(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly address the media on Saturday afternoon after the announcement of the nine-player trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Why is it so much more expensive this time around for the Dodgers to go dumpster diving in Boston?
Because like every big-budget production in Hollywoodland, there’s a cost in damage control and buying public perception.
Paint us all flabbergasted. Unless this all turns out to be another “Waterworld,” drowning everyone in red ink.
Remember that, Costner?
You surely recall the last time Ned Colletti held his nose and visited the Fenway Waste Management plant. Way back in the Recession of ’08, he graciously claimed a bitter Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox’s recycle bin. Total cost to L.A.: A marginal big-league infielder Andy LaRoche and a minor-leaguer named Bryant Morris, both incidentally sent to Pittsburgh as part of a three-team swap.
All so the Red Sox could clean up a mess created in Boston Harbor.
Back then, they also had a really sharp GM, Theo Epstein, who was wise enough to ask his employers to agree on assuming the final $7 million on Ramirez’s ’08 salary. The Dodgers needed to agree to pick up the final $40 million due for ’09 and ’10.
With that, then-owner Frank McCourt pulled that trigger. Not really knowing that Manny Being Manny meant enlightening everyone on what PEDs could do for one’s success.
Saturday, a group of giddy Guggenheimers named Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten ushered in the New Era of Good Will Hunting by pushing a red button on their desk that launched a nuclear scud.
These cajoling kajillionares, some of whom made their fortunes in the insurance business because they understood calculated risks, and another who made his fortunes in the NBA business because he understood putting on a good show, have more than an open-door policy with Colletti. It’s open wallet, too.
When Colletti was sifting through the waiver wire recently – maybe by old habit, looking at 38-year-old middle infielder who might be available to possibly hit in the No. 3 hole – he saw that Adrian Gonzalez was being dangled.
Colletti took the bait.
Current Red Sox GM Ben Cherington reeled him in halfway: Gonzo and the full $127 mil he’s owed over the next six seasons can be yours if you wouldn’t mind also taking the $102.5 mil that Carl Crawford is owed over the next five seasons.
The guy with the bad groin, bad shoulder and just had Tommy John surgery?
And perhaps the $31.5 million that Josh Beckett is owed over the next two seasons?
And you don’t suppose we could have your first baseman, to make it look good?
And what if you threw in, say, four more prospects, including a couple of guys who could be our No. 1 starting pitcher by 2014?
Wait, let’s make this more fair: What if we could figure out a way to throw in Roger Clemens, too? Let me check our 40-man roster . . .
Naw, just make it Nick Punto, and we’re good.
OK, deal. You want to call Peter Gammons, or should we?
With that, the stench in the air was gone in Boston, with $262.5 million transferred to Los Angeles’ shoulders.
Isn’t that just about what it cost the Angels for the lifetime of Albert Pujols?
== So this was a deal that the Dodgers, apparently, couldn’t afford not to do it. Better find someone to run the numbers again.
It’s borderline insanity.
The Boston Herald heralded the deal with a headline in Saturday’s paper: “Bums Away.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney is already quoting via Twitter that a “high-ranking rival exec” said it about what Cherington was able to pull off: “Is it possible for the GM of a team that’s below .500 to win executive of the year?”
Does that mean Walter and Company are in line for L.A. owners of the year? Maybe if Walter continues to answer questions posed to him like the one Saturday.
When asked if the Dodgers have a spending ceiling, he replied: “Somewhere, I suppose.”
Welcome to your Los Angeles Dollars.
== Did you notice that while Gonzales was in the Dodgers’ lineup on Saturday, Pujols wasn’t in the Angels’ lineup?
== Gonzalez took No. 23? He did know that No. 99 was available, right?
== Gonzalez tweeted out Saturday morning: “Listo para empezar mi Carrera con Los Dodgers. Emocionado por regresar a California con mi gente.”
He’s not asking where the library is, is he?
== Do the Dodgers realize they’ll have to play at about a .667 clip over the last 36 games to overtake the NL West from the Giants, whose final weeks of the season aren’t all that challenging?
== So now where now does Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig (seven years, $42 million) fit into the plans?
== If Carlos Lee suddenly decided he’d like to leave the Marlins’ roster and join the Dodgers, is there room?
== Considering that the Angels panicked on not getting Crawford in 2010, and ended up making a horrendous move in trading for Vernon Wells, would Arte Moreno be interested in seeing if C.C. is up for grabs again?
== Remember how the Cardinals and Rangers made it to the World Series just last year without having one player in the Top 20 among the highest paid in the MLB?
== What’s the big deal again about the MLB’s July 31 deadline?