Ramirez, 38, who played for the Red Sox for nearly eight years and was the MVP of the 2004 World Series: "I'm at ease. God knows what's best [for me]. I'm now an officially retired baseball player. I'll be going away on a trip to Spain with my old man."
Tampa Bay Rays vice president Andrew Friedman:
It was very, very refreshing in terms of how he went about his business. The way he prepared. I think it rubbed off on a lot of our young players. And we were very bullish on what he'd be able to do this year ... We were extremely optimistic that he would be a significant part of our offense. ... [I]t was important for us to sit down with him before we signed him, and we understood that it was a risk ... but we were cautiously optimistic that he would be a force for us in our lineup.MLB's statement:
Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the drug program will be completed.Manny played in five games for the Rays this season, with only one hit in 17 at-bats.
"It's crazy, man. That was the last thing I was expecting, for him to retire and go through this situation. I don't really know the details and how everything went down. I'm just waiting how the rest of the stuff is going to come out. It's sad, man, to see a player with that much talent, and an unbelievable career, to get him out of the game with negativity. ...Bobby Jenks played with Ramirez in Chicago and was very surprised by the news:
If you see Manny from the outside, your thoughts will be totally different. But if you play with Manny Ramirez, I guarantee you you're going to look at a hard-working guy, the guy who tried to get better every single day. ... When I saw him [when we played the Rays this spring], seriously, I saw him in the best shape I have ever seen him in. When you watch him hit, you were like, "Wow. He's back." He played a few games against us, and the talk in our dugout was the way he [was] dealing with hitting and his approach. That was the Manny Ramirez that everybody knows.
I got a chance to play with him and I really thought he was an outstanding guy. He's a great guy, a good teammate and down to earth for being such a superstar, which I thought was pretty cool because I didn't know what to expect.Omar Vizquel, Manny's teammate in Cleveland:
Different people have different thoughts about Manny. It just depends on how you see it. A lot of people don't take it really seriously when they talk about Manny Ramirez. But the guys who have been in the lineup with him and know how he works, his work ethic, he shows up at 2 o'clock every day, he takes extra batting practice every day and it doesn't matter if he went 5-for-5 the day before. ... There are actions that he does on the field that really don't reflect what type of player he was. But he was just an amazing guy.Yankees catcher Russell Martin played with Manny in Los Angeles:
He's a good guy; I think he's just misunderstood a little bit. From what I've seen of Manny, his work ethic's incredible, he comes to play every day and he has fun playing the game. And sometimes, on defense, when he makes a mistake, he overdoes it sometimes, but he has a passion for the game and I learned a lot from him, especially hitting-wise.