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David Brown

Dodger blues: $25 million for '09 still ain't enough for Manny

Big League Stew

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If you're a fan of agonizingly slow and methodical negotations that never seem to yield any progress whatsoever, the contract talks between Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers are the blockbuster discussions you've been waiting for your whole life.

When your kids are grown, will their friends ask where he or she was when Ramirez and his attorney Scott Boras rejected the fourth Dodgers offer this off-season, one for $25 million in 2009 and a $20-million player option in '10?

I'll never forget where I was; it was a motel in Florida writing this post.

General manager Ned Colletti and owner Frank McCourt couldn't use their man-advantage against Boras, but it's not even March yet, so no reason to get all '94 strike about this. We've got nothing but time.

McCourt played the economy card in chiding ManRam for just saying "no."

From the AP:

"Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer," McCourt said.

One thing, though. Do the Dodgers realize they offered less money in the second year of the deal? Manny has to take a pay cut in 2010 when he might hit .330 with 50 homers in '09? The Dodgers must think Manny shares a brain with Odalis Perez.

I know these sums are ridiculous monies. A $5-million pay cut — so what? — you say. Just pretend you're mowing the neighbor's lawn, doing a great job, and the old lady says she can pay you $20 to do it next week when she gave you $25 this week.

You going to take the money or stand firm? It depends on how desperate you get.

Neither side is there yet.

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