A commitment to the Dodgers’ culture. A commitment to the Dodgers’ fans. A commitment to the Dodgers’ community. And he wanted Manny to back up that commitment with a $1 million contribution to the Dodgers Dream Foundation, a fund established by McCourt and his team president (and wife), Jamie, to build baseball fields throughout the Los Angeles area.
I haven’t chimed in on all the arguments about the length of time it was taking to sign Manny Ramirez. Obviously, I wanted him to be a Dodger. I’d be stupid not to. He was the difference during the stretch run.
And as anyone who knows me knows, I’m all about second chances. So whatever issues he had in Boston are issues he had in Boston. From a fan’s perspective in Los Angeles, he was a dream come true.
You have to know that when other players, especially other younger players, are speaking out on his behalf, there has to be a reason. There has to be a reason his locker sat empty in Arizona with no complaint from his teammates.
Maybe Boston wasn’t a good fit for him. That’s understandable. Chicago wouldn’t be a good fit for me, and I’d certainly be cranky about it. So, I don’t begrudge him his mood.
I have to say though that I was absolutely delighted to hear about some of the terms of the deal.
I have developed some sort of apathy toward Frank McCourt. After the wonderful O’Malley experience, I pretty much decided that there was no way an owner could ever come close to that. During that time, the Dodgers were family. They were expected to be classy. And, when they weren’t they were no longer Dodgers. Then, came along Fox and Rupert Murdoch, and that was such a train wreck, it crushed me. So, I figured the best route would be to not care about the owner.
And I haven’t until today.
I’m relieved to hear that the Dodger culture was part of the negotiations. It makes me happy to know that this just isn’t some fly-by-night operation with zero commitment to the fans and baseball, in general.
As much as I am positively giddy that Manny Ramirez is a Dodger, I am doubly thrilled to see a slight resurrection of the Dodger Way.