Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dodgers extend affiliation agreements with AAA Albuquerque and A Rancho Cucamonga through 2014

From the Dodgers -

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced two-year extensions in their affiliation agreements with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League and the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League, continuing their partnerships through the 2014 season. Assistant General Manager, Player Development De Jon Watson made the announcement.

The 2013 season will be the Dodgers’ fifth season affiliated with the Isotopes since returning their Triple-A club to Albuquerque in 2009. Los Angeles’ top minor league affiliate was previously based there from 1972-2000 with future big leaguers Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, Orel Hershiser, Davey Lopes, Mike Marshall, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Bill Russell all playing for the club. The club’s Double-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Dodgers, played there from 1963-71 before becoming the Dukes and moving to the Pacific Coast League.

The Dukes won eight PCL championships under such well-known managers as Tommy Lasorda (1972), Del Crandall (1980-82), Terry Collins (1987), Kevin Kennedy (1990), and Rick Dempsey (1994), while the Albuquerque Dodgers won Texas League titles under Roy Hartsfield (1965), Duke Snider (1967) and Crandall (1970).

“We’re very excited to extend our relationship with Ken Young, John Traub and the Isotopes,” said Watson. “These two franchises have a storied history together and we’re happy to continue our relationship with the city of Albuquerque with its top-notch facilities and passionate fan base.

“We’re thrilled to extend our incredibly successful partnership with the Dodgers,” said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. “The City of Albuquerque and the Dodgers have been linked for generations.  Just as Los Angeles is considered one of the premiere franchises in Major League Baseball, the same is true for the Isotopes in Minor League Baseball.  We’re proud to continue the shared traditions of two great organizations.”

The Isotopes won the PCL’s American Southern Division this past season with an 80-64 record behind the league’s Pitcher of the Year, John Ely, and Manager of the Year, Lorenzo Bundy, and opened the postseason last night with an 8-4 loss at Omaha. Albuquerque’s 80 wins this season tied a franchise record originally set by the 2009 club, which was managed by current Dodger third base coach Tim Wallach.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga will enter its third season as a Dodger affiliate in 2013 after tying for the first-half division title and narrowly missing out on a Wild Card playoff berth this season with a 68-72 record. Last season, the Quakes won South Division titles in both halves of the season, setting a franchise record with 80 wins under California League Manager of the Year Juan Bustabad.

“Brett Sports & Entertainment has been a great partner and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship,” said Watson. “The improvements to their playing surface and upgrades to the stadium have made the Epicenter a great place to groom our future Dodgers.”

The Quakes, who are owned by Hall of Famer George Brett and his brothers, Bobby and John, just finished their 20th season playing in Rancho Cucamonga, located just 46 miles east of Dodger Stadium. With that close proximity, 14 Dodger players made rehab appearances with the club this past season, including National League All-Star Matt Kemp.

“The Dodgers have been a great partner of the Quakes and we are committed to each other’s success on and off the field,” said Rancho Cucamonga General Manager Grant Riddle. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership and look forward to many exciting years together.”

Los Angeles’ minor league partners in Chattanooga, Great Lakes and Ogden are also under contract through the 2014 season. For the second consecutive season, Dodger affiliates posted one of the top combined winning percentages among big league teams, ranking third with a .531 mark (404-357), with four of seven farm teams reaching the postseason.