Although Opening Day for the Isotopes is still about a month and a half away, fans wanting to see baseball at The Lab will get a chance this Friday, February 20, as the University of New Mexico Lobos open their 2009 home season against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Getting a stadium ready to open is always a challenge, and Director of Stadium Operations Bobby Atencio and his crew have worked tirelessly to make sure the park is in tip-top shape. That also includes Jarad Alley, the Isotopes’ superb Director of Field Operations, who has gotten the field back in playing shape. That’s no small feat in February, as anyone staring at a brown lawn in these winter months can attest. The Lobos will be the sole tenant of Isotopes Park until April, at which time both the ‘Topes and UNM will share The Lab until the college season ends on May 5.
In Spring Training news, the Dodgers are hosting their first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch in Glendale today and some Minor League players will report tomorrow for some early work before Minor League camp opens in earnest on March 5. One of those players showing up early is catcher J.D. Closser, who the Dodgers signed to a Minor League contract just a couple of days ago and who could be slated to break camp in Albuquerque. Last year, Closser split time between three Triple-A stops; Iowa (Chicago Cubs), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (New York Yankees), and Portland (San Diego) and has logged 160 career Major League games, all with the Colorado Rockies from 2004-06.