Manny Ramirez is officially hanging up his cleats, leaving behind a career filled with highs and lows.

After Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance during Spring Training, the 38-year-old slugger decided it was better to step away from baseball rather than face the scrutiny and embarrassment of a 100-game suspension.

Although it is shocking to see a repeat offender of baseball’s substance abuse policy, it is even more shocking to see the tumultuous downfall of Ramirez over the past couple of seasons.

After Ramirez was dealt to Los Angeles from Boston in 2008, the controversial slugger made his mark known in Tinseltown. He won Dodger Stadium over and “Mannywood” seemed like a great resurrection for his career. After the Dodgers swept the Cubs in the first round of the 2008 postseason, Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract to stay in Los Angeles. It was shortly lived.

During his second season in L.A., Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance and was sentenced to a 50-game suspension. Since then he has been the laugh of the league, reverting back to his old bad habits in Boston.

After joining the White Sox at the trade deadline in 2010, Ramirez made little noise on the field, and his horrible-looking dreadlocks seemed to draw more attention than his bat.

Nobody wanted to touch the washed-up Ramirez after the White Sox did not offer him a contract after the 2010 season. The Rays signed him to a one-year contract worth two million dollars prior to Spring Training of the 2011 season.

A far fall from the $45 million contract the Dodgers offered him two years prior.

After a one-for-17 start to the 2011 season, an 0-6 team record and a positive drug test looming over him, it makes sense that Ramirez is walking away. After all, he left Boston and Los Angeles on sour notes, so it’s only fair that he walks away from baseball, in general, amidst harsh skepticism.

His bat was one of the greatest of all time. He retired with 555 career home runs, 14th on the all-time list.

The once glorified Ramirez walks away a sham after a roller coaster career. Laziness, greed and performance-enhancing drugs have overtaken Ramirez’s reputation as a great hitter.

Although Ramirez ended his career with first-ballot Hall of Fame numbers, it is highly unlikely he will be admitted into the shrine of Cooperstown. Due to two positive drug tests, he is sure to face the same punishment as Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire.

Perhaps he’ll take his talents to South Beach, since he’s retired now.

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