Part of the fun of Manny Ramirez’ return to the Dodgers, scheduled for Friday night, will be the exposure of Charley Steiner as a hypocrite. Michael Kay was the first to go down, and Charley’s next.
At the height of Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the home-run records, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow made lively, enthusiastic calls on the Giants’ network. They always loved Bonds as a ballplayer. They knew that whatever the extent of his plunge into steroids, it didn’t tarnish his reputation as one of the greatest and most entertaining hitters of all time. Most of the Giants’ fans knew this, as well, and they cheered their hearts out whenever he went deep. Kuiper’s home-run calls, in particular, go down with the most inspiring of modern-day broadcasting.
It seems this didn’t go over too well in other cities. Kay, who anchors the Yankees’ telecasts, ripped Krukow and Kuiper in a public forum for getting so excited over a steroid guy. Steiner, part of the Dodgers’ radio team, made some equally rude comments (off the air), establishing himself as a real high-and-mighty beacon of integrity.
Except it doesn’t work that way. Alex Rodriguez opened the season in disgrace after the steroid-related embarrassment of spring training, but that didn’t stop Kay from going nuts when A-Rod slugged his first home run. Presto — instant hypocrite! Now we get to hear Steiner when Manny rocks Dodger Stadium for the first time. What, he’s going to treat it like a funeral while the place is going crazy?
I’ve known Kay since his days as a Yankee beat writer in New York, and he’s a good guy. So is Steiner, who livened up many an ESPN “SportsCenter” before he joined the Dodgers. Ripping the Giants’ broadcasting team, to say the least, was not their finest hour.
I cannot blame a broadcaster for getting excited about a player on “his team” hitting a homer, etc., even if the player was caught for using PEDs. That’s pretty much their job. That said, Jenkins has a point here – in that said broadcasters should not have thrown stones, if they really did, at another time.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if Kay responds to this claim. Nothing like a little coast-to-coast media tinkling contest to throw another log on the Yankeeland entertainment/circus fire, right?