With the new that Manny Ramirez has just retired, one of the first questions on most people’s mind is: does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Ramirez was one of the best pure hitter’s of his generation, and has put up some of the best stats by any right-handed hitter in baseball’s history. However, will those statistics be enough to get him into the Hall?
When you look at Manny’s pure numbers, it’s hard to make the case that the doesn’t belong in the Hall. Manny had 555 career homeruns (14th all-time) and 1831 RBIs (18th all-time), and his .410 career OBP is good for 32nd all-time. And when you combine his slugging ability and on-base skills, Manny has a .996 career OPS, ninth all-time behind such names as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire. Simply put, Manny was a Hall-of-Fame caliber offensive player.
Sadly, though, the statistics may not be enough to get him in. As we’ve seen with Mark McGwire, even if you have prodigious numbers, the BWAA voters are very hesitant to vote anyone into the Hall that has any association with steroids. Mark McGwire has been blackballed for the past few years of voting, and player like Jeff Bagwell are receiving less support simple for “looking” like they did steroids. If the current reports out there are correct and Manny is retired for steroid-related issues, then he’s the first person in baseball to fail two drug tests since the new policies were put in place. It’s unlikely that the voters will be willing to look past this information, unless something drastically changes before Manny is on the ballot.