I get a text from my friend Pete while listening to the Yankees-Red Sox game that says "O S#!T Sisco. Now Manny never gets into the hall". Since I was already listening to the game, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman had been discussing first the rumor that Ramirez had retired and later the reports that he decided to retire rather than continuing the program for those who fail a drug test. That further led to speculation that Manny had failed another test for performance enhancing drugs (PED's) and was looking at a 100 game suspension. The speculation was rendered fact when Major League Baseball confirmed that Ramirez had in fact failed a drug test administered during Spring Training.
Didn't Ramirez learn from his suspension two seasons ago? Did he really think that if he took something that as a former offender, they wouldn't look at him through a stringer point of view? At least Rafael Palmiero had the good sense to disappear from public view the season after he served his suspension. To answer my friend Pete: Yes, the only way Ramirez enters the Hall of Fame is as a paying customer.
You can forget his career .312 batting average, his 555 homers and 1831 RBI. You can disregard his career OPS of .996 (.411 OBP/.585 SLG). You can forget that Ramirez made up one of the most dominating one-two combinations with David Ortiz since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. You what's the sad part about it, he didn't need any kind of drugs to enhance himself.
Ramirez, along with McGwire, Palmiero, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens to name a few, has the god given natural ability to play ball and never needed to resort to using PED's. Who knows why he did so. Maybe time and age started catching up with him. At least give McGwire and Rodriguez credit for coming out and admitting that they had used PED's. It might not aid theirarmando enshrinement to the Hall of Fame. Only time will tell that story. In Ramirez's case he should do the same and try to salvage some part of his legacy instead of running away from his mistakes.
Like my friend Migdalia said earlier today: Manny being Manny. He always went by some different beat. Well, the beat has stopped. Until he comes clean, Manny Ramirez is nothing but a coward.