Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 137: Is Manny Done Being Manny?

Manny Ramirez just won't give up. He has been desperately trying to hang on to his baseball career like a stubborn dingleberry. His last season in the Majors was 2011 when he played in just five games with the Tampa Bay Rays before suddenly retiring after going just 1-for-17 to open the season. He had tested positive for PEDs in the spring and opted to retire rather than serve the 100 game suspension.

It's too bad Ramirez couldn't (or wouldn't) just go out on a high note. Despite his weirdness and on-field antics, the Dominican-born slugger had a pretty awesome career. I'm not going to lie, there were a few years I really enjoyed watching Manny. I enjoyed him up until the point when he turned all selfish and peculiar and would feign injury to get himself a few days off during a pennant race.

If the dark cloud of two positive drug tests didn't hang over his head, you could say Cooperstown would be in his future. Manny is a 12-time All-Star and a two-time World Series winner, but he never won the MVP and won just one batting title in 2002. Looking back through his career, I'm surprised he lead the league in average just once—he always appeared to be such a consistent hitter.

Over his 19 year career, he has 555 career home runs which places him 14th all time, but again, he only lead the league once in homers in 2004. That year, Manny and David Ortiz became the first teammates to hit 40 homers, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did it in 1931 with the Evil Empire. That memorable 2004 season was capped off with a World Series MVP when the Sox won their first title since 1918.

But the last few years have been nothing short of forgettable for the dread-headed whacko. Before signing with the Texas Rangers in July, Manny had been playing in Taiwan where he batted .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 49 games. He also dressed up like the Incredible Hulk, which is just so bizarre. The Rangers signed him to a minor-league contract but released him after just 30 games in AAA where he was batting just .259.

So maybe it's time now, Manny. Time to relax... time to stop being Manny. At 41, it's about time to just hang up the cleats, kick back on your couch and watch videos of yourself in the peak of your career. Maybe hang out with your kids. You had a good run, but now it's time to go away.

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