History will remember Manuel Aristides (Onelcida) Ramirez as follows:
"He wasn't the 'best' slugger of the Steroid/PED Era - but he was the last of them."
A-Rod's juicing days have been over for a few years. Although other marginal players struggling to get to or stay in the big show will continue to try and cheat the system, there are simply no "good" juicing dinosaurs left playing.
Now that Manny has evaded capture, that is.
Ramirez finishes his major league career fifth on MLB's Steroid/PED homer list, and 14th all-time—seven 4-baggers better than non-juicer Mike Schmidt. Schmidt also retired during the regular season, but that's where the comparison between the two ends—in all respects.
In 1989, Schmidt realized that he had physically declined to a point where he could no longer help his Phillies and that it was time for a new beginning for his teammates. In 2011, Ramirez continued to juice despite his Strike One 50-game suspension two years ago.
Not willing to serve his pending Strike Two 100-game suspension and deciding that the required rehabilitation wasn't worth his time, Ramirez left his winless Tampa Bay Rays without his services. Rays manager Joe Madden tweeted today that the surprise announcement "...is a galvanizing moment for us."
The only question left to ask is: Seven years from now, what cap will Manny Ramirez be wearing when he fails to earn the required votes to stay on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot?
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