Isotopes 06/24/2009Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: albuquerque isotopes, manny ramirez, mlb, rehab, suspension
Where have you gone, Homer Simpson?
What would the man who once went on a hunger strike to save his beloved Springfield Isotopes think about this? As
we all know, the ‘Topes were sold and moved to Albuquerque, NM, despite Simpson’s efforts. And yesterday, amid the largest baseball crowd in Albuquerque baseball history, this once proud bastion of the Great American Pastime hosted a side show. Yes the circus came to the ‘Topes.
Now the AAA Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Isotopes hosted the first appearance of Manny Ramirez since he began serving his 50 game suspension from MLB for testing positive for a banned substance. With 8 games left in his suspension from the Dodgers, Ramirez has begun to get back into game shape. He is playing in the minors without pay. Should he be playing at all? Many are questioning how a suspended player can be playing anywhere associated with the Major Leagues while he is still under suspension. My question is what’s the big deal?
When a player is placed on the disabled list he often plays in the minors to get back into shape before he is eligible to
play in the Majors again. I know this case is different. The player on rehab assignment is still being paid by the Parent Club. That player is not being disciplined by baseball for a rules infraction. Still, in this case, Ramirez is not being paid and is simply working out to get back into game shape. Last night, for example, Ramirez played only 4 innings and made 2 plate appearances. That is why the minor league developmental system exists. Sure, the argument could be made that he should not play any organized baseball for the full 50 games, but my point is that as long as he is not being paid this is simply an extended workout. And the real winner here is the Isotopes.
Last night, over 15,000 fans came out to see the ‘Topes play. Tonight, the team is selling ‘knoll seating’ for an even larger crowd. That is a windfall to the team, not only in ticket sales but also in parking revenues, concession and souvenir sales. The word is that Ramirez will play at least 2 more games there. That has to be a great shot in the arm to the Isotopes and to the Albuquerque economy. If they waited until Ramirez was eligible to play in LA, it is doubtful that he would have been in the minors for so long, if at all.
There is no rule violation here. Certainly Rameriz is not playing in Albuquerque instead of Los Angeles by choice. He is not being paid. And he is still serving his suspension. My guess is that you may see Homer there tonight, ordering another Duff and a dog. Chill out.