I recently read an article that quoted Tampa Bay Rays outfielder, Johnny Damon, that he was surprised by the recent escapades of now retired teammate, Manny Ramirez. "I can't believe it," Damon was quoted. "I thought if you got busted one time, you definitely don't get busted again. Maybe I'm wrong. Believe me, it shocked us all.” Isn’t it funny, how we always seemed “shocked” by the antics of Manny Ramirez.
For all his home runs, (Ramirez finished with 555), game winning rbi’s, and All Star Appearances, (11 times an American League All Star) Manny Ramirez has always shown…it’s all about Manny. How else would you explain the fact that after failing one drug test and being suspended for 50 games, you would comeback two years later, and get caught again. (Not to mention Ramirez’s name did surface as one of the players who failed the 2003 drug test when Major League Baseball was trying to figure out whether baseball needed a mandatory drug test.) Was it ignorance? (I didn’t know they were steroids) Was it denial? (It can’t happen to me again) Or was it selfishness?
Throughout his career, Manny has shown he cares about one thing…Manny. With the exception of
, every town Manny has laid his hat, (and his dreadlocks), he has caused a scene, and left with his bat (and a suitcase full of money) in hand. You’ll find a mysterious injury that cannot be explained but land Manny on the bench for a few games. You’ll see him jog down the first base line instead of running out a ground ball. You’ll catch him taking a bathroom break in the middle of a pitching change, and rushing onto the field right before play resumes. You’ll hear about him throwing a well respected traveling secretary to the floor because he didn’t get the number of tickets he requested. You’ll see him stage a One Man Strike and refuse not play, or better yet, hold up sign in the dugout begging to be traded. Cleveland
And this last act, to a “play” that has worn out its welcome, is the final episode in a career built on incredible talent and just as incredible selfishness…Manny chooses to retire after failing another drug test, instead of facing the music, and the punishment, leaving his new teammates in
, not to mention the fans, high and dry. I remember when Manny Ramirez was introduced at a Tampa Bay Rays press conference when he signed with the team back in February. Manny announced, "I'm here because I love the game, I love to compete. It doesn't matter how much you make. All you want is a chance to prove to people that you still could do it." Tampa
Well, Manny, you were right about that…you once again proved to people that you could still do it – Manny being Manny, and thinking about one thing…Manny Ramirez!