Ramirez high­lights bal­lot

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Steroid­stainted stars Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez are on base­ball’s Hall of Fame bal­lot for the first time along with Vladimir Guer­rero.

Jeff Bag­well is the top holdover on the 2017 Base­ball Writ­ers’ Association of Amer­ica 34-player bal­lot an­nounced Mon­day. He fell 15 votes short of the re­quired 75 per­cent in 2016 vot­ing.

Ramirez was sus­pended for 50 games in 2009 while with the Los An­ge­les Dodgers for us­ing a banned fe­male fer­til­ity drug. He re­tired in 2011 rather than face a 100-game sus­pen­sion af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for a per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing sub­stance. He ap­plied for re­in­state­ment that De­cem­ber, and his sus­pen­sion for the sec­ond failed test was cut from 100 games to 50 be­cause he sat out nearly all of the 2011 sea­son.

Ramirez did not play in the ma­jors again, al­though he did ap­pear at Triple-A from 2012-14.

Re­sults will be an­nounced Jan. 18.

Rodriguez was never dis­ci­plined for PEDs but for­mer Texas team­mate Jose Canseco al­leged in a 2005 book that he in­jected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of play­ers who al­legedly tested pos­i­tive for steroids dur­ing base­ball’s 2003 sur­vey, Rodriguez said in 2009: “Only God knows.”

A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez helped the Bos­ton Red Sox win World Se­ries ti­tles in 2004 and ‘07, the first for the fran­chise since 1918. He hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league sea­sons, and he was voted MVP of the 2004 Se­ries.

Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove catcher, and he was voted AL MVP in 1999 with Texas, his team for the first 12 of his 21 big league sea­sons. He bat­ted .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, win­ning a World Se­ries with the Florida Mar­lins in 2003 af­ter earn­ing MVP of the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

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