Manny Ramirez wants MLB to reinstate him, may play in Japan

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MLB ruined Manny Ramirez’s plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic by pointing out that retiring in April rather than serving a 100-game suspension means he’s banned from participating in all MLB-affiliated leagues.

Instead of just playing in a league that has nothing to do with MLB or actually retiring Ramirez told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he’ll formally request reinstatement and is willing to serve the 100-game suspension in order to return to the big leagues. Seriously:

I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team. I already informed Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process. If any team wants to sign me, I would play. If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement.

I’ll bet Scott Boras loved getting that call.

There’s no “if” about whether or not any MLB teams want to sign Ramirez. They don’t, particularly since he’s a 39-year-old who hasn’t played since April and would have to sit out the first 100 games next season anyway.

Manny being Manny in Japan has some hilarious possibilities, though.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.