The Manny Ramirez Traveling Circus Arrives In Albuquerque

Manny Ramirez will begin his rehabilitation assignment with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes tonight.  The 6pm game can be seen or heard online, for free.  In addition, ESPN will be showing every Manny plate appearance live.  Manny Parra, who struggled with the Brewers to the tune of a 3-8 record and a 7.52 ERA before he was optioned to Nashville, will be the first pitcher Manny faces.

Here is the ESPN report from last night:

Here are some links around the web:

ABQjournal sports-live: Manny Ramirez Has Been Here Before
Randy Harrison of the Albuquerque Journal tells us that Manny's pro debut came in 1989 as a 17-year old in the Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico.

Manny doesn't deserve minors stint before return - FOX Sports
Tracy Ringolsby doesn't like the idea of a suspended player getting to play 10 minor league games while suspended:

There are no special privileges for minor-league players, guys who are playing for $25,000 or so a year, not $25 million, like Ramirez. When minor-league players face 50-game suspensions they have to serve their suspensions. Nobody finds a way to get them 10 games of competition before they return to the active roster.

Manny Ramirez deserves his rehab assignment | Dodger Thoughts
Jon Weisman gives a passionate, reasoned rebuttal to Tracy Ringolsby, and others who don't like the idea of Manny Ramirez getting 10 days to rehab while suspended. Weisman invokes the J.C. Romero clause:

First, this isn't a Ramirez-only rule. Every suspended MLB player has the right to a rehab assignment. J.C. Romero pitched in five minor-league games before returning from his 50-game suspension. Romero isn't exactly a nobody; he's an important part of the National League East-leading Phillies' bullpen. His rehab assignment, in which he allowed runs in two of his five outings, helped prepare him to begin his 2009 major-league season with six consecutive scoreless games. Where was the outcry then?

Manny finding his rhythm in workouts | Dodgers.com
Ken Gurnick brings us news of Manny's workouts, including insight from Dodger coach Rob Flippo:

"I can tell just by watching how the balls carry," said Flippo. "You can tell -- the way his rhythm is going when he has it together. You can tell if he looks comfortable. You can tell when a guy is fighting it. Everything is looking easy for him, as easy as when he came to us.

Manny Ramirez's fission statement in Albuquerque - Los Angeles Times
Dylan Hernandez brings the news that Albuquerque is preparing for the big time beginning tonight:

The club says each of the 11,124 permanent seats at Isotopes Park will be filled for the game tonight, the first of as many as four that Ramirez could play with the Isotopes. With the availability of tickets for grass seating behind the right-field wall, the Isotopes are expecting a crowd of 14,000 to 15,000.

Manny Ramirez mania hits minors on eve of rehab stint - ESPN

"He's a cheater," Gutierrez said. "But I still want to see him play." Gutierrez and his father, Julian, were among a steady stream of fans who lined up four- and five-deep at the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes' box office Monday to buy tickets for this week's series against Nashville.
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