Glorifying the Thugs

ESPN got it right.

In referring to Eric Anduri, the goon who hurled a beer at Yankee hero Jason Giambi, as an “attacker,” the cable network did their part in refusing to downplay the horrific significance of the vile assault upon Giambi on Saturday night.

Anduri, you might have heard, is the son of the mayor of Lafayette, CA. Meet the enemy, Yankee fans: he’s enjoyed the good life, being born with a silver spoon in his mouth in ultra-posh Contra Costa County, but a life of privilege and wealth apparently wasn’t good enough for Anduri. He chose to take his frustrations out on #25.

If you haven’t noticed, this is a deplorable trend. Because of their success and their success alone, the Yankees are easy targets for the kind of odious violence perpetrated upon Giambi and Gary Sheffield by thugs in Oakland and Boston. Like Giambi, Sheffield took his beaning in stride, maintaining confidence and class in the face of the sickening actions of jealous Red Sox fans. As the bleacher creatures in Boston hooted and hollered, Sheffield summoned up his bottomless reserves of class and dignity, putting on a stoic face as family-unfriendly insults rained down upon him.

In typical fashion, WFAN jock Mike Francesa took it upon himself to pooh-pooh Anduri’s ugly, classless deed, focusing instead on Giacomo’s hopes in the Preakness and another hopeless weekend for the Mets. Francesa ought to be ashamed of himself. If it’d been Mike Piazza shaking watery McAfee Coliseum beer out of his disheveled locks, Francesa would have read Anduri the riot act; as it stood, WFAN’s refusal to give the attack the attention it deserved practically dignified it.

True sports fans would have booed Anduri and fellow miscreant Chris House out of their respective stadiums, but in Oakland and Boston, they’re folk heroes. Mike, the Mad Dog, and their apologist ilk would like you to believe that the assaults on the pinstripes are isolated incidents, and that the actions of two fans shouldn’t stand in for the civility of thousands.

Baloney. Anduri didn’t grow up far from American Taliban John Walker Lindh, and like Lindh he represents the sickening face of moral decline in this nation – the lifestyles of the rich and clueless running rampant over the bedrock of society. If there were any justice, they’d throw the book at that California coward – instead, he’ll get a slap on the wrist and a couple of aisle seats the next time the Yanks are in town. Let’s see him and his buddy House pull the same disgusting stunts in the Bronx.

Phil Mushnick is a columnist for the New York Post.


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