Oh Manny, say it ain’t so

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By Ralph Damiani

Gov. Richardson described last Tuesday’s Isotopes game featuring Manny Ramirez as one of the most important events in New Mexico history.

Really? So much for the Manhattan Project and Roswell in 1947.

But in a way it was hard to argue with him. There was a record crowd of more than 15,000 people there at Isotopes Park. And before the three days were up, more than 45,000 people showed up at the park.

Fans lined the walkway from the clubhouse as Ramirez entered the field Tuesday evening. They gathered near the dugout, clustering for autographs, seemingly ready to forgive Ramirez for violating baseball’s drug rules.

Ramirez, easing back into playing shape after a 50-game drug suspension, played four innings and was hitless in two at-bats.

And here is where the dilemma comes into play. Where does one draw the line with forgivness or saying that you should not reward bad behavior?

The vast majority of those who crowded into the stadium for three days this week seemed to have only forgiveness on their minds.

According to reports there were a few scattered boos before Ramirez batted leading-off but cheers began before he was introduced and grew louder when he approached the plate.

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