Thursday, October 16, 2008


HE MADE such a big impression in Los Angeles that they renamed Dodger Stadium Mannywood.

He made such a bad impression in Boston that they were willing to run the best slugger in modern-day baseball out of town.

Now the question is: Where will Manny go next?

Rearrange the letters of his Christian name and you get NY-MAN. The New York clubs are among those that can afford him.

After hitting .410 with 21 home runs in 61 games for the Dodgers, Manny has restored, if not increased, his market value.

His brief love affair with Dodgers’ fans no doubt infuriated the Red Sox, the team he jilted.

And worse still, it means that someone is going to give the 36-year-old a megabucks contract for the next three years or more.

Who said crime doesn’t pay? What Ramirez did in Boston, allegedly feigning injury and giving Terry Francona and his teammates less than 100 percent, was nothing short of criminal.

Boras sure to drive hard "bargain"

That he will do it again, there is no doubt. But his numbers are such that one club – probably many clubs – will be willing to take that chance.

Dodgers fans made it clear to ownership that they want Manny back in 2009. “Manny stay, Manny stay,” they chanted last night when it became apparent that their team was not going to come back against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Frank McCourt, owner of the Dodgers, was non-committal, and who can blame him? After all, Manny’s agent is Scott Boras, a name that sends shivers up the spine of owners and general managers alike.

Boras has earned a reputation of stealing from the rich and giving to the richer. This time last year, he was advising Alex Rodriguez to opt out of the final three years or his contract.

In the end, Rodriguez bypassed Boras and re-signed with the Yankees. Yet Boras still ended up laughing all the way to bank after his client agreed a 10-year deal worth a “basic” $275 million with potential add-ons of $30 million.

“It takes two to tango. We’d love to have him back, but we’ll begin to discuss those things,” said McCourt.

Boras is surely to lead the Dodgers and other suitors a merry dance as he does the best for his client.

Manny was only half-joking when he said: “I’m just going to leave everything to God.”

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