I just belatedly read Sax's soul-searching post which led me to reflect on my reaction to the situation. When Manny returns in July and first steps to the plate, I'm not sure if I'll be 'cheering' per se (I might be, hard to know for sure until it actually happens), but as a Dodger fan I will definitely be hoping he knocks it out of the park. And inevitably I will cheer for him at some point down the line, particularly the next time he knocks in the winning run.
And when I do cheer, I've concluded that I can only do so while acknowledging some degree of hypocrisy. I feel I haven't derided or judgmentally thumbed my nose at Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, etc for their steroid use as much as many have (shame on me, I know), but at times I have done so. And I feel like anyone who has and doesn't do the same with Manny must acknowledge some hypocrisy.
Sure we can scramble to find ways why this situation is different: but Bonds was a selfish a-hole while Manny is so much fun! Or, but Bonds denied using while Manny fessed up! Yes, of course elements of the situations are different, but I can't rationalize away the fact that the crux of the matter - the offending act itself - is the same.
I won't and don't blindly overlook what Manny did just because he's a Dodger. It is very disappointing, and my opinion of him has definitely changed. And even before the PED revelations, I don't think I've been quite as much the avid fan of his as most Dodger fans are - though his heroics last season did sway me further towards his side. But the bottom line is he plays for my team, so yes I'll probably cheer for him more readily than I would for a guy who did the same thing and plays for another team. I would treat a perfectly upstanding citizen who plays for the Dodgers differently than another equally upstanding citizen who plays for another team, and that same treatment differential applies to less-than-perfectly upstanding citizens. It's just that when judgment of a player is forced by the committing of a negative act, then the hypocrisy of that treatment differential starts to emerge. And to me, that's what's happening.
But here's the good news: I can think of no arena in life where hypocrisy in the name of team loyalty is more allowed and accepted than sports (except maybe politics). So if I cheer for Manny come July, as long as I acknowledge this hypocrisy and am not giving him a free pass, then I give myself a pass for cheering.
Oh and one additional thing - he may be among the most impactful and important players we have, but no matter how well he produces on the field, he will never be one of my favorite Dodgers. That was the case before the recent revelations, and he falls further down the list now.