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What, you're not going to cheer for Manny? Of course you are.

Jul 2, 2009, 10:49 AM EDT

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins has a good point:

At the height of Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the home-run records, Duane
Kuiper and Mike Krukow made lively, enthusiastic calls on the Giants’
network . . . It seems this didn’t go over too well in other cities.
[Michael] Kay, who anchors the Yankees’ telecasts, ripped Krukow and
Kuiper in a public forum for getting so excited over a steroid guy.
[Charlie] Steiner, part of the Dodgers’ radio team, made some equally
rude comments (off the air), establishing himself as a real
high-and-mighty beacon of integrity.

Except it doesn’t work that way. Alex Rodriguez opened the season in
disgrace after the steroid-related embarrassment of spring training,
but that didn’t stop Kay from going nuts when A-Rod slugged his first
home run. Presto — instant hypocrite! Now we get to hear Steiner when
Manny rocks Dodger Stadium for the first time. What, he’s going to
treat it like a funeral while the place is going crazy?

I think the natural reactions of these announcers to the home runs of
Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez — combined with the enthusiasm of fans who continue to eagerly pay to see them play
— is proof positive that the negative stuff most people write about
the steroids users is pure sanctimony, divorced from what real people
actually think and feel about the issue of PEDs in baseball.

Sure, they cheated. And yes, they should be punished just like
anyone else who breaks the rules should be punished. But no one, apart
from some holier-than-thou columnists, is interested in the public
shaming they propose each time a new steroid user is revealed. People
want to be entertained. They want to watch good baseball. Everything
else is pretty damn trivial.

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