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Poll: Dodger fans should 'Think Boo'

integrityLos Angeles DodgersloyaltyManny Ramirezperformance enhancing drugssteroidssuspension

Manny Ramirez, steroids, suspension, Los Angeles Dodgers, performance enhancing drugs, loyalty, integrity Break out the fireworks, strike up the band and throw on a wig -- the Dodgers' hitting machine, Manny Ramirez, is back.  Tonight Manny will play in his first Major League game since his 50-game suspension for using banned substances.  Unfortunately for Manny fans in LA, unless you're willing to travel to San Diego, New York or Milwaukee (is any player worth going to Milwaukee for?), you'll have to wait until after the All-Star break to see him play in person.

I've never asked Dodger fans for a favor before, but I have one request now:  When that first home game comes on July 16, for one night, one at-bat or at least one swing, boo Manny. I'm not asking you to burn your coveted Man-wig, hide the name on the back of your No. 99 T-shirt under duct tape or torture yourself by watching Angels games. All I ask is that if you attend Manny's first home game, you boo. Once, at least.

I'm asking you to set aside the fact that the Dodgers will need Manny to win anything beyond the division crown, and to forget that with a Manny-free lineup, your Dodgers have been scoring runs less frequently than your daughter's t-ball team (eight measly runs in five games).

In an op-ed Thursday, Greg Burk wrote: "Fans will have their chance to transfix the black sheep with stares of disapproval. And they will. We love to pretend our team is shiner and holier than others."

I hope he's right, but I think he, like Dodgers hitters, is off base. It's hard to believe that Dodger fans who wore "Free Manny" shirts after the suspension was announced and continue to wear his jerseys will show any ire. But they should.

Dodgers fans should boo Manny for one at-bat to make sure he knows his actions were unacceptable. The obvious reasons are often floated about when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs: it might spurn younger kids to use steroids, it's selfish, and it is disrespectful to the game.

Those arguments and their counters are uttered almost daily. The main reason Dodger fans should boo, however, is to let Manny know they will not be had with a few home runs and a smile. They need to say to Manny, "We're the ones who pay to watch you, and we demand better."  What does it say about fans if out of the gate they embrace a blatant cheater?  Doesn't it tell him, "Hey, you have free rein to do whatever you want, as long as you put runs on the board"?

Steroids is not something that will easily be uprooted from baseball. Their use was a pandemic, one that (unfortunate as it might be) probably saved the league as it was tumbling in popularity -- or at least fueled its resurgence. But as James Earl Jones reminded us, the one constant in America has always been baseball. It will move beyond this troubled era.

Fans are tired of steroids, but they cannot eradicate their presence if they pick and choose what rule-breakers they back based on the name emblazoned across their chests.  If Dodger fans boo Barry Bonds, A-rod, Sammy Sosa and the like for their transgressions, they should also boo Manny.

I'm not asking Dodger fans to hate him for the rest of his career. All I'm asking is that, for the good of the game and team, for one night Dodger fans should "Think Boo."

--Kevin Patra

Photo: AP Photo / Gus Ruelas, File

 

Comments () | Archives (18)

The comments to this entry are closed.

JC

anyone who describes the NL west as weak has no credability

JC

"Fans are tired of steroids..." Fans are tired of the media talking about steroid in baseball! Why don't they go after WWE wrestlers or NFL football players! Not that I"m condoning it, but baseball had the highest ratings in it's history because of steroids and all homeruns flying out. But if everyone was on steroids, the pitcher and the batter, would'nt that make it an even playing field?

elccpa24

You had better watch your mouth. There is NO evidence that Manny did steroids. Period. I don't care if he was caught with a PRESCRIPTION for a female fertility drug. This drug was not even found in his system. As far as the higher levels of testosterone found MLB KNEW they would LOSE that battle and thus never pursued it. So God forbid a player have a prescription for something in their file. He got banned for an effing prescription for a drug NOT found in his system. Can you say "set an example of?" But you sports reporters report as "fact" that he was a steroid using "drug cheat." You have the integrity of a snake. You in no way, shape, or form meet anyone's definition of a professional journalist. Crawl back under your rock now.

KingBB

The only people I have ever heard complain about steroids are sanctimonious sportswriters. The ones that violated the public trust by failing to recognize the oddity of 60 home run seasons becoming commonplace. After all, these were the men charged with covering the sport and informing the public. None of these guys asked any questions when major league clubhouses started to overflow with pus from the players bacne. And now they ask us to boo our favorite teams? If by "boo Manny" you mean give him a standing ovation, then I'm in.

Fans don't care. Maybe because we can identify with people willing to do whatever it takes to maximize their earning potential instead of just going through the motions, you know, like sportswriters.

Noah

I cannot believe thet the dodgers took this piece of krap back on their team. He is far from being any rold model for anyone, and in my opinion should have been sent to jail for his crimes.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

john

Hey Kevin,

First off, that's one classy potshot at Milwaukee. I travel there a lot for business, and not only is it a very nice, cosmopolitan city, Miller Park is a pretty spectacular ballpark.

As for booing Manny, a) we both know it's not happening and your post is an exercise in empty rhetoric, and b) he might be stupid and he made a big mistake, but he was right when he said (albeit using a poor choice of words) he didn't rape anybody. The guy has been an otherwise class act since coming to LA, and he was rightfully punished for this significant but non-violent indescretion. In a world where sports stars are organizing dog fights, leaving the site of hit and runs, bringing guns to clubs, and racking up DUIs like they are strikeouts, taking some weird steroid seems more silly than destructive. I'm not a dodgers apologist, but holding a grudge will be counterproductive and juvenile.

Scott

Poll: Dodger fans should 'grow up' I'm sure you all have *plenty* of room to be casting stones...NOT

H Hilborn

Manny adds a little color to an industry which sorely needs it.

Matt

Wow, another nail in the coffin of newspapers. Whoever allowed this to be printed should be fired.

Kire Lawrence

No boos at Dodger Stadium, because that's one thing that could negatively change the "Manny dynamic" during a game. Besides, I suspect it wouldn't get through Manny's hat and hair to his brain, and, even if he DID understand the booing, he wouldn't care. Then again, that's if you go to a game at all. Why not skip the game and that trip to the fan shop? Don't buy that cheap Manny wig and don't try to vote him into the All Star Team. Forget to send in your reservation for 2010 season tickets. Our "boos" won't be felt by Manny or anyone else in MLB unless we make them hurt financially --- just like they've hurt the sporting spirit and our belief in heroes.

Arnold

We are supposed to boo Manny, and at the same time the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Times is joining the national news media in beatifying Michael Jackson? Sorry, I think I will just enjoy the Dodger games and try to curtail my annoyance while I try to get to work downtown on Tuesday during the Michael Jackson memorial extravaganza.

Dave

This is the most embarrassing and least professional post I have ever seen under the heading of a supposedly reputable publication, although I'm sure Plaschke will find a way to top it in the not-too-distant future. Congratulations LA Times, you are a joke!

SgtJohnMStryker

Give me a break.... All those Manny and Dodger Haters need to get a life (if they have one).
Q. Did Manny take or have Marijuana?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take or have Heroin?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take or have Alcohol?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take or have Cocaine?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take or have Meth?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take of have Ice?
A. No.
Q. Did Manny take or have Prescription Drugs?
A. No.
OK.... We can go on and on. The fact of the matter is that Manny already has served his time.... 50 game suspension and the loss of over 7.8 million salary to say the least... other promotion items..... For all of you Bill Plaske lovers of the LA Times.... Go get a life.... You can not sentence him to life in prison.... Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you've done better for yourself or your family? Now get with it... Go to a Dodger game and enjoy your community, the sport and the game.............. To the hell with the Plaske lovers......

Bill

If you think Manny did something wrong, then you should let him know it by booing. If you think he didn't do anything wrong, then you should cheer for him. Just don't be a hypocrite. If you are going to boo Barry Bonds and throw syringes at him, or rag on Roger Clemons or A-Rod, then you have to give Manny the same treatment. You can't have it both ways. If one is guilty, they are all guilty, and if you think one is innocent, then they are all innocent.

Bill

[For JC] The mediocre "at best" Angels just went 14-4 against the NL West. That should pretty much prove how weak a division it really is.

gunslinger91

That has to be one of the dumbest polls I've ever seen. You self-righteous blowhards love to kick people when they are down and then expect them to respect you afterwards. Your negative approach to this situation represents all that is wrong in our society. We are the biggest hypocrites ever. Most of those booing don't have half the moral and ethical fiber Manny has. A bunch of drunken idiots booing someone is such a good example for our kids. Whose casting the first stone? If they boo, Manny should flip them off.

Dan

I grew up Dodger blue. My family went to games all the time, and Vin Scully's voice will be with me forever. In fact, the only thing my mother allowed on the TV during dinner was a Dodger game. Baseball was the only organized sport I played as a kid and it was what I loved most. Like my Dad, I loved nothing better than a 2-1 pitcher's dual. Stealing a base and knocking in a crucial run with a chip single was what defined the Dodgers back then, despite the 4x30 crew back in their late 70s/early 80s glory.

However, I haven't watched a ball game in 15 years. Not because I don't still love the sport. I can't stand the actions of the players union, the lop-sided and out of control team payrolls, but most of all because of what steroids did to my beloved game. I know millions of fans are entertained as big muscular guys pound dingers out of the park like tennis balls. Big deal. All these 8 to 10 games are as boring as hell IMO and I have no use for any of it. Strategy is gone. Just swing for the fences...a lot.

So, boo Manny or don't. MLB lost it's integrity 20 years ago, longer before he came along.

p.s. God bless Vin Scully

DaVon

Why does the media want us to boo Manny? He got caught, took the suspension, case closed.


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