Manny Ramirez admitted to reporter Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports during an interview published Thursday that he "made mistakes" with performance-enhancing drugs, but he's learned from them and — nearing age 42 and three years removed from the big leagues — wants one more chance to play Major League Baseball.
Ramirez was suspended by MLB for 50 games in 2009, when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, after testing positive for a female fertility drug. It would be a much bigger deal if Ramirez had admitted to Rosenthal that the drug worked and that's why he has a 4-year-old son. But a 40-something ex-ballplayer who wants another shot, finally admitting what we already had surmised?
"When you make a mistake in life, no matter what you do, you're going to pay the price," Ramirez said. "That's what happened to all of the players that did it. I'm not going to judge people. Everybody is human. Everybody makes mistakes. ...
"You're going to feel guilty about what you did. But you did it. You move on. And you learn from it.
"What would he tell young players about PEDs?
"Not just young players," Ramirez said. "I use myself as an example to my son who is in college, playing baseball: 'Look what daddy went through because daddy didn't do things right.' When you do things right, you don't have to look back. You always look forward.
"Sometimes, we get caught up in the moment. We start hanging out with the wrong people. But you know, everything in life happens for a reason, so you can appreciate what you are."
Ramirez also tested positive for artificial testosterone when playing with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, but walked away after five games rather than be sacked with a suspension for 100 games from MLB. He's tried to play in other leagues overseas, and sometimes the results have been amusing. This past year, in Taiwan, was fun, but it's been four years since Ramirez has had results befitting "Manny." He was a singles hitter at the end of 2010 with the White Sox, and wasn't much more during Class AAA stints in 2012 with the A's and 2013 with the Rangers. It's over, isn't it? Ramirez seems to have had several second chances.
Good for him to come clean, sort of, on PEDs, even if it's well after the fact. Manny being Manny was great, but it's time for Manny to be retired.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is always looking for ways to stay that one critical step ahead of the competition. Another classic example of his forward thinking surfaced earlier this week when members of the media noticed Maddon's Rays were getting used to finishing plays even after the final out of an inning was recorded, just in case a replay challenge overturns a call.
Essentially the Rays were playing through the whistle if we were talking in football terms, because like many of us, Maddon isn't exactly sure how the continuation of a play will be handled in cases where an inning would have ended, but replay determines the inning should continue.
Until he gets a better grasp of the system, Maddon believes there may be a few loopholes or nuances that can be exploited. If his players continue playing through, they may be rewarded for tagging another runner out, or at the very least force umpires to return a runner to his previous base if they were caught off guard. For example, if an opposing runner leisurely strolls home or stops running on a close inning-ending grounder, the Rays will throw home so the umpires have to decide if that lead runner would be out or forced to go back to third.
By the same token, Maddon is teaching his base runners to continue running hard in those situations on the chance they'll be rewarded the full 90 feet.
"I think the what-ifs are almost limitless," Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times. "And that's the part people don't even understand. When you open Pandora's box, it's not as cut and dried as you think."
It's all about putting pressure on the umpires to make judgment calls in their favor should an unusual scenario pop up. If you've followed baseball for any time at all, you know it's only a matter of time before one of the scenarios Maddon envisions plays out.
"I know there's going to be some definites written down, but there's still going to be some gray that pops up that had not been thought about, or interpreted differently at the moment," Maddon said. "So it's not about gaming anything, it's about doing it for the first time and trying to not leave anything up to discretion."
For now, everybody is still in the feeling-out process hoping to get a better understanding of how the system will ultimately work. That includes the umpires, who based on conversations Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has had with them this spring may not have a specific spot between the bases to determine whether a base is rewarded. That determination may vary among the different umpiring crews much the same way the interpretation of the strike zone varies, leaving open the possibility that an extra out or a base can be gained on a given night.
All the Rays — and everybody else, really — can do now is prepare themselves to take advantage of loopholes and potential chaos. After all, we're all learning this expanded replay system together. Every last one of us is starting in the same state of confusion.
BLS H/N: Larry Brown Sports
Fantasy baseball video from Yahoo Sports
- - - - - - -
Nate Karns gets added to the list, and the final third of the list is completed
In his second start of the spring, Price struck out eight batters in the Rays 7-1 win over the Twins. Escobar received a lot of praise from teammates and Joe Maddon about his energy in the clubhouse and on the field.
Let us know by submitting a url: