Manny's Return Captivates Albuquerque

Ramirez heads to triple-A Isotopes
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2009 12:15 PM CDT
Fans in left field hold up a sign asking about suspended Manny Ramirez during the Dodgers' baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Manny Ramirez may play for the Albuquerque Isotopes tonight, and droves of locals are planning to be there, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Triple-A team sells 7,715 tickets for a typical game; tonight it expects up to 15,000. Fans aren’t much concerned about the slugger’s suspension for using a performance-enhancing drug. “He’s a cheater,” one told the AP, “but I want to see him play.”

In 17 years in the minors, the Isotopes’ GM says, he’s never seen the kind of enthusiasm Manny’s possible arrival generated. Ten people were lined up for tickets at 7:30am the day after the Times reported the possibility. Ramirez’s possible schedule has him playing three games in Albequerque, then two with the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers in San Bernardino before returning to the Dodgers July 3.