The Return of the Dreds was a flop. I suppose the rain is to blame. It can't be the leading man's fault, he didn't show.
Isotopes Park was packed. The starting line-up had been announced with Manny hitting first for the Isotopes. The tarp had been pulled back to uncover the field and it was finally time to play ball!
Until it started raining again, that is, and the tarp was pulled back over the field. The fans waited it out, sharing drinks and conversation, all huddled together beneath awnings and grandstands to stay dry. It was like an uber-campfire without the fire and marshmallows.
The rain stopped. The loudspeaker crackled as we were returning to our seats: Manny Ramirez couldn't play because of the rain - too much rain increases risk of injury, at least that was the excuse given to the sold out crowd of dred-topped fans.
Isotope Park was not resounding with the cheering of happy campers after that announcement. Even S'mores wouldn't have lifted our spirits. We went from overly-enthused to downright grumpy almost instantly. I mean really, rain is NOT going to hurt dreds. We didn't see the problem. We were going to sit in the rain. The Isotopes were going to play in the rain. Why couldn't Manny?
It reminded me of being a kid and knocking on the door of my best friend on a cold day. "No, hon, Ronda can't play today, it's just too wet out there." Well, duh, of course it was wet, it was raining; so what?
To be fair, I suppose I should acknowledge that my friend Ronda wasn't on a multi-million dollar contract where risk of injury from a fall in the rain is a financial liability, not just a bruised knee. Manny, on the other hand, does have a multi-million dollar contract to PLAY baseball and he was here in New Mexico (the PAY-TO-PLAY state for so many), it just seemed logical that he should have played, rain or shine.
People mumbled about heading home after learning that Manny wasn't going to play, but most of the crowd chose to stay and support the team. And in spite of the disappointment of not seeing Manny play, it was worth it for those who stayed. The Isotopes played well and once again proved they don't need dreds to please the hometown crowd.
I didn't stay until the end, and I wasn't one of the hundreds who bought a Dodger-scarf-dredset. In retrospect, I am not sure what all the hype was to begin with, Manny is not a role model, or a hero, and I've never really liked dreds, but he is an extraordinary hitter (when he plays). The game was called in the 6th inning because of the rain, but I wasn't there to see it. I had left at the bottom of the 4th, with the 'Topes up by 4.
It was just too wet out there.