His stats are undeniably legendary. He is one of the best right-handed hitters the game has ever seen. With Manny’s positive steroid test early in the 2009 season, however, his Hall of Fame credentials are now in question.
It begs the question — is Manny Ramirez a Hall of Famer?
First, the numbers. Manny ranks among the game’s best in practically every offensive category. His .313 career average currently places him 81st, his 554 home runs place him 14th, while his 1,822 RBIs are the 18th-most. Perhaps most impressively, his .589 slugging percentage ranks eighth-best.
He dominated the game offensively for practically his entire career — another key aspect to Hall voting. He’s a 12-time all-star and was selected for 11 straight games from 1998-2008. He’s never won a Most Valuable Player award, but did finish in the top 10 in voting nine times.
But, despite Manny’s larger-than-life numbers, he has what many Hall of Fame voters consider a scarlet letter in his resume — a positive steroid test.
Many writers have drawn a line in the sand and have made it clear that they will not vote for players from the so-called “Steroid Era” that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, or in some cases, players who have been strongly speculated to have done PEDs.
The most relevant example of this, of course, is Mark McGwire. McGwire, who admitted his PED use before the 2010 season, was long accused of using PEDs in his career. Even before his admittance, McGwire only received just under 22 percent of the Hall vote. Players need to appear on 75 percent of the ballots to be enshrined.
You could definitely make a case that Manny put up better numbers in his career than player like McGwire, but at the end of the day, both players hung their hat on their offensive numbers.
With all of this in mind, is Manny Ramirez a Hall of Famer? Or will he join the likes of McGwire and others either suspected of, or found guilty of steroid use in Hall of Fame purgatory?
June 19: Who’s the best right-handed hitter in Red Sox history?
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