This is getting ridiculous. Normally, this is the time of year the avid baseball fan can focus on Spring Training and the little things; which minor leaguer will make the squad, which pitching reclaimation project will pan out. Normally, this is not the time of the year to be wondering if your best player is coming back to suit up. Speaking only for myself, I am sick and tired of waiting for Manny to be coming back.
I am not sure who is responsible, but the love triangle of Dodger owner Frank McCourt, total cocksucker super agent Scott Boras and Manny Being Missing are making me want to vomit. Not the kind of polite vomit that is symptomatic of the flu. Oh no, I want to do the painful and frightening purge, the kind that has you screaming into the toilet bowl at full volume cursing the day you thought you could chase vodka with tequila and tequila with twenty-five Chicken McNuggets and a McFlurry. That’s how bad this negotiation has gotten.
Let me recap this in plain speak:
- Manny comes to the Dodgers. Hits every pitch they throw to him. Helps team win first playoff game in 20 years, first playoff series in 20 years and gets us pretty close to the World Series, losing in 5 games to the future champs (the same 5 games the AL Champ Tampa Bay Rays lost in).
- Manny, or “Mannywood” as we called him, has no sense of loyalty to Dodgers and states “the price of gas is up, so am I” or something to that effect.
- Gas prices plummet.
- Free agent market sets up. Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Giants, Angels. Lots of teams. Manny bidding war seems imminent.
- Dodgers offer Manny 2 years, 45 million dollars. Agent Boras rejects claiming he will only field serious offers.
- Yankees sign C.C. Sabathia and AJ Burnett for around 400 million.
- Angels, Red Sox and to a smaller degree Yankees are fighting for Mark Texeira’s RBI machine with gold glove talent.
- Yankees claim to want Manny.
- Dodgers offer Manny arbitration. Based on his stats, Manny could get up to 30 million on a one year deal. He rejects.
- Yankees sign Mark Texeira and essentially run out of money. Red Sox would never take Manny back. Nationals don’t want an old player. Cubs and Angels don’t want him. The only two teams interested are the Dodgers and the broke ass Giants.
- Manny and Dodgers begin pissing match. Manny wants a 6 year, 150 million dollar contract. Dodgers offer Manny one year at 25 million. Manny says fuck off.
- Dodgers offer Manny 2 year, 45 million dollar deal with deferred payments, but also with an opt out so Manny can peace out after one year if Obama has the country magically rich again next off season. Dodgers request a simple Yes or No answer.
- Boras makes two counter offers, one at 45 million, 2 years, no deferred money. The other is 2 years, 55 million with deferred money.
- Dodgers ignore the offers. McCourt says we need to start from scratch.
- Manny instructs Boras to make a counter offer with deferred money. At this point, Dodgers and Manny are apart by 1.5 million.
- Dodgers refuse to talk to Manny. Still saying we need to start over.
So what is going on? Well, for one, Frank McCourt hates Scott Boras. Two, I suspect McCourt is a little broke. What is painful at this point is that Manny and the Dodgers are 1.5 million apart. The Dodgers are paying Mark Loretta that much to sit on the bench. They are paying Andruw Jones over six times that to play for the Texas Rangers.
This sounds like McCourt wanted to yes or no. He wanted a no so he could negotiate backwards. He keeps saying the economy is hurting as if we didn’t fucking know our pay roll is about 40 million dollars less than it was last year. I just can’t stomach this. It is such a slap in the common fan’s face to think they do not keep track of payroll. I think it is a huge disconnect that the common fan would rather have his ticket prices stay unchanged than to have them go up incrementally and have Manny, the excitement, and the hope of another magical autumn of postseason glory at the Ravine.
It’s a slap in the face.
Now please don’t think I am giving Boras or Manny a pass. I’m not. With Bobby Abreu, Orlando Hudson (and Cabrera), and even Adam Dunn talking huge paycuts from years past, Manny should have taken the money and been happy. But that isn’t Manny’s style, and it definitely isn’t Boras’. I get that he is the top employee of the Dodgers and the top employee doesn’t tend to take well to getting half his salary now and more later in installments. Imagine if you boss wanted to pay you your 60K that way? Not so much.
Still, this is an argument among millionaires while the rest of us just want something so much more simple. We want the right to believe in our team and our town. We want to scream and hope and celebrate the wild-haired wonder. We can forgive him his personality and his greed, along with the snake Scott Boras and the McCourt style of bargaining. We can forgive all of these things if we can have another wonderful October.
But even writing like that makes me sad. It makes me so cognizant of how much this offseason exemplifies what is wrong with baseball and America. Alex Rodriguez and the steroids. C.C. Sabathia earning nearly two times the Gross National Product of Ethiopia. And now the dread-locked slugger refusing to play baseball, a game, for 45 million dollars when the Dow has slipped the lowest its been since I was born.
Noise noise noise noise. Whine whine whine whine. Let’s go, batter up, we’re taking the afternoon off. Vin Scully’s pipes. Dodger Dogs and beer. Manny?