The end of a great sports career is usually a cause for celebration among fans, but not in the case of Manny Ramirez. On Friday, after testing positive for a banned substance for the second time in three seasons, the veteran decided to retire rather than serve the 100-game suspension he faced. Ramirez, formerly with the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers and most recently playing for the Tampa Bay Rays this season, reportedly failed to inform the team about his decision to retire. Instead they found out from Major League Baseball.
Ramirez, one of the greatest offensive baseball players of the modern era, was the World Series MVP in 2004 when the Red Sox won their first title since 1918, a 12-time all star, and hit 555 home runs over an 18 year career. But with all the good came plenty of bad: he forced his way out of Boston, was prone strange behavior that would be explained away as "Manny being Manny," and now becomes the first only player to have tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs twice. His retirement comes at the same time that Barry Bonds, one of the other greats of the modern era, faces federal perjury charges for lying about taking steroids before a grand jury. Retiring the way he does, almost all but assures that Ramirez will be locked out of the Hall of Fame, like seemingly the rest of his peers who have been linked with performance enhancing drugs.