Big League Stew - MLB

Those poor players on the Los Angeles Dodgers. They've won nine of their last 11 games, just swept the St. Louis Cardinals and have overcome a poor start to now lead the NL West.

And yet their headlines this morning focus on the fact that the McCourts hired a Russian "scientist and healer" and reportedly paid him in the range of six figures to send "positive energy over great distances" while he watched the games in another city.

No, this is not a story from The Onion.

Yes, this is the weirdest story we've seen from the divorcing Dodgers owners — which is really saying something.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Vladimir Shpunt, 71, lived most of his life in Russia. He has three degrees in physics and a letter of reference from a Nobel Prize winner.

"He knows next to nothing about baseball.

"Yet the Dodgers hired him to, well, think blue.

"Frank and Jamie McCourt paid him to help the team win by sending positive energy over great distances."

My first thought about this story is that I should probably take some time this weekend to cook up a cockamamie new age idea that will convince the McCourts to give me money for free. Perhaps they need a tarot-card reader for the clubhouse? Maybe a doggie psychiatrist for all the animals owned by the players and coaches? How about a head of voodoo-doll acupuncture? I'm sure we can come up with something before Monday.

My second thought is that commissioner Bud Selig should probably exercise his "best interests of baseball" powers and strip the McCourts of their ownership as soon as possible.

OK, so maybe such a move would be illegal or I do realize that these kinds of granola hippie ideas are accepted a bit more on our nation's West Coast. Maybe the Dodgers really did win the 2008 NL West title because Shpunt was sitting at home watching the game on television and sending energy through the air before laughing maniacally and counting his money.

But if it wasn't clear before that the McCourts really aren't the people you want running a baseball team, their action of spending money on a witch doctor instead of their roster should make it painfully evident.

And while they seem to be doing just fine in the standings, I'm actually more concerned for the well-being of the Dodgers stuck on that team.

I mean, one minute it's hiring a "scientist and healer" and the next the McCourts will be convincing the outfield it's about time they join some sort of weird cult based on wearing matching Nikes and hopping aboard a comet.

Please, won't somebody think of Manny Ramirez(notes)

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