With Manny Ramirez's retirement official, the sentiments on the slugger's legacy are flowing in. From Craig Calcaterra:
Manny Ramirez will almost certainly be characterized, at least in the short term, as a creation of PEDs. This conclusion likely won’t explain how he was able to play at an elite level for four years after PED testing came online, and it will overlook the fact that, if his skills were purely the stuff of chemicals, few if any other players were able to do what he did. I mean really, if one could take drugs to become a baseball player like Manny Ramirez, wouldn’t you expect to see more Manny Ramirezes around?
From Tom Verducci:
Ramirez has written a new modern day exit song. It is a sad one. His career ends by choice, but also in shame.
And from FanGraphs’ Jonah Keri:
The makeup of Hall of Fame voters will change over the years, and opinions will soften over PED use as time goes on. Still, there’s practically no scenario that sees Manny get 75% of the vote on his first ballot. If he does get in at some point in the future, he might have to wait a long time for it to happen.
One of the more salient points, though, comes from Kevin Goldstein, who tweeted:
I've never seen a hitter who could let the ball travel deeper into the zone than Manny. I have no idea how PEDs could help with that.
Yes, Manny Ramirez apparently was a twice-busted benefactor of modern chemistry, but it’s worth remembering just how special of a baseball specimen he was. His mix of right-handed power, patience, and gentle buffoonery isn’t something we can expect again to see for a long, long time.