The 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot: Ramirez Feeling the Consequences 

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018
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Manny Ramirez’s failed PED tests are haunting the player. He has appeared in over 2000 games, donning uniforms for the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Tampa Bay Rays over sections of 19 seasons. Despite this, the biggest takeaway from his candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is now in its second year, is that he has repeatedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs  

The Statistics Say He is a Worthy Candidate  

If voters were only taking statistics into account, Ramirez would already have been inducted, as punters who enjoy wagering on baseball games thanks to the betting sites Australia and the rest of the world offer will know well.   

He has homered 555 times over the course of his career and is batting at .312/.411/.585, marks that are good for an OPS+ of 154, the 26-the highest mark in history. He has played in 12 All-Star games, won nine Silver Slugger awards, a batting title, two World Series games and one World Series MVP. Although he has never won an MVP for a regular season, he did place a total of 11 times and finished in the Top Three twice.   

Even His Defense Warrants an Induction  

While Ramirez has never been particularly known for his defense, in a beneficial way, anyway, he has still finished with more career Wins Above Replacement than the average left fielder in the Hall of Fame, with Ramirez’s total standing at 69.2, and the average at 65.2. His peak is right in line with Famers as well, which suggests that he is not simply a compiler. It must be also be remembered that this is all with docking the player some 13 wins for his defense. If you are more generous than this, even slightly so, then his statistical case puts him firmly in Hall of Fame territory.  

The Temporary Retirement in April 2011  

But no conversation about Ramirez being a Hall of Fame candidate or one that may make it on to a baseball card can be completed without bringing up the fact that he went into temporary retirement in April of 2011, after getting banished from 100 games.  

This was a result of a third positive PED test for Ramirez, following one in 2009 that got him suspended from 50 games, and one that reportedly took place in 2003, before baseball started getting serious about players taking performance-enhancing substances.   

Players Who Pass the PED Test Get Inducted   

Consider the fact that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, two players who have never actually failed a PED test despite rumours swirling about their use of them, have both earned over a third of the votes in every year that they have become eligible, and are apparently a year away from being inducted. Were they necessarily better players? Definitely. But consider Vladimir Guerrero as well, a contemporary of Ramirez’s who is on his way to enshrinement. Guerrero finished with 449 home runs and a 140 OPS+, as well as 59 WAR.  

If it was a matter of achievements alone, Ramirez would most certainly already have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by now. Unfortunately, as things stand today, it remains unclear whether or not he will ever get his day in the sun of Cooperstown. And he has no one to blame but himself.  

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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