Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez and former teammate David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox were both identified as two of the 104 players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.
When asked about his name coming out, Ramirez responded by saying that although his 50-game suspension for using hCG was embarrassing, this was "no big deal."
While some may just mark this down as another "Manny being Manny" moment, Ramirez's behavior is deplorable and should make baseball fans sick to their stomachs.
Despite being gifted with extraordinary talent and one of the best swings in baseball, Ramirez has never been good for anything except hitting homers and driving in runs.
Granted, his hitting prowess may be the only thing that is asked of him and he has had a great offensive career, but other than that, Ramirez has been simply worthless.
For one, Ramirez has never been a good defensive player and has been a constant hazard in the outfield throughout his career.
His throwing arm is average at best and it is a rare occasion when Ramirez actually breaks a sweat going after a ball in the gap or a double down the foul line.
However, while Ramirez can be lampooned for his deficient defense all day, that aspect of Manny is not the most disturbing part.
The problem with Ramirez is his attitude. Plain and simple.
Sure, Ramirez is charming with the media and always just puts on a goofy act for reporters, but it's because he is selfish and wants attention.
Ramirez has been and always will be a "me first" baseball player.
First, Manny fakes injuries and illness when he just doesn't feel like playing.
For example, Manny was found at a bar in 2003 with New York Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson despite his claim he was too ill with pharyngitis to play against the Yankees.
Additionally, Ramirez's ugly exit from Boston in 2008 started when he faked a knee injury.
Despite MRI results that showed no injury to his knees, Manny informed Red Sox manager Terry Francona he would not be playing in the upcoming series.
When team management got wind of the situation, the Boston media called for their star slugger to be traded and was (probably) happy to oblige.
In a three-team deal that sent Manny to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox landed All-Star outfielder Jason Bay to replace Ramirez and haven't looked back since.
Ramirez's phantom knee injury and departure from the Red Sox provides a smooth segue to his second major problem—his disruptive presence in the clubhouse.
In addition to physical altercations with teammate Kevin Youkilis and team traveling secretary Jack McCormick in 2008, he has also caused Boston GM Theo Epstein a great deal of stress.
During his time in a Red Sox uniform, Manny asked to be traded multiple times before changing his mind, except for in 2008 when he was sent to the Dodgers at the trade deadline.
Of course, Manny would be rude to leave his problems in Boston, so he brought them to a Los Angeles team that was crazy enough to take him.
If there was any doubt about Ramirez being a selfish individual, it was soundly put to rest when he decided to hold out of Spring Training this season for more money.
The saddest part is that the Dodgers gave it to him.
Ramirez has been a distraction to every team he has played for with his attention-grabbing antics and his laid-back approach to the game.
It's one thing to have fun playing baseball, but it's a different story when one refuses to take the game seriously and doesn't give his full effort on the field.
With that in mind, the third major issue with Manny is his complete lack of respect for baseball.
When Ramirez tested positive for hCG early in the 2009 season, he made up a story about how a doctor had prescribed it to him to recover from an injury and refused to accept responsibility for his actions.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which can restart the body's testosterone production after a steroid cycle, is a women's fertility drug.
Therefore, based on the logical assumption that Manny is not pregnant, it can be determined that Ramirez is either a liar or he has some bigger issues to deal with.
Yet, despite the 50-game suspension he received as punishment for testing positive for a banned substance, Manny has not been contrite in the least.
And now, with his name coming out as one of the 104 players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, he claims that it's "not a big deal."
As sickening as it is to hear those words come from Ramirez, it shouldn't be that surprising when taking his track record into account.
Unfortunately for baseball, that's just "Manny being Manny."
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