still are. Manny came from the outside. But this will still hurt them.

    I was actually on the verge of watching a few full Rays games last year (watched parts of games), but after seeing them gut the team in the off season, there’s no way I can justify my own interest in such a sport/team.

    May not be received well, but that’s just how I feel. As I said…I’m not a baseball fan. But I doubt I’m the only fringe viewer out here.

    If they had not gutted the team, I was actually planning to watch some games, which might have lead to me attending some games. They hurt themselves.

    This latest Manny news comes at a time when most non-fans consider baseball a joke because of the steroids issue. They no longer view the HoF as an accurate accounting of records.

    To be honest, this latest news breaks my heart, because I truly wanted to Rays to win me over. The presence of a big hitter like Manny (as far as this non-fan knows) gave a small reason to show a little interest after the gutting. Now that reason is gone. I will be amazed if any games sell out this year at all.

    • SLMcGee says:

      Have fun watching football with your blinders on as if they aren’t all on the juice. Only difference is baseball is at least trying to clean it up.

      • PeteDutcher says:

        Football has constantly been trying to keep it from becoming a factor for years. And I’m not denying you your riht to enjoy baseball anyway.

        I’m just talking about myself, as an outsider who knows next to nothing about the sport, but probably never will due to my perceptions of the state of the sport.

        And MLB is really doing nothing to change those perceptions. The popular teams, like the yankies and such, still get away with it. Yet when their players go to other teams…THEN…they are exposed.

        • Alex says:

          Who is this guy and why do we care what he’s saying?

        • Geejohnny says:

          You were waiting for “the Rays to win you over”….I seriously doubt that yu are a baseball fan of ANY team. Heck, you can’t even spell Yankees. This is probably the best thing that happened out of all of this….you can go away now and leave this site to the real baseball fans who love the game. Oh by the way, lock the door behind you.

        • Hosstyle in Tampa says:

          Are you the same Pete Dutcher that posts on Joe Bucs Fan??

    • Beth says:

      Pete, you lost me at “I’m not a baseball fan.” Why comment at all if you just don’t like baseball?

  10. Killa Tapes says:

    Beyond bummed. This season has taken one bad turn after another. Hopefully some good will come of this and the team can relax and just play some baseball. Who knows, maybe actually win a game or two

  11. Joe D. says:

    Email sent!

  12. CC says:

    First to worst baby!

  13. Joe D. says:

    Who takes his roster spot?

    Jennings, Ruggiano, Kotchman?

    Or Do Rays see if Sheffield wants to come out of retirement? Of course he could be the same can of worms Manny was…

  14. Gus says:

    Since I was the one forecasting a 100-game suspension for Manny several weeks back in this space, I’d hate to note for everybody here that Johnny Damon spent much of the off-season in the DR with Manny (I think he was there when news of the signing broke, as I recall).

    So I think I wrote here last month to the effect that facing a make or break season, Manny, a convicted drug cheat, would have to show extreme willpower NOT to resort to PEDs when he is in a place where they are legal and he couldn’t hit a lick at the end of 2010. I wrote that I doubted he had the willpower. I think the same question could be asked of Damon. What was he doing down there? Same desperation. Same agent (who presumably helps with the masking agents). Training together. The only things in Damon’s favor here are (a) he wasn’t as bad in 2010 as Manny was, so maybe not as desperate and (b) he faced lighter testing than Manny, since Manny had already violated MLB PED policy once. But if Damon is going to stand up for this fraud and sign together as a package deal, then he should be held accountable today for what he knew, when he knew it.

    It is pretty obvious that something was rotten in that clubhouse last Wednesday (when I’m sure Manny missed the exh. game at the Trop to file an appeal with the union) and that explains some (not all) of what we’ve seen from the Rays to date.

    • PeteDutcher says:

      I would not be surprised if Damon retires next for the same reason, as close as I’ve heard the two were.

    • Beth says:

      Gus, I give you props for seeing this coming.

      • Gus says:

        I think when Cork was positing that the new 2% was going to be exploiting market ineffeciencies on guys like Manny is when I started to lose my head.

        Look, guys who use PEDs aren’t good teammates; they are effectively robbing a bank in broad daylight; without PEDs, how much of Manny’s $25M per year salary would have been paid to him from 2003-2010? This guy literally robbed hundreds of millions of dollars from other players — guys who would have been MVPs or All-Stars but not for him. Unless you believe that say 75% of the outfielders were using (at some % of usage, I will concede the argument that it isn’t an advantage because the usage is so prevalent) and the evidence has never shown to be near that much, then the guys who use are thieves.

        Singing a convicted thief is about as bad a business decision as the 2% braintrust could have made; they may be lucky it only cost them 6 games, but it also cost them an oppotunity cost for the $8M they committed to these two clowns (I’m writing off Damon even though it is early because to me he was the loss leader in the package deal) that could have spent on say, Carlos Pena or Benoit or whoever else you want to sign. Putting the money is these types of guys should never be the Ray Way.

        • Alex says:

          Just like Barry Bonds, Manny would of still been a great hitter even with out the juice. Look at his Cleveland years. Just like Barry, Manny was a twig

          • Gus says:

            Like those in the 100 years ahead of hin, Manny would have started to decline after age 27 or so and would have been out of baseball long before now. Steroids extended his peak (and expanded his peak) by a large margin. You can’t call him the greatest RH hitter of his day without noting that his best years (like Bonds) came after his 30th birthday, a fact that is unnatural and not due to skill but due to his chemist.

  15. Joe D says:

    By the way the email to Boris Corp was undeliverable…

  16. Derek says:

    Don’t send emails. Nobody will read them, but i’ll buy a someone’s Manny Jersey for $20.

  17. stunna says:

    When he signed here, everyone was so quick to forgive and forget. Like any Rays fan I hoped that he would have a good year, but I can’t honestly say I’m even the least bit surprised by this.

  18. Derek says:

    I wonder if the league has to notify the Rays as soon as they have the results, or is there something in the CBA that stops them from doing that?

    • Gus says:

      As I recall from the JC Romero saga, the Phillies were told at the start of the playoffs, but they can’t take disciplinary action (other than benching the player or sending him to the minors or in the case of the post-season, not naming him to the post-season roster) until the appeals process is complete. Rays could have benched him, and kind of did, once they saw his head was out of the game.

      So the Rays management knew, probably as early as last Wednesday. Their press release today makes it sound otherwise, but they for sure knew.

      • Derek says:

        Their press release only states they were notified today of his retirement, they could have known as soon as he tested positive in Spring Training. He should have never made the roster if this was the case.

  19. Joe says:

    I am sure Damon is still happy to be here…

    Not like he can stop hitting though.

  20. Beth says:

    Cork, I sure appreciate the “seriously” in your post’s title. I truly thought this was an April Fools joke that accidentally posted today.

    Well, could this mean we’ve hit rock bottom and our “real” season starts tonight?

  21. Don says:

    If he would have come in and hit 2 hrs and drove in 5 runs in the 1st, 4/5 games I would be crying in my Beer, (not really) but he didnt look like nothing (left), one ground ball hit no real hard hit balls….
    what the hell let… the young kids play they can lose just as well as Manny,
    and they don’t mind booing as long as they are playing..
    “Worst to First to worst” I did it my way…… A friedman & stuie’s walk up song……by J. ZOBRIST

  22. Jon L. says:

    This was an abrupt retirement by Manny. One of the best hitters of all time and it’s a shame he has to go out like this.

    • Scot says:

      Agreed. What a delight to watch. The problem is that we don’t know when the test was taken, what chemical was detected, etc. We can only speculate.

  23. So much for “Something to prove”.

  24. pete says:

    something tells me that this was for a test at the end of spring training and that is was kept quiet because of the players union. then once the 2nd test sample test results came in is when manny was benched and given time to decide to accept the suspension or to retire.

    i hope and tend to believe that this was an issue in the clubhouse and possibly why the team has looked lifeless in the first 6 games.

  25. Mike says:

    Damn, I bought a manny j-shirt. any chance the rays would take it back or at least exchange it?

  26. Killa Tapes says:

    What really just started eating at me is thinking of the pitches Longo will see this season. Ugh.

  27. Marc says:

    Well, there goes the moral high ground with Rays management. The next whiny missive regarding attendance can be met with the the retort that the front office lies AND the team is historically terrible.

    Attendance gripes are gone after one week. Amazing….Stu and company have no leverage anymore.

  28. phil says:

    This team is going to set a record for no hitters against them this year….Dan johnson already 0-2 average down to .040…..

  29. phil says:

    do not understand how 6 out of nine starters are batting under .200 are they all bad hitters? i thoought Joyce, Brignac and Johnson would hit between .240 and .260 this year….

    Damon would hit al least .250….zobrist .260…..Jaso .270

    • Alex says:

      Really? Johnson, Joyce, Brignac and Jaso can’t hit lefties worth a damn. Did you happen to miss that. Thing is we have no righties to platoon them with. Shoppach just sucks in general. Stirking out on three straight fastballs from a lefty with men on base? Yep thats shoppach and maddon will reward him with 4 more starts.

  30. Alex says:

    Does anyone think its a coincidence that Bj works with Rod Carew and he’s been our best hitter so far? I think not. Its funny. Seems like a lot of our guys with talent seem to go outside the organization to get help. I seem to remember Kaz doing the same thing when he was still a good pitcher

  31. David Bloom says:

    It took a decade to build team chemistry and you can’t just plug and play. I do think this will be a tough season and I am glad this came out now rather than later

  32. D-Rome says:

    I’m disappointed by this news to say the least. Manny is certainly on my list of top ten characters in baseball history. So many players come and go in this game but few leave an impression. The whole Manny being Manny thing was funny and memorable and all of that was a side show with the great hitting he provided.

    On a more serious note is Manny the first player (or first player of note) to get popped twice under the steroid policy? I really don’t know.

    • pete says:

      yeah manny was the first to test pos. twice while in the bigs. some minor league guys have been popped twice like jeremy jeffries but his violations are not for peds

  33. Patrick says:

    I’m not really a big baseball fan, but when I’m watching the Rays are my team. For the diehard fans, this has to be pretty difficult for ya’ll. It seems like all they did was get rid of all their best players this offseason for whatever reason and then they end up being a joke this year. Kind of reminds me of the 09 Bucs. Going from 9-3 to 3-13 the next year and losing so many good players.

    Wow……Matt Garza, Carl Crawford, Jason Bartlett, Dioner Navarro, Rafael Soriano, ….what were they thinking?!?!?! These guys, except Soriano, took you to a world series 2 years ago!!

Leave a Comment