Ramirez struggled last season and had just one hit in 17 at-bats this year, but it still seems as if he has the ability to be a professional baseball player.
The decision seems to be based on the fact that Ramirez has violated the league's drug policy for the second time in his career. Ramirez had previously been suspended for 50 games in 2009 after he tested positive for HCG, a woman's fertility drug.
On their website, the Rays released the following statement: "Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the drug program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter."
It appears as if Ramirez would rather be retired than face suspension and humiliation that comes with a second positive test. This also brings up the question of if Manny has been juicing his whole career.
One would imagine that one positive test would be enough to make someone stop taking performance enhancers. However, it appears that Ramirez decided to take them again. This would seem to indicate that he has taken them for a long time.
Hopefully, this will not tarnish Ramirez's reputation. The problem is that if more information about this alleged failed drug test comes out, then his reputation will inevitably be ruined.
It's sad to see one of the best sluggers of this generation retire like this. Manny will certainly be remembered as a great player, but there will be more questions about his performance now than there ever were in the past.