Tag Archives: steroids

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Manny Ramirez turns 41 years old today.

One of the most exciting players to have suited up over the last thirty years, Manny Ramirez blended the perfect amount of contact hitting, power hitting, and clutch hitting into his repertoire that made him a lot of fun to watch.

Unfortunately, suspension for the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs tarnished his image almost overnight and Manny went from being heralded as one of the game’s greatest offensive talents to a joke rather quickly.  A second suspension for the same infraction almost surely ended his route to the Hall of Fame and immediately changed the way he was viewed by the sport and its fans.

A 1-time shoe-in for the 3,000 hits club, the 600 home runs club, and the Hall of Fame, Ramirez is not battling for his image; an image that has been destroyed by failing two drug tests for steroids.

We wish you well Manny.  Thank you for the fun times while they lasted – it was a blast.

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Manny Ramirez turns 40 years old today.

One of the most exciting players to have suited up over the last twenty years.  Ramirez blended the perfect amount of contact hitting, power hitting, and clutch hitting into his repertoire that made him a lot of fun to watch.

Unfortunately, suspension for the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs tarnished his image almost overnight and Manny went from being heralded as one of the game’s greatest offensive talents to a joke rather quickly.  A second suspension for the same infraction almost surely ended his route to the Hall of Fame and immediately changed the way he was viewed by the sport and its fans.

A 1-time shoe-in for the 3,000 hits club, the 600 home runs club, and the Hall of Fame, Ramirez is not battling for his image; an image that has been destroyed by failing two drug tests for steroids.

We wish you well Manny.  Thank you for the fun times while they lasted – it was a blast.

Happy Birthday!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – Lot Of 3 1992 Topps Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – Lot Of 3 1992 Topps Manny Ramirez Rookie Cards!!!

I cannot believe that I found these three cards in the dime bin at the show.  And they were all together in the multi-row box making pulling them for my purchase even easier.

Say what you will about Manny Ramirez, but adding rookie cards of him to my collection seemed like a great decision.  Maybe I will hang on to them?  Maybe I will offer them up as a future contest prize on the blog?

Either way, buying three Manny Ramirez rookie baseball cards for just thirty cents was a deal that I could not pass up.

Here they are:

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

Manny Ramirez turns 39 years old today.

One of the most exciting players to have suited up over the last twenty years, Ramirez is on the comeback trail with hopes of prolonging his career as a professional baseball player.

A 1-time shoe-in for the 3,000 hits club, the 600 home runs club, and the Hall of Fame, Ramirez is not battling for his image; an image that has been destroyed by failing two drug tests for steroids.

We wish you well Manny. 

Happy Birthday!!

My First Time – Manny Ramirez – September 2, 1993

My First Time – Manny Ramirez – September 2, 1993

The Setting – The Metrodome.  Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From Ramirez – ‘I could feel the butterflies in my stomach every minute – on the way to the stadium, in the clubhouse, and when I saw my name on the line-up card.’

The Boxscore – Indians 4, Twins 3.  Ramirez goes 0-for-4.

Manny Ramirez Agrees To 1-Year Deal With The Oakland A’s

Manny Ramirez Agrees To 1-Year Deal With The Oakland A’s

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Baseball Writer

PHOENIX (AP)—Manny Ramirez found a taker in Oakland—at a bargain price.

The suspended slugger agreed on a minor league contract Monday with the Athletics that is worth approximately $500,000 if he’s added to the big league roster.

The A’s announced the deal and said Ramirez is expected to report to spring training by the end of the week, in time for Oakland’s first full-squad workout Saturday. He is a non-roster invitee.

The 12-time All-Star is due to serve a 50-game suspension for his second positive drug test before he can play for the A’s. Barring rainouts, his first game could be May 30—on his 40th birthday. But that didn’t deter general manager Billy Beane and the Athletics.

ESPN first reported earlier in the day that the sides had reached an agreement, speaking directly to Ramirez.

The A’s made public their interest in the enigmatic outfielder, who had been working out in Florida this winter. Starving for offense, Oakland finished third in the AL West last season at 74-88 and ranked 12th out of 14 American League teams in runs.

For the small-budget A’s, Ramirez presents little financial risk. They don’t have to pay him during his suspension and will give him per diem money during the club’s spring training stint in Phoenix, which is shorter than usual because of two season-opening games in Japan next month.

Oakland sent representatives to Florida this winter to watch workouts by Ramirez, who retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension. For Ramirez, this could become a chance to help mend his reputation—at least a little bit—and serve as a positive clubhouse influence on a young team.

The A’s recently agreed to terms on a $36 million, four-year contract with highly regarded outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a Cuban defector who has expressed interest in playing with Ramirez.

At baseball’s winter meetings in December, it was announced that Ramirez had applied for reinstatement. He had his suspension for a second failed drug test cut to 50 games because he sat out nearly all of last season. MLB had announced his retirement on April 8, saying he was notified “of an issue” under the drug program.

Ramirez ranks 14th on the career list with 555 home runs. He went 1 for 17 (.059) in five games last season for Tampa Bay, which had signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.02 million.

This would be the 20th major league season for Ramirez, a career .312 hitter with 1,831 RBIs.

Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez Arrested

Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez Arrested

WESTON, Fla. (AP)—Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez  was arrested and charged with battery Monday after a domestic dispute at his South Florida home, police said.

Ramirez, 39, and his wife were arguing in their bedroom when he slapped her face, causing her to hit her head on their bed’s headboard, according to a police report. She told the deputy she was afraid the situation would escalate and called police.

Ramirez denied hitting his wife, according to the report, telling a deputy“he grabbed his wife by the shoulders and when he shrugged her, she hit her head.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney. Jail records did not list one for him. A woman who answered the phone at a home listing for Ramirez said it was the wrong number and hung up.

Ramirez’s wife, Juliana, had red swelling on her face and a small bruise on the back of her head, the police report said. She did not want medical treatment.

Manny Ramirez Retires From Major League Baseball!!!’

Manny Ramirez Retires From Major League Baseball!!!’

NEW YORK (AP) – The news that mercurial slugger Manny Ramirez had tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance and abruptly retired swept quickly through baseball, leaving players and mangers with mixed emotions.

Some were baffled that Ramirez would get caught again violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. Others were angry that baseball is still dealing with the specter of steroid use. Still others were disappointed that another player had walked away in shame.

“Until the past couple of years, I thought he was on his way to the Hall of Fame,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “I don’t think many guys got as many big hits in their careers as he has. There weren’t many guys who had as big an effect on a game as he had.

“You hate to see greatness all of a sudden just fade.”

Ramirez decided to retire Friday rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second violation of MLB’s drug policy. The 12-time All-Star served a 50-game ban in 2009 while a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and second-time offenders get double that penalty.

“We were obviously surprised when we found out about it today, and hurt by what transpired,” said Rays vice president Andrew Friedman, who signed Ramirez to a $2 million, one-year contract in the offseason. “We were cautiously optimistic that he would be able to be a force for us.”

A person familiar with the situation confirmed to The Associated Press that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the nature of Ramirez’s issue with MLB’s drug policy was not publicly disclosed.

The commissioner’s office announced Ramirez’s decision but provided few details.

“Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” MLB said in a statement. “Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”

MLB said it would have no further comment.

The 38-year-old outfielder-designated hitter left the Rays earlier this week to attend to what the team called a family matter. Manager Joe Maddon said Thursday that he expected Ramirez to be available for Friday night’s game at Chicago, but he never showed up.

“Of course you’re disappointed,” Maddon said before the Rays rallied to a 9-7 win Friday night over the White Sox, their first victory in seven games this season. “But at the end of the day, he has to make up his own mind. It’s a choice he has to make.”

Ramirez played in only five games for the Rays, with one hit in 17 at-bats, and flied out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday in his final at-bat. He had a strong spring training, then was excused from the last exhibition game for personal reasons.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Tampa Bay outfielder Johnny Damon, who helped Boston end an 86-year title drought by winning the 2004 World Series, in which Ramirez was the Most Valuable Player.

“I don’t know everything that’s been brought up. All I know is he’s a great teammate and a great player,” Damon said, when asked about the steroid allegations. “It’s going to be sad not seeing Manny Ramirez ever around a baseball field.”

A schoolboy legend on the streets of New York, Ramirez was selected 13th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 1991 amateur draft and rose quickly through the minor leagues, with a youthful exuberance and natural charisma that endeared him to just about everyone he met.

He broke into the majors in 1993 and played his first full season the following year, when he finished second to the Royals’ Bob Hamlin in voting for Rookie of the Year. Ramirez went on to establish himself as one of the game’s most feared hitters, adopting a dreadlock hairdo that seemed to mirror his happy-go-lucky demeanor – both on the field and off.

He signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in December 2000, helping the long-suffering franchise win the World Series a few years later, then doing it again in 2007.

“It’s sad, man, to see a player with that much talent and with an unbelievable career get him out of the game,” Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said. “He got his issues like a lot of people know, but, as a player, I think he did what he was supposed to.”

The Red Sox wearied of those issues, though, and traded him to the Dodgers in July 2008.

Ramirez instantly became a fan favorite on the West Coast, with “Mannywood” signs popping up around town, as he led Los Angeles to the NL West title and a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. The clutch performances earned Ramirez a $45 million, two-year contract.

All that good will fizzled the following May, when Ramirez tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin, a banned female fertility drug often used to help mask steroid use.

According to a report in the New York Times later that summer, Ramirez also tested positive for performance-enhancing substances during MLB’s anonymous survey testing in 2003.

On Friday came strike three – unofficially – and Ramirez decided he was out.

“I’m shocked,” said Colorado’s Jason Giambi, who has acknowledged taking steroids during his own career. “He always kind of portrayed that he was out there, but he knew how to hit, man. He was unbelievable when it came to hitting.”

Ramirez’s positive test for a banned substance comes as baseball, which has been working hard to put its so-called Steroids Era in the past, has another of its great hitters, Barry Bonds, on trial in San Francisco. Bonds is facing federal charges that he lied to a grand jury in 2003 by denying that he willfully used performance-enhancing drugs.

“Once you get caught once, I mean, you’re already banged 50 games, why try again?” said White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, a teammate of Ramirez for a short time last season. “I mean, it’s a little stupid, but I guess he made his own choices. Now he’s got to live with them.”

“Might have been running out of bullets,” added Phillies manger Charlie Manuel, who worked with Ramirez in Cleveland. “Father Time was catching up to him.”

The Rays had hoped Ramirez could add some pop to a lineup that lost several key pieces off last year’s AL East champions. After all, he’s a .312 career hitter with 13 seasons of 100-plus RBIs and 555 home runs, 14th on the all-time list.

Now, quite possibly an asterisk next to all those numbers.

“Major League Baseball, they’re all after those people. They don’t play around. They let the players know how tough they’re going to be,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “They say, ‘We’ll be checking you guys, we’ll be monitoring all this stuff.”’

Still, Guillen acknowledged that Ramirez was one of the game’s great hitters.

He led the American League with a .349 batting average in 2002, finished second the next year, and had an AL-best 43 home runs in 2004. He made more than $200 million during his playing career, a testament both to his hitting prowess and his ability to draw fans to ballparks.

But there was another side to Manny – his lackadaisical nature, particularly on defense and the basepaths, rubbed some managers and teammates the wrong way.

Ramirez flied out four times in his big league debut in 1993. In his second game, he hit two homers and nearly a third – a long drive at Yankee Stadium bounced over the left-field fence for a double. Trouble was, Ramirez had his head down and assumed it was a home run, so he trotted past second base and was nearing third when his cackling teammates finally stopped him.

It was simply Manny being Manny.

“He didn’t take life too seriously,” said Yankees catcher Russell Martin, who was with Ramirez on the Dodgers in 2009 and ’10. “I feel like some fans live and die with the game. He just didn’t take it to that level.”

The question now is whether his drug use will forever shame him.

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker called the end of Ramirez’s career “a shame,” and said he should have been headed for the Hall of Fame with the numbers he put up.

Yet many sluggers from the Steroids Era, among them Mark McGwire, are finding that numbers aren’t enough. The shadow that hovered over baseball during their playing days has drifted over Cooperstown, with voters reluctant to reward them with induction into baseball’s shrine.

“It’s hard not to wonder what’s what. You just don’t know,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “You have no idea of how long it went on, how much it went on, how much it changed it.

“It just puts that doubt, I think, in your mind what was through hard work and what came through not totally their own abilities.”

Happy Birthday Manny Ramirez!!!

One of the most exciting players in the sport turns 38 years old today.

And even while he is slowed down by nagging injuries, Manny Ramirez stands alone as baseball’s biggest personality and one of it’s best players.  I cannot recall a time in this decade that Manny’s name has not been a headline.   He is an extremely talented player with a persona to match.

We all know that Manny can hit the ball as well as any of today’s superstars.  We also know that his dedication to the sport and his teammates has been in question for years.  But, we cannot argue that as a single player in a team game, he makes his team perform to a higher level when he is around, and his teammates excel when he is on the roster.

For Manny’s 38th birthday, I would love to see him get a fresh start for the second half of this 2010 season.  Watch out, because the Dodgers are coming and Manny will be the one driving the train!!!

Happy Birthday Man-Ram!!! 

Manny Ramirez 2009 Allen & Ginter Game-Used Mini Jersey Card

Manny Ramirez 2009 Allen & Ginter Game-Used Mini Jersey Card

Enormously talented, and one of the most charismatic baseball players of his era, Manny Ramirez is one of the few guys that can make watching a baseball game fun on his own.

Blessed with incredible talent at the plate, Manny has put together a Hall of Fame resume that many of baseball’s greatest hitters would envy.

Just a few weeks into the 2010 baseball season(Manny’s 18th as a pro), he is on pace to join an elite group of players in the ultra-rare ‘3000 Hits and 500 Home Runs Club’.  Already there with more than 500 homers, it looks like Man-Ram will eclipse the 600-HR mark before he retires.  And while he is still 3 solid seasons away from joining the ‘3,000 Hits Club’, the likelihood of him reaching that goal is strong since he should be able to demand more than $20 million annually once his current contract expires after the 2010 season.

While I would not be shocked to see him just walk away from the game, I do believe that Manny Ramirez is very conscious of his place in baseball history, and becoming a member of the ‘3000/500 Club’ is something he should cherish.

The below card comes from the 2009 Allen & Ginter set.  A mini, I couldn’t refuse this one when I saw it!!