The priority for minor league baseball managers is player development, which is why Albuquerque's Lorenzo Bundy took pride when the Los Angeles Dodgers went on a 42-8 run to soar to the top of the National League West standings.
“It's been historic,” Bundy said. “You can't help but be excited for them, especially having worked with a few of those guys.”
Players currently on Albuquerque's roster, other than shortstop Dee Gordon, didn't factor in the remarkable two-month run. But Bundy has coached some players on Los Angeles' roster, including starting catcher Tim Federowicz and Midwest City product Matt Kemp.
“I had the Oklahoma kid when I was in Vegas (when it was the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate),” Bundy said. “Obviously you want to win here, too. We've had a tough stretch in August. It came out of nowhere. We were playing pretty well. That's been frustrating. But your parent club playing well is the ultimate goal.”
On June 21, the Dodgers were 30-42, in the NL West cellar, 9½ games out of first.
Over the next two months Los Angeles' 42-8 run pushed the overall record to 72-50. Entering the week, the Dodgers owned an 8½-game lead.
“What went on the first couple of months was really hard times for the organization because everyone expected to win,” Bundy said. “When you have the injury bug, and you don't have all your horses, it's tough.
“But no one ever expected them to play this well. This just doesn't happen very often. The thing about it is they also ran through some pretty good teams, playoff contenders, first-place teams. They just rolled right through them.”
Gordon briefly was with the Dodgers before being sent back to Albuquerque on Sunday.
“There's a buzz in LA,” Gordon said. “They've been playing really good baseball. My job is to keep it simple and play good baseball here, be ready if they call.”
Albuquerque pitcher Red Patterson, who pitched at Southwestern Oklahoma State, said the Isotopes watch Dodgers games when the schedules don't conflict.