This winter of Scott Boras epic fail just keeps getting more delicious.
As if brilliantly negotiating a $5 million pay cut for Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek wasn't enough fuel for the fire of the agent's increasingly amused critics, Boras may now be proving himself stubborn enough to play slugger Manny Ramirez right out of a job.
Boras coaxed Ramirez out of a possible $40 million last summer by apparently encouraging him to take a hissy-fit all the way to a trade. Today, he and Manny sat and considered the Dodgers' altered contract offer -- one-year, $25 million -- for about 37 seconds before delivering an answer.
Because Ramirez has drawn such interest on the open market, I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before someone snatches him up with the four-or-five-year contract he's looking for. After all, it's Feb. 3, and spring training begins in less than two weeks. What team wouldn't just sink $125 million into a 36-year-old malcontent at the last minute?
Besides, that is, the Yankees.
This all couldn't happen to a better guy. After Manny's despicable behavior last summer, Theo Epstein and the Red Sox front office have to be watching these Ramirez proceedings with complete gratification. The guy could have had two more years in Boston, and $40 million more to ignore any and all community charities. Greed got in the way of being intelligent about the oncoming financial situation, and Boras erroneously predicted a market in which everybody would be drooling to get their hands on the prodigious slugger.
Of course, two things got in the way: The free-falling economy, and the reputation of one Manny Ramirez.
The Manny apologists must be at a loss today for their binky. As if defending his actions last summer wasn't nauseating enough, now they have to realize that nobody else wants the guy. Nobody. Oh, sure, he's worth a headache or two at the right price. But if Boras still believes there's a deal out there for more than two years, he's been off the grid for some many months.
This loathsome tandem already bypassed the Dodgers' two-year, $45 million offer, which would have amounted to a pay increase over Boston's pair of option years. That decision has already cost them $20 million. And it's going to get better? Who are these people?
How would you like to be a recruiter for Boras's firm these days? "We'll get you the best pay cuts in Major League Baseball." Either Boras has gone all sorts of Howard Hughes nuts, or his stubbornness is getting in the way of his clients' livelihood.
TJ Simers of the LA Times writes: "Now that Ramirez has rejected the Dodgers' offer, Boras said it's a clear sign there are other teams interested in offering Ramirez more. He will no doubt try to turn the Dodgers' one-year offer into two or three years elsewhere."
Where, exactly? In Japan?
If teams were interested in offering Ramirez "more," it's pretty easy to calculate they might have done so by now. To nobody's knowledge though has anyone said to Boars, "We'll beat two years, $45 million." Ken Rosenthal suggests the San Francisco Giants are the only other team that has expressed some interest in Ramirez, but only if the price is right. Well, that should count them out then.
Albert Pujols said he recently spoke with Ramirez, who told the Cardinals slugger, "Man, no one wants to sign me." That's possibly the most accurate thing the man has ever said.
Pujols said he gave Ramirez's phone number to Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Then ... and this is a direct quote, folks.
"Maybe St. Louis doesn't have the money to sign him, but he could give them a discount because St. Louis is a great city that supports its players."
This is literally the most oblivious sentence I have read in 20 years.
In the end, maybe Boras will come out of all this victorious, finally convincing one of the two New York teams that Ramirez in their lineup is worth the clubhouse anguish and truckload of cash it will take to plug him in there for multiple years. But right now, Boras and his client are looking like incompetent, greedy boobs. Just the way most of us hoped this story would turn out when it began last June.
But seriously, guys, good luck with everything. It will be a pleasure to see Ramirez still out of a job when the focus shifts south. Banner job.