Despite being only about $1.5 million apart in negotiations for Manny Ramirez, the contract talks are now on hold, per the orders of Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt. And McCourt is clearly not happy about it.
At a press conference before Sunday's Spring Training debut in Camelback Ranch, McCourt had to spend most of his time talking the Manny contract situation instead of opening a brand new complex. The ideal situation would have been to talk about Manny being a Dodger, opening the park, and defending the NL West crown. I guess 2 out of 3 will have to do for now.
Like I said, the difference appears to be about $1.5 million more on Manny's side to compensate for deferred money. That damn deferred money is what is holding this up. Basically Manny is saying that if the Dodgers want to spread out the payments, then make the money more.
As a friend said to me the other day, don't be surprised if this turns out to be a July signing like Roger Clemens was in 2007 with the Yankees. And I said don't be surprised if it gets done tomorrow. That's how up and down this has been. Right now is a down period, so let's hope that turns around.
Look, the Dodgers need Manny to win in the playoffs. They can win games without him, but I'm seriously doubting it'll be enough to get to the postseason. Of course, Manny knows all of this, so he'll hold out until he gets everything his way.
And that, my friends, is the American way.