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Article:June 23, 2009 Albuquerque, New Mexico "It's Manny Mania"

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By: Nathaniel Gordon

Player profile Manny Ramírez

I was sent by the "powers that be" at The LA Sports Blog to document the events of June 23, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On that summer evening the prodigal Manny Ramirez made his return to professional baseball as a member of the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes (yes, of "The Simpsons" fame.) I was sent with a voice recorder attached to a hand held HD camera in an attempt to shoot a first-person documentary. The documentary was shot successfully but won't load onto the web so I will describe to you what happened as I re-watch it on the camera.  What I expected to experience when I got of the plane in New Mexico: nothing more then hot weather and artsy coffee shops. What I found was more like a mix of the L.A./Watts Riots of 1992, Game 7 of the 1955 World Series and a pool party at Jose Canseco's house. (That's to say there were plenty of baseball players, exposed breast and Roger Clemons "misremembering" why he was even in Albuquerque.

(All events in the "P.M." took place on June 23, all events in the "A.M." are on June 24. The time stamps are U.S. Mountain Time.)

June 24:

(6:01 AM) Brightness around me brings me awake. I can hardly open my eyes my head hurts so bad. As I'm able to open my eyes I survey what's around me: My camera and recorder, my pants (removed), a tu-tu is around my waist. I feel my head and there is a "Manny Wig" on my head. I remove it and it's SIGNED BY MANNY! Whoa?!?! I Don't remember that happening, I don't remember much of anything.

(6:05 AM) I put on my own pants, gather the camera, rub my eyes thoughtfully and glare into the horizon, trying to access where I am. As my eyes adjust I realize I'm in the pool area of my hotel. That's a relief. It's still so early the housekeepers haven't arrived so I beat feet back to my room to avoid being found sleeping in the pool area.

(6:08 AM) I put on a pot of coffee in the bathroom and walk into the bed area to find the place a mess. There are women's thongs and panties all about the room. An inflated gorilla, Manny Wigs and a naked guy is laying on the floor by the window.

Me: Hey. HEY! Wake up dude! (Kicks guy in side)

Guy: Hu? Wha? What the F*** dude why did you kick me.

Me: This is my room, what the hell are you doing in my room!

Guy: Um,

Me: And why are you naked?

Guy: This isn't Crystal's room?

Me: Dude! Get the f*** out of my room!

Guy (looking around): Uh, can I like borrow some pants? Or maybe a towel or sheet?


(6:13 AM) The random naked guy runs out of my room, still naked. This is getting weird. I have to hook up the camera and try to figure out what happened.

(6:20 AM) I finish preparing my coffee and hook the camera up to my laptop. While I'm waiting for the video to render I try to think back to earlier yesterday so that I can try and capture my memories from the beginning.

June 23:

(1:30 PM) After finishing up a mid-flight Apple Martini, I look out my first class seat window (the L.A. Sports Blog: Where "Thanks for the expense account Jeff!" Happens) to gaze at the mountains of New Mexico. The plane suddenly turns to the north to swing around and make a north-south apporach and in the distance I see what I think is Albuquerque. However it looks more like Navajo smoke signals in the distance then a city skyline. Could there be a wildfire outside of the city?

(2:00 PM) We part smoke clouds and make a clean landing at the Airport. When I get inside the terminal I ask a security guard what all the smoke is about? "Manny Mania" Is all he tells me. I'm confused by this, but also starving so I choose to get right to the hotel and get some food.

(2:30 PM) After checking in at the Airport Hilton (Thanks Jeff!) I order some room service and prep my camera to head out for the pre-game festivities.

I don't remember much after that so I turn to the recorded evidence to complete the story:

(5:00 PM) I turn on the Camera on a street that leads to the stadium entrance, lined with shops and restaurants. The restaurants are overflowing with people at the bars singing and drinking and partying. It looks more like a Saturday afternoon in Manchester then it does a Tuesday in New Mexico. As I slow down to pan the view a group of Isotopes supporters pushes by me on the street, I grab at one of them and encourage them to talk to my camera.

(5:12 PM) Me: Hey guys, what's the cause for such celebration?


Drunk 2:Are you f****** stupid man? It's the mo****f****** best player alive! We HAVE MANNY!

Me: Are you guys always this hyped up for Isotopes games?

Drunk 1: I'm hyped about Manny! F****** MANNY! I LOVE MANNY!

Drunk 3: Look bitch, listen up. We (slur slur slur) and Manny is (slur slur) best and (slur slur slur) if you got a problem (slur slur) your ass you understand? We have MANNY now! Everything's changed!

I tried to ask another question but they started to march away from me chanting "YES WE CAN" "YES WE CAN" "YES MANNY CAN" "YES MANICANS!" "YES CANNY CANS!" And on and on like that messing the chant up a little more each time.

(5:20 PM) A fight between an Isotopes fan and a Dodgers fan -of all people- spills out into the street. When I ask a witness why they two started to fight he replies "they are fighting over whose team Manny's on."

(5:25 PM) Just outside the stadium a street vendor is selling Manny Wigs, but instead of the traditional "LA" logo on a blue rag, it's an Isotopes logo on a black rag. A few "to be nice we'll call them" wasted Dodgers fans notice this and one shouts "Get the traitors!" And the men mug the street vendor, lighting the merchandise on fire and chanting in ritual "Don't touch our Manny!"

At this point I'm coming to one question and one completely separate conclusion. I'm wondering where the hell the Police are tonight? I'm concluding that Isotopes fans are so dumb they think they are getting Manny long term and the Dodgers fans who came to town are so drunk and stupid, they don't understand they are beating up fans of their players. They don't realize this is their minor league team and are actually fighting with their own. Isotopes fans are fighting the Dodgers fans simply because they don't like Dodgers fans making claims to their Manny.

(5:45 PM) Found the police, they are all working security for the game. Manny is being protected by 35 off duty cops alone. The rest of the team has 15. After taking what seems like forever to get past security I get searched a second time and have my credentials questioned. (Jeff gave me WNBA passes as a prank but my name was still on the list, Thanks Jeff!)

(5:55 PM) Security lines the field on either side and the concourses. People are singing in the stadium and a small group of Isotopes fans have to be disbanded after singing a gay slur filled song about Juan Pierre at a group of Dodgers fans. They still don't get that they are all pulling for the same team?

(6:00 PM) The game gets underway and the players take the field. As Manny is announced woman's panties and thongs rain from the left field stands. Despite security, a female successfully reaches the field, outruns security and jumps into Manny's arms! Breast in his face and her head kicked back, screaming in excitement, Manny gives her what she wants, and motor-boats the hell out of her boobs!

Me: This is not happening right now!

Fan to my right: DAYYUUUMMMM! Go Manny Go! Go Manny Go!

This starts a "Go Manny Go" chant across the field as the girl is pulled off of Manny. Manny smiles and bows to the crowd as the chant continues and a standing ovation ensues. The game has been delayed by 15 minutes and Manny has already received a 5 minute STANDING OVATION, and all he's done is motor-boat a chick's boobs.

(6:15 PM) Me: Will they start this damn game already? I didn't fly all the way from L.A. to sit in hot ass New Mexico for nothing!

Drunk to my left: You're a Dodgers fan? You better not try and claim Manny!

Me: Not this shit again.

Fan to my right: What shit again? Are you claiming Manny!?!? Manny is OURS!!!

Me: No, NO! I'm making a documentary from a fan's angle, anything to say about the game?

Fan to my right: WE LOVE MANNY!

This starts a "We Love Manny" chant in my section that last the majority of the top of the first, which was thankfully a 1-2-3 inning. This brought us to the bottom of the first, in which Manny was leading off.

(6:35 PM) Manny comes to the plate and much like in left field earlier, panties come raining from the stands. I had no idea that not only do so many woman attend baseball games, but that so many BIG woman attend them. One pair of panties sort of slang-shot out of the stands and landing Jason Repko's helmet, - who was in the on deck circle - covering his head entirely.

(6:37 PM) Manny strikes out on 6 pitches and is cheered! Talk about supporting your star when he's down. He has an .000 Batting Average and they roundly cheered him as he heads to the dugout.

(7:00 PM) Manny is in the On Deck circle when a girl near the fence starts yelling for his attention. He parts the security guards and walks over, exchanging a quick dialogue. Manny laughs, kisses the girl on the cheek and heads back to the on deck circle. She loses her mind over the kiss and has to be restrained by security. Not going without a fight she hits the first guard with a mean right hook before being grabbed from behind by two other guards. As she's being pulled by me I follow with the camera and ask:

Me:What did you say to Manny?

Girl: I said if he hits a home run right now I'll go down on him after the game!

Me: You're joking, plus you're not that cute.

Girl: Let me show you what I can do.

So that's why he laughed so hard. He grounded out, I guess he agreed with me about her looks.

(7:45 PM) The game is getting late and I'm getting drunk. After about 5 beers, courtesy of the drunk on my left, I was becoming an Isotopes fan. And why not? After all they are all Dodgers players anyway. Here's one exchange in the 7th inning:

Me to a guy in the aisle: Hey man, do you think Manny will re-sign with the Isotopes after the season?

Guy in the aisle after thinking the question over: ...Only if we want to win a World Series!

(8:00 PM) The game is about over and I try to beat the crowd outside so I can get the masses leaving the stadium and their reaction to the game. Manny has gone 0-3 there surely has to be some detractors. The camera is shaky and it's obvious after the 2 chugged beers during the 7th inning stretch (I won a hundred bucks off a rabbi on that bet) that I'm totally wasted.

(8:15 PM) The people come pouring out of the stadium and the mood is jovial! Drunk and happy to have their star, albeit for a short time, they sing and dance in the streets. I tell a group of University of New Mexico girls that I'm Manny's personal film maker and get them to flash the camera! After promising that they can come see Manny tomorrow they agree to unspeakable things that then happen on camera in my hotel room.

That explains the underwear in my room (although no evidence of the naked guy from the morning) and why I called Joe Francis 8 times last night. He's interested in the tape for a new DVD.

What can't be explained is what happened last night in New Mexico. What I came away with is that Dodgers fans at the Major and Minor leagues are pretty dumb, easily intoxicated and enjoy removing their underwear. What I didn't come away with is any sense of how Manny is at the moment as a baseball player. But who cares? I got to see Manny Ramirez motor-boat a co-ed!!

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