This one is a little harder to justify despite that I’ve already shown support for Clemens in the wake of his scandalous association with PEDs. The difference is that there was never any concrete proof that Clemens cheated. We have enough evidence to paint a fairly accurate picture but he never failed a drug test and succeeded during an era when MLB looked the other way on steroid use. That’s not the case for Manny, who was suspended multiple times for failed drug tests after MLB installed strict programs to prohibit PEDs. Ramirez knew better and still got caught.
That probably shouldn’t surprise us coming from the often lovably aloof, sometimes infuriating Ramirez. Whether it’s diving to cut off a throw that wasn’t meant for him, taking a bathroom break inside the Green Monster, or forgetting which hamstring was supposedly injured. It’s all part of the Manny being Manny package.
Manny did a lot of things that left us scratching our heads but what he could do at the plate made our eyes widen with awe. Ramirez hit .312/.411/.585 over his 19-year career. He’s 15th on the all-time home run list with 555 and 18th with 1831 RBI.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
The 12-time All-Star and nine-time Silver Slugger surprisingly never won an MVP, mostly because he didn’t provide much value on the defensive side. His hitting prowess always put him in the conversation though. He finished third on the MVP ballot twice and he was in the top-10 on nine occasions. He won a batting title and had seasons in which he led the league in homers and RBI, although none of those accomplishments came in the same season to earn him the Triple Crown.
Manny was also a stud in the playoffs. He hit .285/.394/.544 in 410 postseason at-bats. He holds the record for most postseason home runs with 29 and walks with 72. Ramirez also ranks second with 78 RBI and 223 total bases, as well as fifth with 19 doubles in the postseason. He won a pair of World Series rings with the Red Sox and was the World Series MVP in 2004.
Ramirez is arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of his generation. He clearly has the numbers to get in but his failed drug tests set him apart from other alleged PED users. That’s going to be harder for some voters to overlook. He would still be on my ballot and I believe he’ll get in eventually but his punishment should be that he’s forced to sweat it out a bit longer. It’s only his third year on the ballot so Ramirez should be forced to wait a few years before finally being inducted.