Ramirez biggest name to be sidelined by MLB’s drug policy
LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball suspended Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez for 50 games on Thursday for use of performance enhancing drugs.
Major League Baseball made an official announcement shortly after noon ET.
Ramirez, who turns 37 on May 30, will begin the suspension with Thursday night’s Dodgers-Nationals game. He would be eligible to return around July 3, depending on rainouts.
Ramirez — an 12-time All-Star who immediately became the face of the Dodgers franchise upon his acquisition last summer — is the biggest name player to be issued a 50-game suspension under the MLB’s more stringent drug policy that was adopted in 2006.
According to the drug policy, a player receives a 50-game suspension for a first positive drug test, a 100-game suspension for a second positive test and a lifetime ban for a third positive test. The suspensions are without pay.
Ramirez re-signed with the Dodgers as a free agent this spring to a two-year contract that was to pay him $25 million.
Ramirez has been a key component in leading the Dodgers to the best record in baseball this year. In 27 games, he is batting .348 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He is among league leaders in slugging and on-base percentage and has become the biggest drawing card the Dodgers have had since Fernando Valenzuela, even recently having a portion of the left-field box seats rechristened “Mannywood.”
Juan Pierre would be the immediate replacement for Ramirez in left field, while the Dodgers are expected to promote rookie Xavier Paul from Triple-A Albuqueruque to replace Ramirez on the active roster.