Early media coverage of fan reaction to Manny Ramirez's return focused on the cheering of Dodger fans. Was it their forgiving nature of all things Dodger Blue — even in light of the delicious ironing of rooting for a Barry Bonds-like figure — or was Manny not as polarizing as some had hoped?
Early returns in San Diego were inconclusive, as Dodger faithful braved the slog down Interstate 5 to make their presence felt at PETCO Park. (That effort, by the way, should be applauded — as annoying as it is to constantly suffer the mass presence of opposing fans at Dodger Stadium, turnabout is fair play.)
New York was supposed to be the real test. Joe Torre himself implied as much, and the mainstream media breathlessly awaited the flinging of the ceremonial first syringe. Certainly the birthplace of baseball bile wouldn't disappoint.
Except, it did. From the LA Times:
The Dodgers' left fielder sparked some boos Tuesday night during an abbreviated appearance, but he mostly generated indifference from a Citi Field crowd that displayed something resembling SoCal cool.
The heckling was especially mild among those seated behind Ramirez in left field during the 4 1/2 innings he played before being ejected for scattering his bat, helmet and arm guard on the field after a called third strike.
Even by accounts of the New York press, the booing seemed token. Which makes us wonder: Where is the hate?
The answer is simple: It's evaporated. We're just tired of it all. What once was scandalous is now routine. Manny, A-Rod, Clemens, Tejada, Giambi, Sheffield, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa....Simply taking in a game without worrying about who did what PEDs has become a challenge for the modern-day fan.
So we offer apologies to the morally outraged members of the mainstream media. We're sorry most of us don't have the energy to act freshly fed up with each new revelation of PED use. It's just that we're too busy trying to enjoy the game of baseball.
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