Manny Ramirez has retired, Major League Baseball announced. MLB says it notified Ramirez of "an issue" under its drug program and that the longtime slugger decided to retire instead of continuing with the process.
Ramirez would have faced a 100-game suspension if he hadn't retired, because he tested positive for a banned substance, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). The positive test occurred in Spring Training, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). It would have been Ramirez's second major drug-related suspension; he was suspended for 50 games after a positive drug test in 2009.
Five games into his one-year, $2MM contract with the Rays, Ramirez's brief tenure in Tampa is over. He went 1/17 with a single and an RBI, getting booed by his own fans in the process. The Rays did not anticipate this development.
"We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news," the club said in a statement. "We will have no further comment on this matter."
Ramirez ends his 19-year big league career with 2574 hits, 1831 RBI, a .312 batting average, a .411 on-base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage. The 12-time All-Star ranks 14th all-time with 555 homers and 9th all-time with a .996 OPS. Ramirez played for the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rays and White Sox, winning nine Silver Sluggers, two Hank Aaron Awards and the 2004 World Series MVP. He earned over $200MM in his career, according to Baseball-Reference, but won't earn the bulk of his agreed upon 2011 salary.