And all this time I thought those San Francisco Giants fans that idolized Barry Bonds, cheering an arrogant social misfit on to a drug-assisted home run record, were the biggest suckers in sports.

Now comes the Los Angeles Dodgers and their faithful. They’ve outdone the Giants. The fools not only fell in love with Manny Ramirez the quitter, now they’re stuck with Manny Ramirez the cheater.

Ramirez has been suspended 50 games, until July 3, for using a women’s fertility drug that is known for assisting the body recover from a steriods-use cycle.

Last season the Dodgers’ fans knew they were cheering for a quitter when he arrived late in the last summer and led the Dodgers on a surge to win the National League West title.

Everyone knew the only reason the Dodgers got Ramirez out of Boston — and cheaply at that — is he quit on his team. Even his teammates told management to get him out of town after watching him hold his bat on his shoulder or trot on the base paths. And Dodgers fans considered this guy loveable?

Quitting on his former team didn’t stop the Dodgers from marketing seats in left field as Mannywood, signing him to a $25 million deal or Dodgers fans from opening their wallets for tickets and Ramirez souvenirs. Mannywood? More like Phonywood.

Guys like Ramirez should be banned from their sport for two years.

That’s the way it’s done in Olympic sports, such as track and field, where there is real testing and real punishment.

Maybe then teams won’t be so desperate to sell tickets and win games by investing eight-figure salaries in misfits such as Bonds and Ramirez.

A couple of years ago the Padres were so desperate for a big bat they brought Milton Bradley to town. When it comes to arrogant social misfits, the only thing Bonds has on Bradley is Bonds’ is followed by a steriod cloud.

The Bradley move almost worked for the Padres, too. Bradley added the big bat the Padres lacked outside of All-Star first baseman and all-star good guy Adrian Gonzalez in the 2007 season.

But late in the season, the real Milton Bradley showed up when he went ballistic at a first base umpire. He was so out of his mind, manager Bud Black had to throw him to the ground to keep him from assaulting the manager.

The incident injured Bradley’s knee and he was sidelined for the final weeks of the season when the Padres lost the division in the final series at Milwaukee and a post-season berth in a special playoff game at Denver.

Now, at least, we can understand how the desperate the Padres were when they signed Bradley. They recognized there were no big bats in the lineup in 2007 or coming up in the near future. After all, that’s why they’re plummeting in the win column as well as attendance in 2008 and 2009.

But at least the Padres haven’t made their fans suckers the way the Giants’ and Dodgers’ fans have fallen like fools for phonies in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


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