So here’s the highlight of last night’s Giants-Dodgers game, I suppose. Fans in the AT&T bleachers are really letting Manny Ramirez have it: “Manny’s on steroids,” “Manny takes women’s hormones,” the stuff you might expect. One woman, wearing a Dodger-blue baby bonnet, has a sign that reads, “It’s a boy.” Then one particular guy screams at Manny, “Are you even a man!?”
(Love you, Manny! Signed, the guy in the Giants No. 22 jersey)
To which Manny turns, points at the guy and then grabs his crotch. Although he denied it afterward, the fans were in Manny’s head big-time (and it sure was spacious; lots of room for bookshelves). So today the Bay Area media is writing about how the Giants-Dodgers rivalry is back, how important this series is, and why there were so many fights in the bleachers (there were).
But I was there as well, and here’s my take: Giants fans are among the biggest hypocrites in sports.
It was Manny’s first appearance in San Francisco since returning from a 50-day vacation for PED abuse, and the mood was vindictive. On Monday, in much the same way Glenn Beck riled up conservative town hall health care activists, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE columnist Scott Ostler called on Giants fans to show up at AT&T and boo Manny back to the stone age.
Ostler’s reasoning went like this: Dodgers fans booed Barry Bonds for his chemical escapades, so here’s right back at ya!
And right on cue, Giants fans booed lustily every time Manny poked his head out of the dugout. Some people screamed steroids-related epithets at him while wearing Bonds jerseys. Those jerseys, however, were not purchased at the Giants Dugout store, or anywhere else in the park. The nice clerk working there told me the team has banned the sale of Bonds apparel on the premises. Barry’s merchandising attorneys throwing their weight around, or a higher ideal at work? You be the judge.
Anyway, the air was thick last night with a “Your cheater is just as bad as our cheater” fog. Ironic, since apparently the entire current Giants’ roster is clean — save for Pablo Sandoval’s dangerously high levels of MSG. But the image of Barry looms larger here than the giant Coke bottle in the bleachers.
Giants fans, could you be bigger hypocrites?
When Bonds was on his Magical Misery Tour of the National League following the release of the book “Game of Shadows” in 2006, opposing fans left no steroid reference unturned. That’s the way it should be. But when Bonds returned to the friendly confines of his home park, he was welcomed like a conquering hero. As Randy Newman sang, “He may be a fool but he’s our fool. If they think they’re better than him they’re wrong…”
So while it’s good to see Giants fans getting worked up about anything in August, I just wish it wasn’t this. How do you explain to your eight-year-old that you’re booing Manny for taking juice, when you cheered Barry for doing the same thing? Ah, your kid’s probably on Ritalin and six other drugs right now. He’s not listening anyway.