Wednesday September 30, 2009
Manny Ramirez cheated and took steroids prior to the 2009 season. His first month of the season was outstanding. He hit .348 with 6 home runs in 92 at bats. He had a .641 slugging percentage. He was Ruthian.
Since he has returned Ramirez has clearly demonstrated that steroids may have been a large part of his performance at the plate.
He has hit just .276 with 13 home runs in 250 at bats and has a .508 slugging. That is 40th in slugging in the league over that period and places him on par with Brad Hawpe or Torii Hunter in terms of his power numbers. His home run production dropped by nearly 30%.
Now he is certainly not a bad player, but without steroids Ramirez is no longer the elite hitter that he was in years past. In fact even rookie pitchers are now going after and striking out Manny, where in years past he would have been pitched around. Not anymore.
His batting results while playing on a very good Dodger team calls into question his previous results at the plate and may have completely ruined any shot he had at making the Hall of Fame.
If he had somehow returned and hit like he had in years past, Ramirez may have been able to say I did steroids once, they didn't help me, I paid my penalty, and I belong in the Hall of Fame.
Now we have ample evidence that they did improve his performance earlier in this season and probably in years past.
We can see that he is smaller physically and that his performance has suffered without the steroids.
We can say with some certainty that his past performance was enhanced by the use of illegal substances. (Yes, steroid use and possession is a felony and has been for decades.)
Manny being Manny has taken away his shot at immortality and instead has saddled him with infamy. His legacy will forever be as a cheater.
The only way Ramirez gets into the Hall of Fame now is the same way you and I would get in, buying a ticket.