He wouldn’t say whether this is the Dodgers’ final offer. He did say Boras told him they would get back to the Dodgers in a day or two. He said yesterday’s meeting was thrown together rapidly, that he was on his way to yesterday’s game when he exchanged a series of text messages with Boras — Ned was careful to say that he pulled over so he wasn’t texting and driving. When the meeting was arranged — Ned confirmed that HE requested the meeting, not Boras — Ned turned the car around, headed to the airport, bought a ticket and caught a flight. “I was in the double-digit Bs by then,” he said, and if you fly Southwest at all, you know exactly what that means.
That’s about all it was, though, according to what Baer told reporters here at Scottsdale Stadium earlier today. He also was asked about Boras’ insistence that Manny will pay for himself in terms of ticket sales, merchandising, etc., and Baer said that might be the case if the economy weren’t in the tank, but the fact that it obviously IS in the tank negates Boras’ argument. That sounds an awful lot like a window closing.
They both suffered minor injuries in yesterday’s game. Andre got hit by a batted ball on his left heel while taking fly balls in the outfield. Casey felt something in his groin while running in the outfield after he left the game. Neither is expected to miss more than a couple of days. … By the way, I wrote here yesterday that Furcal and Hudson will play the next two games. Just to clarify, they’ll play in tomorrow morning’s B game, not the actual Cactus League game against the Mariners tomorrow afternoon. They WILL, however, play in today’s Cactus League game with the Giants. … Still nothing on Manny. I’m heading to Scottsdale and will check back in when I get there.
… I’ll give you a hint, it’s a guy who played a key role for the 2004 Red Sox as the team ended it’s 86-year World Series title drought. But no, it’s not Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers have agreed to terms with … Doug Mientkiewicz, according to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Did I get you excited? It’s not official yet because he hasn’t passed a physical, and I believe it’s a minor-league deal. But he also might have a good chance of making the club to fill that role that Nomar Garciaparra filled last year. He is supposed to arrive in camp sometime today. He hit .277 in limited action (285 ABs) with the Pirates last year, but he also had a .374 on-base percentage and walked 44 times while striking out only 28 times.
It’s 8:37 a.m. at Camelback Ranch, and it appears to be business as usual. Have yet to hear the words “Manny Ramirez” outside the media room. Everybody just going about their business. There are a few guys out in the pit with Maury Wills working on bunting. Bus doesn’t leave for Scottsdale until 11, so the team will taking batting practice here first. If something happens Manny-wise, I’ll get it up here as quickly as possible, so keep checking.