The people of Albuquerque feel the same way.
Manny received two standing ovations and drew a circus of media attention in his debut for the Albuquerque Isotopes — he then proceeded to strike out in his first at bat. Next time up he grounded out to the shortstop. He played just four unimpressive innings.
Still, nobody really seemed to care about results. Or that Manny had been suspended for failing baseball's drug testing policy.
There was a capacity crowd of 15.321 for a team that usually draws less than half that. Fans got there early to watch Manny stretch. They watched him launch home runs in batting practice through the thin, high altitude air of Albuquerque. They just wanted to see him. They will cheer wildly tomorrow when he plays five innings, and Thursday when he plays seven.
And when Manny returns to Dodger Stadium in a few weeks, it will be the same way.