- DH, OF, RF, LF
- Man-Ram, Manny Being Manny, Mannywood
- May 30, 1972
- 200 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-02-1993 with CLE
- Allstar Selections:
- 1995 SS, 1999 Hank A, 1999 SS, 2000 SS, 2001 SS, 2002 SS, 2003 SS, 2004 Hank A, 2004 SS, 2004 WsMVP, 2005 SS, 2006 SS
As a boy in the Dominican Republic, Manny Ramirez could always be found on the baseball field. Often he would refuse to stop playing even to eat his meals. That love for the game traveled with him when he moved with his siblings to New York City at the age of 13. After a stellar career in high school, Ramirez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians just days after his 19th birthday. Two years later, he debuted with the Tribe, and less than two years after that he was an All-Star. With his powerful swing and batting eye, Ramirez hit for high average (10 seasons over .300 through 2005) and hit the ball out of the park with regularity (in '05 he reached the 400-homer mark). A fixture in the middle of the Indians lineup, Ramirez helped lead the franchise to five straight division titles. Signed as a free agent by the Red Sox, Ramirez confounded fans with his bizarre and somewhat immature behavior, but still posted great numbers. He heated up in the 2004 post-season, hitting safely in every game as Boston won their first World Series title in 86 years.
Ramirez was traded with $7 million to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2008 as part of 3-team deal that sent Jason Bay of the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Boston Red Sox. Boston also gave up Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to Pittsburgh while Los Angeles sent Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Bucs. Ramirez excelled with LA, helping lead them to overtake Arizona in the NL West for a playoff spot. He topped 50 RBI in his first couple of months with the Dodgers, becoming the second big leaguer with 50 RBI in each league in a year (joining Carlos Beltran).
After signing with the Tampa Bay Rays for the 2011 season Ramirez appeared in five games for the team before announcing his retirement. Ramirez had recently been informed of an issue with the MLB drug policy. If he was to be suspended it would be his second suspension and have lasted 100 games.
Suspension for Banned Substance
On May 7, 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance. After consulting with the Players Association and with his personnel, he waived his right to challenge the suspension. Ramirez did issue the following statement in response to the suspension: “Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons. I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation.” – Manny Ramirez The suspension is expected to cost Ramirez about $7.65-million, based on his two-year, $45-million contract with the Dodgers signed in March, 2009.
There has been lengthy discussion in the media on the possible substance Ramirez could have taken. Sources close to the case say Ramirez used the female fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is typically taken at the end of a steroid program to restart testosterone production in the body. The suspension is believed to be the result of a drug test taken in 2009, as Ramirez was a free agent during the winter of 2008-2009, and would not have been subject to the League's drug testing program. Drug testing is required of players within five days of reporting to training camp, and he only signed with the Dodgers in March 2009.
As of April, 2011, Ramirez had been recently notified that there was a new issue relating to the policy. On April 8, 2011, Ramirez announced his retirement rather than "continue with the process under the program".
There is also talk that the suspension has hurt his future chances for entry into the Hall of Fame.
Sources: BR Bullpen, Wikipedia
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