While Manny Ramirez began his hCG-detox in the Suspension Lounge deep within Scott Boras's Orange County compound, his now-abandoned team had to carry on without its lovable floppy-haired, hormone-abusing left fielder.
A Very Special Deadspin correspondent was at last night's game against the marginally major-league Washington Nationals, the first of Manny's months-long exile, to take the temperature of a crowd betrayed by its favorite player. His report on the game (which you probably already know was choked away, 2009-Yankees-style, by the Dodgers):
What was the first night of post-Mannywood like? Totally strange. It's like someone took a scrub brush and wiped every trace of Manny from the stadium-including the fans. I figured there probably wouldn't be Manny videos and I thought they might even pull the Manny merch from the stands and vendors (I didn't see any for sale) but I looked all night and couldn't even find a fan with a Manny shirt on. (And these guys are usually everywhere....often with the fake dreds). Seems LA has turned on the guy, at least judging from how quickly he's been forgotten. Oh, except we lost in spectacular fashion. That hadn't seemed to happen much (or at all) this season.
Besides whatever hit the Dodgers take to their attendance (which probably won't be too bad if they continue winning at home at a .929 clip—nothing makes an L.A. sports fan hornier than a bandwagon to jump on), the temporary loss of their Manny merchandising has got to hurt—one of Frank McCourt's homes was bought entirely with the proceeds from fake-dred sales and foam, Manny-Being-Manny branded bongs. But more interestingly, it doesn't seem that the Dodger faithful are exactly clamoring to defend their onetime savior against a Draconian substance abuse policy that won't allow an aging player to do everything in his power to stimulate his depleted ovaries and squeeze out one more baby before his biological clock strikes midnight. Maybe they're just saving up their love and support for early July, when the Blue are clinging to a half-game lead over the Diamondbacks and Juan Pierre still hasn't hit one as far as the warning track.
Disillusioned in Mannywood [LA Times]