Gagne Was The Heart of The Dodgers

It's official. Eric Gagne is a free agent. Eric Gagne was the heart of the Dodgers. Will he be back? Nobody knows. Nobody knows if Eric Gagne will ever be an effective big league pitcher again, much less the colossus he was. It's going to cost somebody to find out.

Will some team shell out the bucks Gagne's agent thinks he can extort from somebody on the theory that there ain't enough class closers to go around and somebody will roll the dice?


Lookit, is there are some dummies who still think John Kerry supports the troops, there is some baseball owner whose memory cells will override his sanity.

The Dodgers have only one way to play the Eric Gagne scenario. Wait. And wait some more.

They have to hope there is some semblance of reality and that Gagne's agent's dreams go poof in the night, a Halloween free agent filing that comes crashing back to earth.

If ever there was a case for an incentive loaded contract, i.e., bucks dependent upon how it works out, it is Eric Gagne.

Look at Nomar Garciaparra. He took $6 million guaranteed last year with incentives that turned out to make him an extra $2.5 million. In the bargain, Garciaparra will surely net a multi year contract for more than $8.5 million per.

Gagne's agent could do that and Gagne will surely have a contract and even a good bet to remain with the Dodgers.

Right now, the Dodgers braintrust, knowing how insane the money in the game has become, have to plan on going into 2007 without the popular Canadian.

Would you spend $10 million on injury prone Nomar Garciaparra, another $10 million on 40 year old Greg Maddux and a third $10 million on Gagne, or would you pass on all three and take the younger, healthier Aramis Ramirez? You don't even have to bother to answer that one.

It's a shame there is no loyalty in baseball anymore, either by the teams or the players.

But the courts and the unions and stupid owners have ended all that and there are fewer and fewer of us every year who remember a different game in a different age.

So, Eric Gagne, we will wish you well, remember you fondly.

And all the while wish that the fools hadn't rushed you out that spring training in Vero Beach when everybody with his eyes open could see you weren't right.