The sad downfall of Manny Ramirez just got a little sadder. Jeff Morris, a former executive with Pacific Trading Cards, recently gave an interview detailing two corked bats the company received that were used by Ramirez while he was with the Cleveland Indians.
Ramirez, 39, played for Cleveland from 1993-2000 and was one of the best hitters to don an Indians uniform. He was an All-Star four times and won the Silver Slugger three times with the Tribe, playing in two World Series. Manny quickly became a fan favorite for his play and fun-loving approach to the game. He had a career .998 OPS with the Indians, including 236 HR and 804 RBI.
Manny left the Indians to sign a $160 million contract with the Red Sox. He had an incredibly productive stint in Boston, winning WS MVP in 2004 and helping the Sox win another World Series in 2007.
ManRam was not without his blemishes throughout his career though; he was involved in numerous public outbursts. He was known to pout and sulk, and made some all too often nonsensical decisions. It was always chalked up to "Manny Being Manny." But the guy kept hitting, and hitting.
He was suspended 50 games in 2009 for violating the league's drug policy for testing positive for a fertility drug, and tested positive again in 2011 (which would have resulted in a 100 game suspension). He "retired," but there have been reports that he wants to play again.
The corked bat story is another in line of disappointing news about Manny Ramirez in the last few years. He was one of my favorite players on the Indians when he was with the team, and I still keep his rookie card (with his completely obscene high school stats: .650 average with 14 home runs in 22 games his senior year) among my more valued sports memorabilia.
Though the hits just keep on coming, I kept on trying to be nostalgic about Ramirez. Unfortunately, that has proved more and more difficult.