After all the effort I expended learning about the Inland Empire 66ers, Manny Ramirez will actually be playing his first minor league pre-post-suspension game for the Albuquerque Isotopes, forcing me to work even harder to dig up obscure Simpsons references.
Joe Torre said they were leaning toward the Class A affiliate in San Bernardino last week, but I guess Joe Torre says a lot of things. Instead the Los Angeles slugger—you know, I heard there was a murder in Los Angeles once and they never found the guy who did it—will join the AAA Isotopes tonight, the only team to get its nickname from a prime-time cartoon. The 'Topes average nearly 7,000 fans per game, but a team official said yesterday that Johnny Lunchpails and Suzy Housecoats had already yoinked up 11,000 extra tickets in two days. They are also out of Bort license plates.
Translation: No one cares how much nerve tonic the guy drinks, fans love their eccentric, dreadlocked sluggers. (Although, he could stand to be Rastafied another 10%.) If you miss this, you better be dead or in an Albuquerque jail and if you're in jail, tie an onion on your belt or something.
Manny Ramirez's fission statement in Albuquerque [Los Angeles Times]