Perhaps San Francisco is full of the most nave bumpkins in America
OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Perhaps San Francisco is full of the most nave bumpkins in America
| By bfriend on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 11:12 am:|
A Giant oversight
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
September 15, 2005
For three days they have clapped and called and cared for BALCO Barry Bonds, the wine and sushi crowds of the San Francisco Giants' SBC Park pretty much eliminating the hope that this could be a new era of baseball fan, where lying, cheating and "flaxseeds" could be significant enough that you'd boo even your own guy.
It seemed possible, at least after Baltimore Orioles fans honored themselves by giving their dishonored one-time hero, Rafael Palmeiro, so much hell for taking steroids and lying about it that – between the ear plugs and the disabled list – his career isn't just a joke, it's about over.
Now that was impressive. They showed they were baseball fans, not just Orioles fans.
Baltimore's treatment of Palmeiro didn't impact Giants fans one bit. They spent the week providing standing ovations for BALCO Barry in his first plate appearances since his leaked grand jury testimony ended the worst kept suspicion in sports: that his epic power boom came only after he had taken performance-enhancing drugs.
Instead of calling him a fraud, they chanted his name like he was Ted Williams returning from the war.
Perhaps San Francisco is full of the most nave bumpkins in America, people who actually believe BALCO Barry's parsed-word explanation that while, yes, he did take steroids such as the cream and the clear, he did it unknowingly.
We certainly forgive those people. Politically correct that we are, we have nothing against imbeciles.
But anyone else should be ashamed for lovingly hailing the return of their pathetic slugger in hopes of getting back into the pathetic NL West race.
Not that they are alone. BALCO Barry isn't the first or even remotely close to the worst athlete to be greeted with cheers. In sports, there are generally two categories of dead-beat athletes, them and us.
We aren't even talking about the love-to-hate athletes – a Dennis Rodman, a Randy Moss or a Danny Ainge. Sports fans have cheered wife beaters, drug dealers, racists and murder defendants as long as they play on the home team.
Balco Barry is just a cheat. He isn't a hardened criminal.
And Giants fans aren't alone in their poor response to the steroid era. On opening day, New York Yankees fans, who proudly consider themselves both the most demanding and sophisticated in baseball, gave Jason Giambi a louder and longer ovation than Derek Jeter. It was only when Giambi started batting Nicole Richie's weight that the catcalls came.
And now it is back to cheers in the Bronx, even though no thinking person can look at Giambi's season and not wonder if around May, while faced with a life in the minors, Giambi figured, "What the heck? I might as well go down syringing," and suddenly became Mickey Mantle again.
With Mark McGwire set to make a rare public appearance during the Busch Stadium finale in October, St. Louis Cardinals fans will have the chance to show whether all of that "St. Louis is America's best baseball town" is real or just a marketing concept.
Some of this goodwill, of course, is fine. We all make mistakes. We are a forgiving nation. We appreciate the second chance. It is only baseball.
But it is also only boos.
Besides, BALCO Barry has never apologized for anything. He never said he was sorry that Giants fans were duped into believing in that silly home run chase. He never apologized for all the lies.
This is a guy, after all, who sat next to his own godfather, Willie Mays, on the day he tied the Giants' all-time classiest and greatest player on the home run list, and acted like they were equals. He knowingly smiled and let Willie make a fool of himself by defending BALCO Barry from the critics.
It takes a special kind of person to do that to his godfather.
So there was hope that Giants fans would be disgusted the way fans in every other ball park in America surely will. They'd give BALCO Barry at least one at-bat of fury, one moment of reality check, one on-deck circle of anger.
They didn't. They cheered and stomped and false idol-worshipped. They waved rubber chickens and only booed when San Diego Padres pitchers looked at this chemical robot built to hit balls into San Francisco Bay and smartly pitched around him.
They gave BALCO Barry all the support he never earned and would never reciprocate.
Too bad. In Baltimore, the fans were so smart and so strong. They saw a fraud and they called him out, home whites be damned.
At least one town gets it.
Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send him a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
| By dorrit on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 11:48 am:|
Yea, Baltimore! Giving Bonds a standing ovation everytime he came to bat in an insult to players who are ligit. Bonds treats his fans like garbage.
| By oaktownfan on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 12:37 pm:|
Wait until he gets on the road and he'll get booed loud!
SF fans, you'd expect that. Most of those who attend games at SBC are fairweather fans anyway.
Did you even watch any of the past three games. Without Bonds, those crowds are as quiet as you could get. There's no cheering, chants, and etc. They just wait for Bonds and they start making noise.
| By finleyshero on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 03:21 pm:|
What a lot of horsesh!t. Baltimore fans started booing Palmeiro because he can't hit his way out of a paper bag.
I'm no defender of Barry, but I can honestly say this is the most vitriolic, vindictive piece I've seen written about the guy yet.
Are we sure this Dan Wetzel isn't the same guy masquerading as Naomi on this site?
| By diamond_lil on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 03:28 pm:|
| By ronc on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 03:47 pm:|
I blame the big screen operators ... they tell the fans when to cheer
| By kevink on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 04:07 pm:|
fans in general are pretty much idiots.
(except us on this board of course!)
if an athlete is a hero hitting home runs and breaking records, throwing touchdowns, setting world records, most fans just want to be a part of that and don't want to know how he or she is doing it.
finleys is right, if Palmeiro were on pace for 40 Hrs in the middle of a penant chase, you would have heard a lot more cheering from the oriole fans. They're not special. Many giant fans THINK they're special for being nice to barry, but these are not baseball fans, they are there for the show.
| By finleyshero on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 04:30 pm:|
I bet this woman could beat the bejabbers out of Wetzel...
| By gregorymark on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 04:45 pm:|
This is a guy, after all, who sat next to his own godfather, Willie Mays, on the day he tied the Giants' all-time classiest and greatest player on the home run list, and acted like they were equals.
That's what bugs me the most. I figure SF fans to be idiots, but that "Juicy" Bonds has perpetrated a fraud and passed real baseball legends in the record books sticks in my craw.
| By finleyshero on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 04:48 pm:|
Wetzel basks in his ill-begotten glory. This guy definitely honed his craft in the Ralph Barbieri school of journalism. What a weasel. My favorite quote:
"Perhaps San Francisco IS 'full of the most naive bumpkins in America.' But even us naive bumpkins recognize a hard-up writer desperately trying to stir the pot when we see one. In case you haven't noticed, there hasn't been a lot to cheer about at SBC Park this summer. Barry provides a little entertainment, which is more than I can say for your column.
San Francisco, Calif."