Winter of baseball’s discontent

What a strange (and at times fascinating) offseason this has been, thanks largely to the sagging economy. All the movement that traditionally takes place in the fall is only now beginning, less than three weeks before the start of spring training. There are reports out there, including one on SI.com, that the Dodgers are close to a deal with Randy Wolf. But the lefty himself told foxsports.com that he is unaware of any agreeement. Here are a couple of quotes:

“This has been the oddest offseason I’ve ever been a part of,” said Wolf, who was a free agent the past two winters as well. “I don’t know where I stand with any team.

“I’ve had multiple deals offered and taken off the table, offers made and then reduced. I will have no idea where I stand until there’s a pen and paper in front of me and I sign my name. Until then, I just feel a deal can be taken away or reduced at any time.”

The thing is, Wolf is hardly unique in this situation. Even Manny Ramirez, who was thought at the beginning of the winter to be THE big ticket of this year’s free-agent market, is still out there. By the way, I’m starting to read comments from Scott Boras on the web suggesting that the market for Manny is heating up and the he is now negotiating with other clubs, but he won’t say who those clubs are. I could be wrong on this, but the fact he won’t indentify them leads me to believe they don’t exist. Sounds like a ploy to wake up the Dodgers. But when it comes to this matter, I think they’re about as awake as they’re going to get. We’ll see who blinks first.

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  • TeamHasHoles

    Tony, someone smarter than me once said (and I’m paraphrasing), “..when you live by a set of principles, 99% of all your decisions have already been made.”

    The Dodgers have been very principled this off season and Scott Boras is finding out that most of his tricks and scams aren’t going to work. Even if San Fran offered Manny a deal, the Dodgers will not commit to more than 3 years for an overweight, flaky, below-average fielding 37-year old… ..no matter how well he hits.

    Supposedly Ned is a man of principle, that’s what I’ve heard about him since he’s been here… ..he’s showing it this off season

  • Denton True

    It’s hard to muster much sympathy for Randy Wolf for deals being “taken off the table” or reduced. If he had just signed his name to one of them rather than hold out for a potential better deal that may or may not come, he’d have his peace of mind (and security).

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    THH,

    Manny is “flaky”, and he is a “below-average fielding 37-year old”, but he is anything but “overweight”. Fact is, Manny is one of the best conditioned players in the game. He works out religiously every offseason at Athletes Performance in Arizona, where he is considered one of the hardest workers. In that respect, he is a role model for other players to emulate.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    THH,

    This is a follow-up to my previous post. Check out this link:

    http://forums.johnstonefitness.com/showthread.php?t=41340

    Scroll down to the section called “Manny Ramirez’ off season workout gallery”. The article is from February 2008. Bottom line: Look past Manny’s baggy uniform.

  • b.h. blue point,l.i.

    Sometimes I think L.A. fans are all laid back morons like THH. I have been a Dodger fan since 1952 and I can tell you if they stayed in N.Y. they wouldn’t get away with an off season like this. With all the salaries they cleared out this season they were in perfect position to control the National League for the next 5 years without exceeding last years budget. L.A. fans have such low expectation levels they let the team ignore trying to win while drinking McCourts kool aid. In the last 2 years starting pitchers like Santana and C.C.have been available. If you combined either one with Billingsly and Kershaw you would be unbeatable and with all the kids earning low salaries for the next few years the timing was right. Instead, you hope to sign Wolf and feel good about playing games with Manny. In N.Y. the fans and sports writers are pressuring the Mets with multiple page headlines to sign Manny and don’t think the Mets might not do it. Remember how they came from no where to sign Santana last year. Remain laid back and go another 20 years without winning a playoff game.

  • BruinFBBB

    Man, you New Yorkers are so hardcore! Irrational as hell, but hardcore nonetheless…

    Chillax bro, you’re not in Kansas anymore…

  • TeamHasHoles

    Well congratulations b.h.b.p.l.i.z.o.d.3.k.f. or whatever…

    You’ve managed to become the first person ever to call me laid back in my life, and you’ve also managed to be the first person to call me a moron as it relates to baseball. I’m PAID to watch baseball. I know the game as well as ANYONE I KNOW personally, I know people in the game, I know media people, I work in the media… you can say I’m a moron about many things, but not baseball.

    And as far as what New York fans would let their team get away with… Who cares! This isn’t nor will it ever be NY. The Dodgers are a money making entity with an under funded owner, they don’t have their own TV network. They don’t have the resources that the NY teams do…

    Apples to oranges dude. Dodgers fans like me are realistic about what they know and see from this organization every season. It’s not laid back, it’s realism.

    You think I like Frank McCourt being a cheap ass? Wow!!!

  • snuffy02

    McCourts continue to be principled (stay on the cheap) for ’09 and won’t pay for bus service to & from Dodger Stadium.

  • b.h. blue point,l.i.

    THH…How do you think N.Y. teams got the revenue streams they now have? By putting a GOOD PRODUCT on the field consistently !! McCourts first love is Real Estate and that is where he will put his revenue as long as people like you buy into his retoric. You, and fans like you, are enablers. Who pays you, McCourt? The Dodgers left N.Y.in 1958 because O’Malley thought there were greener pastures in L.A. and the Mets arrived in 1962 to a non-existent fan base that had no national league team for 4 years. Now, as you claim, they have a larger revenue base…WHY ?? How did that happen? They spend on the team…THAT’S HOW!! If you let McCourt get away with putting a mediocre product on the field and hang around .500 all season, without fan backlash, you get what you diserve. Perhaps you are one of those Dodger fans who leave in the 7th inning and are not aware they are LOSING !! I don’t need to be paid to watch baseball, I watch for free!!

  • snuffy02

    I like your thinking blue point; as a matter of fact I lived in Blue Point, Long Island a while back.

  • b.h. blue point,l.i.

    snuffy 02: I have lived in Blue Point, L.I. for 34 years.