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"You can hold your breath until you're blue in the face, but they'll go on doing it."--Marcus Aurelius
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Albuquerque Isotopes

Isotopes Park on June 24, 2009.  The Isotopes became the Dodger's AAA affilitate before the 2009 season.  The Albuquerque Dukes used to play here when the ballpark was the Albuquerque Sports Stadium; the Dukes moved to Portland, Oregon to become the Beavers, and the stadium was completely torn-down and rebuilt to become Isotopes Park. The "Topes" first started out as the AAA team of the Florida Marlins--but, prior to the 2009 season, the Dodgers acquired the Isotopes as their AAA affiliate--once again having a presence in Albuquerque as when the Dukes were the Dodgers Farm Club.  The Marlins took over the New Orleans Zephyrs. 

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In this game from 2007, the Isotopes are playing the Omaha Royals.  One of the light stands isn't coming on--leaving leftfield kind of dark. 
Finally, the lights come on!  This game was played in April; the night games are always cold in April--and the wind can whip around the stadium like in a bowl and make it very uncomfortable. 

Orbit, the mascot, is running up to greet Robyn! 

 

Orbit mugs Robyn.  

 
The stadium marquee at University Blvd and Caesar Chavez proclaiming that the Isotope's next opponent will be the Las Vegas 51's!  At the time, the 51's were the Dodgers AAA team, and the "Topes" were the Florida Marlin's. 
  

Eric Stultz--one of the Dodger's future pitching prospects--getting ready for an at-bat.  

 
Outfielder Jason Repko--really has no place to play on the big club because the Dodgers already have a full-outfield. 
The Isotopes and the 51's. 
In May, 2009--the Major League Baseball suspended Dodger's leftfielder Manny Ramirez for 50 games for violating MLB's performance enhancement drug policy.  In late June, Ramirez was due soon to come off the suspension and he came to Albuquerque to play with the Isotopes to get back into the "swing" of things.  
Ramirez was scheduled to play in three games before heading to the minor leagues in Southern California.  The pictures here were taken during the second game--June 24, 2009. 
Manny jogging to the dugout. 

Manny's first at-bat announced on the scoreboard. 

 
When Manny was taken out of the game, a rainbow appeared in centerfield. 
All-Star Dodgers' closer Jonathan Broxton made a few rehab starts with the Isotopes in June, 2011.  Broxton was recovering from a bone bruise in his right elbow.  Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the end of Broxton with the Dodgers. 
In 2006, the closing team of Saito and Broxton seemed unstoppable!  Broxton was the set-up man, usually coming in to pitch in the 8th inning if the Dodgers were ahead--he was a fire-baller; and Japanese pitcher Takashi Saito would turn out the lights with batters swinging at pitches that seemed easy--but were impossible--to hit.  Broxton was groomed as the heir-apparent to Saito's closing job.   

Broxton going into the Isotope's dugout after a 'so-so' inning of pitching.

 

 

 

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