Manny Ramirez Retires, Avoids Suspension
Ramirez served a 50-game suspension in 2009 for violating the drug policy while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A second time offense would have resulted in a 100 game suspension.
If Ramirez had accepted the suspension, he would have become the first player to be suspended twice for a performance-enhancing drug violation since the program went into effect in 2005. After he was informed of this violation, he notified the commissioner’s office that rather than an appeal or serve another suspension, he would announce his retirement.
By retiring, he avoided having MLB formally announce that he had violated the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The announcement led to very mixed reactions from sadness to anger, and ultimately led to disappointment that the sport has to deal with performance-enhancing drugs even after MLB insists that it is doing all it can to rid the game of drug cheats.
Ramirez had his problems on and off the field, but he was a powerful hitter, and a great player. He had a career 555 home runs, and finished as a .312 hitter with 13 seasons of 100-plus RBIs.
The Rays purchased Casey Kotchman’s contract from Triple-A Durham to replace Ramirez on the roster.