Am I out of touch? Am I too angry, too outraged about Manny Ramirez and his dope-induced exile to baseball purgatory?
In the last few days, talking to fans during Dodgers games and perusing my e-mail inbox, it’s been striking how many people feel that angry indignation is uncouth, unrealistic and absurd. Striking how many are willing to treat their favorite player as if he’s just gone off on a nice holiday. All will be forgiven, as long as No. 99 comes back swinging a fat bat.
“Hey, he cheated, everyone has their crutch, it’s not that big a deal,” said Mike Calame, 45, sitting near the left-field foul pole at Dodgers Stadium the other day. He shrugged a shrug I’d end up seeing time and again. “All I know is that he’ll be back, and he’ll be rested. That’ll be great for the Dodgers. . . . I can’t wait.”
It was no different on the Internet.
“When Manny returns it will be just like last season,” read one of many notes castigating me for castigating Ramirez. “His strength, hunger, passion and love for the game will conquer your typing. . . . What matters is what happens on the field.”
“Save the moral panic,” read another. “Most of your readers under the age of 70 have done the same long ago. . . . Is taking steroids cheating? Sure, maybe.”
Sure, maybe? Ho-hum, la-di-da , who cares . . .
The L.A. Times (or rather Plaschke and Streeter) is trying to drum up moral outrage among Dodgers fans against Manny… and can’t find it. That’s actually pretty funny.