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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Man, I Hate It When Simers Is Right: On Manny's Proposed Deal

T.J. Simers' column today almost makes me feel sorry for Frank McCourt, but not enough to disagree with his central premise:
The Dodgers' website reported and continues to report the offer to Ramirez was "believed to be in the neighborhood of two years at $55 million," although most every other report had it closer to $45 million.

But whether it was knowing or unknowing exaggeration, promising words like huge and monstrous or misinformed commentary, McCourt got his message to season-ticket holders: "Look, I'm doing everything I can to bring back Manny."

If true, then maybe he ought to read his own website, Manager Joe Torre quoted as saying, "I think he'd like to come back, but I think he's at a point in his career where he wants some longevity, and I understand that."

Everyone in baseball knows Ramirez wants some longevity, so why did the Dodgers use their exclusive negotiating window with agent Scott Boras to make an offer they knew would be unacceptable? Just for show, of course, McCourt consistently mindful of image, going through more PR consultants than GMs and managers.

Of course, you could argue that the market for Manny will include teams liable to do stupid things (the Mets come to mind here), but would it be the worst thing in the world if the Dodgers didn't get him? It would certainly serve as an object lesson on the business of throwing away perfectly serviceable players for two-month rentals, though that part of it might not be so easily grasped by the McCourt brain trust.

Update 11/10: More (really, an echo) from LAist.

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