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Manny Ramirez? Dodgers play hardball with lowball

February 3, 2009 |  9:40 pm

Manny Ramirez

Be honest.

Unless your name is Frank McCourt or Ned Colletti, you have no earthly idea if the Dodgers are negotiating in good faith with Manny Ramirez, serious about re-signing him, if they're telling the truth when they claim they want him back.

Or maybe, might be, could be, the one-year offer for $25 million (only a little more than half of the $45 mil for two years they first offered three months ago) is just a little dog-and-pony show, a public relations ploy aimed only at fooling and pacifying their fans when, in fact, they have no intention of bringing the hitting savant back at all.

This much, though, I do know:

If someone lowballing Scott Boras isn't karma, tell me what is.

At long last, baseball's antichrist agent is finally getting a good, strong dose of his own medicine.

Tasty, isn't it?

Boras, remember, has quite the history with the Dodgers.

Kevin Brown, already breaking down physically from your guess is as good as mine, $126 million? A Boras client.  Dodger fans remember that one. So does the Sheriff, Kevin Malone.  It got him fired as GM. I think he's a car dealer now.

Darren Dreifort, $55 million for three wins as a starter?  Boras again.  If Dreifort were a horse, they would have draped the pitcher's mound and put him out of his misery, but Boras, clever boy, made the gullible Dodgers believe he was Cy Young.

J.D. Drew for $20 mil?  Great Scott, he did it again!  Drew had the charisma of dry toast and hit the same 20 dingers you can get from hungry young big leaguers for the minimum salary.

Agents like to brag about their hits and sweep aside their misses, but Boras' duds broadsided the Dodgers' balance sheet.

So now, the same man who probably giggles when he goes to bed at night, knowing he has gotten Rockefeller rich tricking otherwise smart and experienced businessmen into bidding against themselves, is playing blackjack with the rest of Manny's career.

So far he's going bust.

$25 million for one year is CEO money and no one's crying for Argentina or for Manuel Aristedes, but the only, viable, public offer the accounting firm of Boras & Ramirez apparently now have on the table, that 25 mil, is an awfully long way from the $80 million-$100 million you know Boras promised Manny he would get for him when they orchestrated their way out of Boston.

Looks like ol' Scotty gave someone a bum steer and that someone was his own client.

Baseball free agency is not a business that leaves a lot of room for emotion, but here's guessing the dozens of owners and GMs who've been burned by Boras' greed and overselling over the years are quietly gloating today that the shoe is finally, briefly, however temporarily, on the other foot.

Or at least they're feeling good that Boras is losing one for a change.

Just today, I see where there is talk the owners are colluding against Boras and Manny. Really? Well tell me, if it's true, Mr. B, who better to collude against than you?

I, for one, think Manny is one of the three preeminent right-handed hitters of the last 50 years, Willie Mays and Albert Pujols being the others. If the Dodgers gave him $75 million for three years, I'd be happy for Manny.  You'd also see me back at the stadium half a dozen times this coming season.

C'mon, this is not breaking news:  The Dodgers SHOULD re-sign Manny for two years and not throw him under the bus just because the market happened to turn in their favor at this time. They owe it to him and they owe it to their fans.

Still, there is another, more vengeful part of me that thinks maybe this latest Dodger lowball, offering Manny much less the second time around, is poetic justice, the greedmeister superagent finally finding out that you can't fool everyone or win 'em all, not when you've shafted so many for so long.

-- Ted Green

Ted Green used to write sports for the L.A. Times. His son, Dustin, happily plays for free at Calabasas High School. Ted is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: Manny Ramirez in September. Credit: David Zalubowski / Associated Press