2006
09.23

My name is Ryan. I’ll be playing the role of resident sports expert here at TDE. What are my credentials? Well, I have a pulse, a functional keyboard, and odd facial hair. Those seem to be the only qualifications one needs here, so I believe I’ll fit right in.

That said, I hope to bring you a fascinating and insightful window into the world of sports each week. The problem is, I’m a fat, lazy alcoholic, and the odds of me cleaning up my act sufficiently to achieve those goals are, shall we say, not very good. (Sure, now would be a GREAT time for a cheap plug for my blog Thrill Shots, wouldn’t it?)

With that in mind, I give you my premiere TDE sports column.

New York Yankees fans should be ashamed of themselves.

Now, that’s a fairly inflammatory statement, particularly considering these surroundings. But the truth is that there are two types of people in this world: Yankees fans, and Yankee-fan haters. Being a Chicagoan, a proud White Sox fan, and perhaps a hair jealous of the 26 to 3 championship ratio between the clubs, I am one of the latter. Most of the rest of baseball fans hate Yankee fans out of jealousy. You hear national media salivate over the Yankees constantly, and it is forever ingrained that New York sports fans are the smartest fans there are. This, of course, is obviously false… but it still grates at some of us outside the Eastern Time zone.

That said, the reception that first baseman/designated hitter Jason Giambi has received from Yankee fans this season has been absolutely pitiful, even for them.

“But Ryan, what’s wrong with Jason Giambi? He’s such a nice guy, and everybody loves him!”

Over the last few years, Major League Baseball – more than any other professional sports league – has been rocked by the BALCO steroid scandal. San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, the principal investigators who turned baseball upside down with their exposé book Game of Shadows, detailed the steroid use of several professional athletes, primarily Barry Bonds. Their work ignited numerous investigations, including Congressional hearings and an ongoing internal “investigation” prompted by baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Fainaro-Wada and Williams were praised up and down by baseball purists and sports reporters, and commended by President George W. Bush for their solid work. Thanks to their book, the blind eye that baseball turned for decades on steroid abuse was suddenly 20-20. Selig and others began to boast at the beginning of last season that the “steroid era” of baseball was over, and a new, clean era had begun.

However, if you’ve followed the news of the week, you know that Fainaro-Wada and Williams are facing jail time for not revealing sources of their investigation to a grand jury regarding BALCO. The same two reporters who were commended by the president of the United States for a job well done are now on the verge of serving time for that job.

But, you ask, what does that have to do with Jason Giambi?

You see, the American public has a short attention span. Very short. So short that they forget when two brave reporters nearly single-handedly salvage the dignity of our national pastime. So short that when a juiced up slugger like Giambi, who has admitted to a grand jury to using performance enhancing drugs, has a “rebound” year for the Pinstripes, the fans all too quickly forget that he, along with Bonds and Mark McGwire and Raphael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa and Jose Canseco and a host of others, were to blame for one of the great game’s darkest hours.

Visiting ballparks around the country this season, Barry Bonds has been greeted with a reception one might expect for Charles Manson. In San Diego, you might recall, he was taunted and pelted with syringes. Though he still enjoys a cheering section at home in San Francisco, he has rightfully been shunned by baseball fans everywhere else. And hey, San Francisco fans were never considered the brightest in sports. They’re wishy-washy, Johnny-come-lately, fair-weather fans who don’t know the game. They aren’t like, say, the vaunted, brilliant Yankee fans. You know the ones. The ones cheering Jason Giambi as he slugs his way toward 40 more home runs this season. The ones riding Giambi’s illegitimate bat to a pennant. Those astute Yankees fans, the best fans in sports, have re-embraced a fraud.

And the clock ticks. And the people forget. And while fans on the east coast cheer another Giambi home run, a judge on the west coast decides that two reporters should be jailed despite their noble work. Who is it, do you think, that truly deserves to be cheered?

  1. Why does Giambi get cheers and Bonds get jeers?

    Giambi isn’t taking any kind of anything anymore, admitted to doing something, and save for his recent wrist injury is doing a lot better than expected.

    Bonds, despite what he says, has more juice in him than Tropicana. Hence the jeers.

    That, and he’s a jerk.

  2. Lol, i don’t really know who deserves to be cheered because i don’t know anything from here. xD The sport i love is kayaking. :D

  3. go mets

  4. michelle on September 23, 2006 at 1:41 am said:

    Lol, i don’t really know who deserves to be cheered because i don’t know anything from here. xD The sport i love is kayaking. :D

    That’s not a sport. That’s a recreational event for the whole family!

  5. uhm, yankee fans suck in general.

  6. TGO on September 23, 2006 at 2:17 am said:

    go mets

    hell yeah!

  7. michelle on September 23, 2006 at 1:41 am said:

    Lol, i don’t really know who deserves to be cheered because i don’t know anything from here. xD The sport i love is kayaking. :D

    thats like saying golf or bowling is a real sport. =)

  8. You need more Cleveland Browns talk round here, never mind this rounders talk, Cleveland Browns are “The Bomb” I believe is the right phrase. Randy Lerner is a legend! Up The Villa!

  9. subway series part 2