Ramirez Retirement: Final Instance of Manny Being Manny

Share

 

manny

In a shocking story, Manny Ramirez has announced his retirement from the great game of baseball after he was reportedly involved in an issue with the MLB drug policy.

It’s not clear if Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance, but if he did, he would then have to serve a 100-game suspension. Rather than face the prospects of sitting out for a good portion of the year, Ramirez informed Major League Baseball that he would retire.

Manny is an interesting character and deciding if he should get the call to the Hall of Fame depends on how you viewed him as a player and person.

By Zach Wadley

manny-ramirez

Personally, I loved Manny. Manny being Manny. Manny crushing home runs for the Red Sox and leading the Idiots to the World Series title twice. Manny catching a fly ball and running up the wall to high five a fan. Manny disappearing into the Green Monster during a pitching change because he had to take a leak, only to reemerge moments before the next pitch.

You want my opinion? Manny Ramirez was fun and one of the greatest hitters in the game while bringing the fans that joy and laughter. However, there is another side of Manny that may keep him out of Cooperstown and it will be interesting to see how things play out when he is eligible in 2016.

You would be hard pressed to find a hitter in the game today who will retire with an average above .300 but Manny sits comfortably at .312 with over 2,500 hits. Those numbers are very impressive and if you don’t believe me consider this: Manny has a higher average than Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. All of those players, minus Rose, are in the Hall of Fame.

Rose is the all-time hits leader and would surely be in the Hall of Fame if it weren’t for the gambling issues. Ramirez hit for .300 or better 11 of his 18+ seasons and hit over .325 six times. He led the MLB with a .349 average in 2002 and in 2000 batted .351.

His 2,574 hits put him 82nd on the all-time list which doesn’t seem that impressive but he has more hits than Mantle, Eddie Mathews and Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio. Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa and Jeff Bagwell are recently retired players whose names have come up in Hall of Fame discussions and Manny has more hits than all of them. Manny Ramirez was a better hitter than Joe Dimaggio, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle or Ernie Banks. All four of those players are in the Hall of Fame.

When it comes to home runs Manny is 14th all-time, ahead of Schmidt, Mantle, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams. The 500 Home Run Club has become sort of watered down and lost its significance because so many players have reached it in the past few years but Ramirez is one of 14 players to have more than 550. The next player to reach that mark should be Albert Pujols and that will take him quite a few more years. Despite the loss of it’s significance, that achievement cannot be overlooked. Then there are the RBIs. Ramirez ranks 18th all-time in runs batted in and had 12 seasons with 100+. Only Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx have more 100+ seasons and they are all in, or going to be in, the Hall of Fame. In 1999 he hit 165 home runs which led the league and that is also the most RBIs in a single season since 1938. Wrap your mind around that one. Manny is one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all-time and maybe, just maybe, that can make up for his lack of talent in the field.

Of course, other great players in the Hall of Fame couldn’t play a lick of defense so Manny wouldn’t be the first, but that is one of the major knocks on his career. While he may be a better hitter then most of those players mentioned above at the plate, he is definitely inferior when it comes to playing the field.

For Manny, this is the third time his name has come up in steroid use but think about this: sure he may have used steroids that did, or did not, help his hitting numbers but most of the pitchers he was facing probably were too. Most people just want to pin the blame on the hitters but they fail to see that pitchers were juiced too. It wasn’t an uneven playing field because both sides were doing it. So yes, Manny did do steroids and I am not saying that is okay at all, but he was facing pitchers that were doing the exact same thing.

Looking at his hitting numbers and his World Series titles it seems Manny must be a lock for the Hall of Fame. The lack of hustle, defense and the steroid use are blemishes on his fine career and some people will want to hold him out because of it but we should appreciate the great hitter. Whether Manny makes it to the Hall of Fame or not, we will remember him for the joy and fun he brought to the game of baseball. I’ll admit it, baseball can be a boring sport, but Manny was somebody who everybody wanted to see. He was almost always smiling and was a character that was larger than life for a time.

Nobody saw this retirement coming but it’s just another case of Manny being Manny.

 

Powered by

Speak Your Mind