Will Dodgers knock Manny Ramirez out of their ballpark?
During a lengthening career in sports media, I have seen so many stats that I should be wearing Coke-bottle glasses, like Harry Caray or Robert Q. Lewis.
But in 35 years, I have never seen a stat like this.
This is the greatest, craziest stat I have ever seen, and it's also another reason why there's not a chance in you know where that the Dodgers will re-sign Manny Ramirez.
Here goes the big build-up:
The regular lineup of eight position players that brought the Dodgers back in August and September, the lineup that was good enough to win the National League West and sweep the Cubs in the first round of the playoffs, earned a total of $2.1 million for the entire 2008 season!
That's $2.1 million for everybody in the lineup!
That's like four DAYS salary for A-Rod.
Take a look:
Russ Martin, $500,000
Andre Ethier $424,500
Manny $0 (Boston paid his salary)
James Loney $411,000
Matt Kemp $406,000
Casey Blake $0 (Indians paid)
Blake DeWitt $390,000
Angel Berroa $0 (Royals paid)
Forget the Florida Marlins or Tampa Bay Rays or Bud Selig in Milwaukee or Charles O. Finley back in the day, or anybody else who ever operated a big-league club on the cheap.
This was a Brink's job by the Dodgers, the 99 Cent Store of lineups.
Imagine getting away with paying the rock-bottom sum of $2,131,500 for their everyday starting lineup. Having been burned as badly as they were in high-stakes free agency, spending $125 million on Jason Schmidt, Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones, busts all, do you really think Frank McCourt is now going to offer nine figures to Manny, bidding against baseball's perennial Daddy Warbucks outfits like the Mets and Angels?
Whether it was budgetary brilliance, a stroke of dumb luck getting Manny, Blake and Berroa all for free, or Ned Colletti's feeling that he better do SOMETHING right or McCourt was going to can him in midseason, whatever it was, the Dodger GM so spoiled his owner by winning on the cheap, I just don't see any way that McCourt waves $100 million at Manny.
Like so many of his mechanically perfect swings, Manny is going, going, gone.
-- Ted Green
Ted Green is a former sportswriter for the L.A. Times and National Sports Daily. He is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.
Photo: The Dodgers' Andre Ethier is in the dugout with his child after the Philadelphia Phillies won Game 5 of the National League championship series, 5-1, on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images