Manny Ramirez has a pretty impressive resume that should guarantee an automatic ticket to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a nine-time Silver Slugger award winner. He is one of 25 players to hit 500 career home runs.
He has hit 21 grand slams, which is third all-time. In the post season, Ramirez is one of the most feared hitters with a series on the line. He holds the record for most post-season homeruns of any player in MLB history: 28. Add 12 All-Star Game appearances and you have more than just a dominant player.
Ramirez came into the league as the 13th pick overall in the 1991 draft by the Cleveland Indians. Just 20 years old, Ramirez started to turn heads in the minor leagues.
When Cleveland called him up to the bigs in 1993, little did everyone know a potential Hall of Famer would emerge.
With Ramirez’s emergence, there came speculation. As a steroid area surfaced, many wondered which great hitter wasn’t taking performance-enhancing drugs. Is it possible for a player who signed a $160 million deal with the Boston Red Sox in 2000 to be that dominant and not be cheating the game?
Ramirez’s numbers in Boston in his first season were simply remarkable, .306 batting average with 41 home runs and 125 RBI. In 2004, Ramirez showed he was a winner by helping the Red Sox win its first title since 1918.
He also won MVP honors of that series.
He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, and his career took a turn for the worst when he couldn’t get along with the ownership of teammates in Boston.
He did lead the Dodgers to the playoffs and made an immediate impact in the 2008 season, but in 2009 Ramirez served a 50-game suspension for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Ramirez was directly linked to PEDs, which is the worse acronym to have on your resume. A certain turn of events started to happen for Ramirez. His bat speed seemed to slow down. He was hitting the disabled list every few months. He left the Dodgers and was picked up by the Chicago White Sox. One homerun in 24 games caused the team not to resign Ramirez.
Could it be Ramirez was struggling due to age? Or was life without PEDs exposing his weaknesses?
No one may know the answer for sure. But we do know that Ramirez cheated the game. Even with his use of PEDs, he is one of the best hitters of all time. But can baseball afford to have a known cheater in the Hall of Fame?
Manny fans have a love-hate relationship with the slugger. Baseball officials shake their heads when he does something bizarre. Either way, Ramirez made many pitchers scared to throw to him for over a decade.