March 2, 2009, 8:51 p.m. Like the rest of you, I took a couple of classes in college. Plus, and I never tell people this, both my parents are psychologists. Count em; that's plural, as in two. It was like growing up in a Hitchcock movie.
So obviously, I'm qualified to shrink the heads of the participants. Couples counseling, actually.
OK Frank, Scott, take your seats on the couch, please. Now move a little closer. There ya go. You're making progress already.
And clearly, I'm not the only guy playing doctor here. Everyone and his brother is taking tours inside the battling brains of Camelback Ranch. Yessir, it's dueling press releases at dawn, or my name ain't Sigmund What-his-Face.
Mssrs. McCourt and Boras have their reasons, the thinking goes, with victory at the negotiating table, way more so than on the baseball diamond, being the primary objective.
Local scribes Tony Jackson, Bill Plaschke, Bill Shaikin and TJ Simers, along with a bunch of guys at ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, SI.com and YahooSports.com are calling the blow-by-blow. One minute McCourt is driving the high road, with Boras playing villain, the next minute it's a total turnaround.
Boras is a bleep! No wait, McCourt's cheap. That's not it! Manny's the douche bag. Hold it a minute! Frank is absolutely right, Scott needs to be vanquished, for the greater good. Not just for baseball and its fans, but for all humanity!! And forget the mine field of a freeway that stretches from Chavez Ravine to Boras' OC office - the road map to peace is smoothah in Fallujah.
Look, I don't know if either combatant is the good guy here. Maybe the least bad guy is a better way to look at it. Because of Boras' almost unblemished track record of evil-genius, and because he'd have to be inhuman not to want to reach out and smack the agent upside the head, I'm inclined to back McCourt. But I don't know.
I do know that a carefully-applied dose of magnanimity wouldn't be a waste of someone's time right about now. Just a little dab'll do ya by one man or the other.
You know the old saying, "it's like chicken soup to a dead man - it couldn't hurt." Why the hell not?
Oh, and as for this business of who needs whom more, it's not close folks. If Manny ends up in Frisco, it's likely to cost him $3 million or $4 million in 2009 salary. Fine, let's say $10 mil. In that scenario, with Ramirez at AT&T, after he loses multiples of tens of millions of dollars in this year's revenue, McCourt might very well lose the Dodgers completely.
The city and the fans will be long gone, as far as the big boss is concerned. Really, it's not beyond the realm. The Los Angeles owner would have his free agent boo boo bookends, Adrian Beltre in 2004, Manny in 2009, and the fallout would be that bad. That bad. And then we'll all need therapy.
All that said, and setting aside the psychoanalysis, which not a one of us can explain with even a thimble full of a clue anyway, here's my prediction: Manny will be a Dodger no later than Wednesday…
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Look for Ned Colletti to sign a legitimate left-handed reliever shortly. Joe Beimel, Will Ohman and Dennys Reyes are all fine choices, and should be employed already.
If the team is pinching pennies so closely that they'd rather go with an unproven lefty for around a half a mil, as opposed to what would be at most the million-point-something to land a veteran, that says more about the Dodgers cash flow situation than the Manny-deal-or-no-deal deal by a comfortable margin.
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It probably means the end of Delwyn Young's time in blue is near, but that's all right. Young is the proverbial man without a position, I'm afraid, and the Dodgers would do well to get something for him. No doubt he'll be better off in a place like Washington or Pittsburgh or San Diego anyway.
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