I don’t know if you’ve heard but Many Ramirez has decided to retire from baseball. When I heard the news I thought, “Manny is done, and he just doesn’t want to play anymore. Maybe he realizes that his skills have diminished to the point that he can no longer be elite.” Then a report was issued by ESPN.com that stated that Ramirez had been busted for performance enhancing drugs…again…for the second time, consecutively. I couldn’t believe that someone could be so careless. You know you’re going to get tested, and you’ve already been busted. So, you decide to do it again…what? Come on Manny.
If I could talk to Manny (who am I supposed to be, “If I could talk to Manny” I’m a Douche) I would want to know why? Is it because you were jealous of other players? Were you influenced by other great baseball players, or did you need it to become a great player?
Usually I believe that great players are not made hall of famers because of performance enhancing drugs. I mean these are great athletes, the best of the best. In addition to that no one can become a hall of famer on drugs? Then again maybe they can. I would argue that Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire, were all made potential hall of Famers because of steroids. All you have to do is look at their numbers, and you can see the spike in their respective performances. However that’s not the case with Ramirez. His numbers never jumped or dipped erratically. This makes it tough to decipher when he started using steroids. Furthermore it allows me to believe that there’s a possibility he used them for his entire career.
I don’t eliminate anyone from the hall of fame for steroid use. The only reason I eliminate people is because you’re a scrub or you’re just not good enough (please see Jose Canseco, because he’s a good example of both scenarios). That’s why Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens are in my Hall of Fame. They are just great players. I considered Manny Ramirez to be in this category as well.
When it originally came out that Manny had taken steroids I wasn’t surprised. It had become so rampant in the baseball community that assumed everyone was taking them. So, I decided that I would judge players based on their career pre and post steroid era. This is where I have a problem with Ramirez being in the hall of fame. Manny has been busted during the steroid era, and post steroid era. So, I am led to believe that he took steroids throughout his entire career. Consequently this makes all of his numbers tainted.
As a Cleveland Indian fan, I would like to look over the transgressions of Manny Ramirez, but I can’t. He cheated the game. I can’t let him in the Hall of Fame. With that being said, Manny Ramirez will always hold a special place in my sports pantheon. I will remember him has an entertainer and great hitter, with once in a generation talent. I’m not going to remember the dreadlocks or the lost years in L.A. I’m going to remember the Manny Ramirez that led the Boston Red Sox to the World Series Championship. I will remember the guy that I first identified with a Cleveland Indians uniform. The Dominican kid with talent and a jerry curl, poking out of the bottom of his hat.
Oh yeah! That’s Manny being Manny.
-Kortney Shane Williams
Comedian and Writer