The fallout of the New York Yankees signing up Mark Teixeira has been Chernobyl-esque for Manny Ramirez. Before the Yanks borrowed Hank Paulsen’s printing press to corral Tex, it appeared that Yankee Stadium was to be Ramirez’s most likely destination. Especially if Teixeira had signed with the Red Sox.
(Frank McCourt: Plenty of practice fumbling away opportunities of a lifetime)
With the Mets out of money (thanks, Bernie!) and no other team at present willing to offer Ramirez more than the Dodgers’ proposed 2-year, $45 million pact, it’s looking more and more like it’ll be a long and lonely winter for Mr. Elongated Pants.
(Ned Colletti looking like a stroked-out Peter Griffin)
I was listening to local sports radio guy here in Los Angeles last night and I heard him say that he was unequivocally certain that Ramirez would sign with the Dodgers in January. That Ramirez agent Scott Boras would break down and take the team’s (paltry) offer.
Now, does that sound like something Boras would do to you?
Boras has made his bones on waiting until, and past, negotiation deadlines for his clients. He’s fearless - mainly because he couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his individual players. He deals in volume, so if he loses a battle here and there, he isn’t ruined by any means. There will always be more hot prospects lined up for his firm, begging for his services.
And anyone who has followed baseball even marginally in the past 25 years knows Boras has farked his clients out of countless millions with his market miscalculations. (The latest victim: Jason Varitek.)
Boras will not accept the Dodgers’ offer as it stands now, mainly as a matter of principle. At the time of the Dodgers’ overture two months ago, Boras made it clear, albeit indirectly, that he thought the deal was a lowball, public relations play by L.A.. (Which of course it was, at the time.)
Back then, Boras knew there were possibly plenty of options for Ramirez: the Yankees were in play, and Mets Owner Jeff Wilpon hadn’t yet lost $300M in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. And Citi, which is a crucial financial partner of the Mets going into the club’s new ballpark, had yet to implode.
Since then, Ramirez’s options have dried up, and all that is left is a hair-pieced Dodger GM Ned Colletti publicly pretending that he really wants Ramirez. Colletti really wants no such thing, because he had nothing to do with the bizarre acquisition of Ramirez last summer. He only wants thing to happen with the club where he gets full credit.
Now the Dodgers are leaking to the media that they are interested in Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn as alternatives to Ramirez. Colletti is the sole reason the club is actually considering those options, because, again, he doesn’t want to be locked in for three years with a guy who isn’t his guy.
In the end, Ramirez will either get a bumped-up offer from McCourt (highly unlikely) or settle for a one-year contract with who-the-hell-knows. And that deal will be consummated right around or during Spring Training, when well-monied clubs start to suffer injuries - and paranoia sets about teams’ assorted roster holes.
I view the Ramirez situation as really a referendum on the ownership of the McCourts. They have the chance to make the Dodgers a legit World Series contender by stepping up and signing Ramirez. Not to mention the Hollywood quotient Manny would add to the team. Since ‘88, the Dodgers have been completely off the radar here in Lipstick City, but now they have their chance.
By not signing Ramirez, McCourt will have profoundly failed fans who have regrettably supported a garbage product for two decades. It’s been clear to me for years that the underfunded, plastic-surgeried carpetbagger from the Back Bay has no business owning a MLB franchise in a major market. And this will likely be the clearest example yet.
UPDATE: Boras contacted the Dodgers Tuesday to apparently re-open contract talks:
Boras said he expected the market for Ramirez to start taking shape soon, with the end of the holiday season and the signing of Mark Teixeira, the most coveted hitter among free agents, by the New York Yankees.
The market hasn’t taken shape? Wait, didn’t the Yankees sign C.C. Sabathia?
Can someone help me as to why MSM reporters continue to print Boras’ eternal, oft-contradictory assertations?