Manny Draws Wild Applause For Striking Out

Who cares what he did on the field, people came to see the dreadlocks

By Kurt Helin
|  Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009  |  Updated 8:13 AM CDT
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Tommy Lasorda: What Is An Isotope?

AP

Manny earned more during this high-five session than his fellow Isotopes do in a year.

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Tommy Lasorda: What Is An Isotope?

While the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, were introducing new Manager Tim Wallach on Wednesday, legendary Dodgers Skipper Tommy Lasorda interrupted the proceedings to ask the question on everyone's minds.
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Dodger manager Joe Torre said before Manny Ramirez even took a swing Tuesday night that he didn’t care about the results, he just wanted to see Manny in a game.

The people of Albuquerque feel the same way.

Manny received two standing ovations and drew a circus of media attention in his debut for the Albuquerque Isotopes — he then proceeded to strike out in his first at bat. Next time up he grounded out to the shortstop. He played just four unimpressive innings.

To be fair, his outs came against a guy with major league stuff — Manny Parra has a 91 mph fastball and was sent down to the Nashville Sounders by the Milwaukee Brewers just 10 days before.

Still, nobody really seemed to care about results. Or that Manny had been suspended for failing baseball's drug testing policy.

There was a capacity crowd of 15.321 for a team that usually draws less than half that. Fans got there early to watch Manny stretch. They watched him launch home runs in batting practice through the thin, high altitude air of Albuquerque. They just wanted to see him. They will cheer wildly tomorrow when he plays five innings, and Thursday when he plays seven.

And when Manny returns to Dodger Stadium in a few weeks, it will be the same way.

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