I Have Bad News and Worse News

Bad News: As I mentioned yesterday, this whole “making me sympathize with Scott Boras” thing needs to stop, now-ish. Because it’s really making me feel dirty. The kind of dirt that just a shower won’t wash off; we’re talking a full bio-hazard cleansing here, complete with guys in radiation suits spraying you with pressure washers as your clothes are incinerated and the ashes launched into space.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – Scott Boras is not the “good guy” here. It’s his own stubbornness and refusal to see the truth that’s gotten us to this point. As ESPN’s Jayson Stark astutely noted,

When you’re mixed up in a major free-agent negotiation with Scott Boras, you know it’s going to take a really … really … really … long … time. So you know you’re going to need patience, patience, more patience and also, well, patience. But on this Manny Ramirez front, Boras has outdone himself, even by his own slow-mo standards. Think about this. On Wednesday, it will be exactly four months since the Dodgers offered Manny a two-year, $45 million contract.

And now, FOUR MONTHS LATER, what are these two sides still talking about? A two-year, $45 million contract. Is this the theater of the absurd, or what? How many weeks ago, how many months ago, would an agent who was a deal-maker have gotten this done? But not this agent. He’s so obsessed with squeezing every last non-deferred penny out of this contract that he has somehow allowed the offseason, for this player, to extend into March.

So it’s pretty clear that Boras could have avoided this whole mess months ago had he merely accepted the reality of the situation. But, as we all know, the sides are merely $1.5 million apart now, and Boras made what seems to be a reasonable counteroffer, as I noted yesterday. And what was Frank McCourt’s response?

Because he said so.

That was more or less the reason Dodgers owner Frank McCourt gave Sunday morning for refusing to consider a proposal made to him by Manny Ramirez’s agent, which differed from an offer the Ramirez camp made last week only in the timing of the payments.

“He won’t even consider it.” Surely, there must be a mistake. I like Dylan Hernandez a lot, but he had to have misheard here; why would McCourt just ignore an offer after he gave Boras such grief for doing the same?

But why not consider the offer when the two sides appear to be so close?

“Because we’re going to start from scratch,” McCourt said.

But why start from scratch when you’re so close?

“I answered it twice,” McCourt said.

Oh. Well, now I understand. What exactly are you trying to do? You have Boras down to just about your offer; are you trying to drive Manny into the arms of the Giants? This is getting ridiculous, and not only because I feel like I’ve made the same post four days in a row. Yes, Frank, you hate Scott Boras. WE GET IT. We all do, no argument there. But you know what I’d hate to see more? Manny Ramirez, starting left fielder for the San Francisco Giants, hitting a ball so hard to left field that it collapses the head of Juan Pierre, starting left fielder for the Dodgers. (Well, okay. There’s some part of me that wouldn’t hate that. Love you, Juan!) So please, Frank. I’m begging you. We all are. Enough with trying to run up the score, and enjoy your victory. Just end this already.

ivandejesus.jpgWorse News: As mentioned in several places, shortstop prospect Ivan DeJesus, Jr., broke his left leg on a play at the plate in this morning’s game and is likely out for the season. While the Dodgers still have pretty nice depth behind Rafael Furcal in Chin-Lung Hu, Tony Abreu, Mark Loretta, and possibly even Blake DeWitt, this is a pretty big blow for the man named as the Dodgers #2 prospect by Baseball Prospectus. Reaching Triple-A, as he almost certainly would have this year, at 21 would have been pretty impressive, and although he’s still young, losing an entire year of development is a killer. Besides, look at the “bad” section from that BP report:

He has slightly above-average speed, but there is some concern that he’ll play his way off of shortstop if he loses a step or two, which would downgrade his projection dramatically.

Let’s hope that this broken leg doesn’t take away any of that speed, for his sake and ours. And yeah, that might not be the greatest picture in the world of him… but I didn’t want to jump on the “Shea Hillenbrand sliding into second base” train that everyone else did.