The Artful Dodgers: Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras

Bleacher Report Analyst IFebruary 6, 2009

A few weeks ago I did an audio post defending Manny Ramirez. In principle, I still do. He has boldly stated what his abilities are and that he is willing to take those abilities to the highest paying employer.

Traditionally what follows is the groan of the American sports fan, who says “these athletes are only in it for the money.” My response to 95 percent of this population would be “well, aren’t you too?”

Basically, Manny has become enemy of the state simply by attempting to follow the model of American capitalism that everyone in the audience, not watching him perform on their stage, is also trying to follow. But who’s counting…

So when I found out that Manny Ramirez rejected a one-year, $25 million offer, I wasn’t mad at Manny for wanting more money. I was just disappointed in Manny for thinking there was more money.

Week after week, people keep throwing around the word recession, with some sort inkling that any day it would bounce back. In the last week or so, we have officially entered “holy god, we are not bouncing back” mode.

Everyone is pulling out of everything, and the domino effect is pretty astonishing. This even includes athletes who settled for less money in their contracts due to endorsement deals that are no longer on the table.

Right now, no one has money to give Manny Ramirez what he wants. And quite frankly, I’m not even sure what he wants anymore. This is a man that was willing to take less than $25 million per year over the course of three years, but in the worst economic time EVER, a team was offering him $25 million, which would have made him the highest paid player in baseball this year, and he turned it down.

What I’m beginning to wonder is, is this Manny being Manny? Or is it something far worse…Boras being Boras?

Scott Boras is far and away the most hated agent in all of sports, but this might be the most insane thing that he has orchestrated since publicly declaring that a professional athlete should make $300 million.

Yesterday, Boras publicly belittled the Dodgers’ organization, insisting that they were “playing chicken games” with his client. Boras is a man I have accused of being crazy before, so I won’t put anything past him.

But it takes a man with incredible balls to call out an organization after they just offered to make your client the highest paid player in baseball…in the midst of what has statistically become the worst economic downfall this country has ever seen.

Manny being Manny is something we have gotten used to. But Boras being Boras is putting Manny in a ton of jeopardy right now. The two of them should consider themselves genuinely lucky that the Dodgers are still willing to negotiate.

But more importantly, they need to be very worried about their next move. For, if they keep screwing around in the midst of an economic crisis, it could be their last.