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.