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Breaking News: Manny Ramirez Has Retired

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 03:  Designated hitter Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on April 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 03: Designated hitter Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Tropicana Field on April 3, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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According to Marc Topkin, Manny Ramirez has retired. Apparently it has something to do with drug related issues, which seems to suggest he was caught with steroids again. You know how we were talking about the Rays being in the playoff hunt if things broke well for them? This season so far has been about a total 180 degrees from what we were hoping.

That's all the information out at the moment, so we'll add more as we hear it. In short, this news - coupled with the Longoria injury - is going to require the Rays to reevaluate their season and strategy. The playoffs are quickly becoming a long shot, so our young talent now becomes more important than ever.

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The Rays issued a brief press release:

The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner's Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program. We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.

And according to Marc Topkin, the Rays are calling up Casey Kotchman to replace Manny on the roster. He'll hopefully be there in time for tonight's game. AHHHHH!! COULD THIS GET ANY WORSE?

(Serious talk: why not Robinson Chirinos?)