Like most Dodger fans, I am growing tired of Manny's contract negotiations with Los Angeles.
No longer is Manny soley responsible. Dodgers management is too blame too.
This is a battle of two men, each with inflated and bruised egos.
The two men are Boras and McCourt have a history that dates back to when McCourt first bought the Dodgers. This is a grudge match between two "baseball people" whose animosity toward one another could wind up costing both of them more then they think should Manny not sign with the Dodgers.
Boras threw the first blow with the J.D. Drew deal when Boras let Drew opt out of his $55 million deal after just one year.
McCourt should have used that money to retain Adrian Beltre; instead trading for multiple players to fill in at third until the acquisition of Casey Blake who has solidified the position. No disrespect to Blake, who will play great for the Dodgers, as he improves the infield and gives the lineup a consistent offensive stats line for the next few years.
Then came Boras' second blow when he drove up the price on Maddux and Gagne until they signed else where with San Diego and Milwakee respectively. Yes, Gagne didn't work out good but Maddux would have spent 2 1/2 years tutoring the Dodgers' young pitchers.
Instead he had just four months.
The came Boras' knockout blow, when his client Andruw Jones signed for a ridiculous amount of money and produced next to nothing.
When this signing first broke, I thought it was too much money, yet I remained hopefully optimistic it would work out right for our boys in blue.
After year one, he remained out of shape, got cut and is still getting paid. I am just hoping he makes the Texas Rangers opening day roster so that McCourt and Co. can re-coop almost $750,000 dollars back for this season on his salary as part of the arrangement for his release.
So McCourt can't stand Boras for all the trouble he has caused him in his short tenure as Dodger owner but that is part of the game. What both of them need to realize is that there are more people this is gonna effect then just Manny. Manny, I truely believe wants to be a Dodger and possibly finish his career here because of the many benefits of what the Dodgers as an organization can offer him with the coaching staff and players that are in the lineup and locker room with him. Also due to the cultural diversity surrounding the location of Dodger Stadium and their fans that have already in two and a half month's of playing for our team have grown to love him. He has stated in interviews that he likes it here because when he leaves the ballpark he leaves as a man who can live his life and do normal things like go to dinner and the movies with his family without being hounded unlike in Boston where all they have are their sports stars. In So Cal and especially LA we have all the movie stars doing crazy and stupid stuff that the paparazzi and people follow, leaving our sport stars to live their life for the most part.
You may ask who is this gonna affect other then Manny. Well in my opinion it is gonna affect most importantly the Dodgernation whom have been waiting a long time for the right pieces to fall into their laps to take this organization back to the glory years of the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's where the Dodgers were the team baseball looked up to on how to do things.
Next it is going to affect McCourt and Boras themselves. McCourt is gonna have a rude awakening when he is really gonna feel this "economic crisis" that he keeps using as his excuse for not giving Manny any kind of contract near what he wants. What I mean by this statement is that people are gonna really stop coming to the games because McCourt really has not done enough to make the Dodgernation happy and show us he is trying to build a winner with the signings he has signed off on. Granted this offseason has been his best so far but not enough. I love the talent of the young guys we have but I don't think they are up to the Rays level yet, since most of the Rays young guys have been in the game almost double that of the Dodgers young guys. Also he keeps increasing ticket prices and for what, a team that makes the playoffs one year and finishes fourth or last in the "weak" NL West the next. There is only so much you can tell your teams fanbase and lead them on with, and I am not talking about the fans who show up to games and cause all the problems and just get wasted but the ones who can actually remember and watched on tv or in person the last two times the team won a World Title and keep them believing in your vision. With the way things are going the fans are just gonna get tired of it and find someone else to root for and spend their hard earned cash on an organization that is gonna back up their vision. Mr. McCourt needs to realize that the players aren't the only ones that needs to produce but he has to also, and that is by giving us, Dodgernation a good product to root for and support, not just a decent product. Boras is gonna lose out by not getting a good commission or commission at all if Manny doesn't sign.
The next group that is gonna suffer is Joe Torre, the coaching staff, and the rest of the players. They all want him back and have publically made that known and probably more then the fans themselves because of the way he made such a positive impact to them all. He improved everybody with what he brought to the table with his laid back attitude, the advice and work ethic he shared with the young guys on how to approach the game, and the fear he struck into every opponent the Dodgers faced down the stretch last year. Out of this group it will be the young guys that it will effect more. Because the things Manny excels at the most is what they need to work on the most which is working the count to their advantage, recognizing what pitches that are best for them and how to handle the ones that aren't the best for them, and how to truely terrorize the opponent.
The last group of people I think this really gonna hurt is Tommy and Vin. They have been Dodgers their whole careers and for them to have to go through this dark time in the organization where an owner is making himself appear larger then the team and organization and trying to make an example out of a player because he has a problem with his agent is truely unfair. Yes the team is run better then the Foxcorp days but atleast during that time they spent money on players to try to make a winner and didn't do a half hearted job like what is going on now eventhough they did trade away players that should have never left. The players they did sign just didn't work out.
I also feel people need to lay off Ned (I can't believe I just typed that) and Manny. The reason I say this is because Ned is stuck in the middle of the two egomaniacs and can only do so much if McCourt isn't gonna sign off on the deal. I think the negative people need to lay off Manny because yes he wants his pay but in my opinion for where the baseball market is at he deserves it especially when A-Fraud is making $27.5 million a year and what has he done except cheat. He also has done absolutely Nothing with the Yankees. Manny is the best right handed hitter in the game now. More so then Pujols, A-Fraud, you name it he beats them with the lumber. He may not lead the league in every single catagory but he is always in the mix and is Mr. Clutch and the best playoff hitter I have ever witnessed and maybe ever.
What irritated me the most about thursday was the way we as a fanbase and the media were misled by the negotiations with this whole thing and the deferred money in the contract. This was the first time we were notified about these stipulations and I have to side with Manny on this. Why should he play two years for us and not get his full salary until 3 years after he has left the team. What a slimball move McCourt, and way to lower yourself to Boras' level. Right now we have Manny saying ok I will take the 2yr/$45 million if it is not deferred and with the player option so Mr. McCourt just give in and reep the benefits because I doubt the economy is gonna get any better before this contract is up which means Manny for 2 years and a good possiblity of 2 World Titles with him and the start of putting the Dodgers back to where they belong.
This is a blog that I originally wrote for my own blog on blogspot.com called Dodger Blue, My Favorite Color yesturday and also posted on a blog with cbssports.com about the Manny contract.