Jeff Loria and the Art of the Deal

theo.jpgSo it looks like we’re all set, Mr. Beinfest. You guys get
Manny Ramirez, the Pirates get Jeremy Hermida, and we get Jason Bay. Manny’s
already approved a trade, and we’ve submitted the offer to the league office for
approval. So there isn’t a single logistical obstacle to making this deal a
beinfest.jpgYou know, Theo, for a three-way trade, this agreement has
come together in surprisingly easy fashion. I mean, you hear rumors about
three-way trades every year and they almost never come to fruition because the
particulars are just too darn complicated. It’s amazing that this one is about
to go off without a hitch.
theo.jpgI know, isn’t it?

beinfest.jpgRight now, it seems that there’s nothing at all that could
prevent this trade from being completed. All I need to do is press my official
general manager’s APPROVE TRADE button.

theo.jpgBy all means, do so.

beinfest.jpgI thoroughly intend to. My index finger hovers over said
button as we speak. I merely need to lower that finger and depress the button in
order to consummate our agreement.

theo.jpgI eagerly await that action.
beinfest.jpgLet’s see. I am lowering my index finger. My index finger is
now on the button. I’m about to apply some pressure and activate the

loria.jpg* kicks down office door *
Hold on there, Larry! This is my
money we’re talking about! I’m not jumping at the first future Hall of Famer I
see! You gotta know how to negotiate, kid!

beinfest.jpgBut we did negotiate, Mr. Loria, and I feel that this offer
is more than fair.
loria.jpgKid, a true businessman doesn’t want fair deal. He wants
totally unfair deal. You wanna totally humiliate the other guy.

beinfest.jpgThat sounds like the exact opposite of what you’d want to do to someone you’d like to do business with again.

loria.jpgYou got a lot to learn, kid. I’ll take this one home. You go and scrub them used baseballs so we have them ready for tonight’s game.

beinfest.jpg* sigh *

/leaves office

loria.jpgSo, Mr. Epstein, you’re offering…who is it again?

theo.jpgManny Ramirez.

loria.jpgUh huh. I’m not familiar with that model.

theo.jpgHe’s one of the best hitters of his generation.

loria.jpgBest hitter of his generation? Okay, that’s nice. Lemme look at my blue book…oh, says here he’s knocked in at least a hundred runs 11 of the last 13 years. I guess that’s okay. Of course, I can’t make a decision before taking him for a test drive.

theo.jpgHe’s a player, not a car. His body of work should speak for itself.

loria.jpgDo you know what I do for a living, Mr. Epstein? I’m an art dealer! I deal with the best arts in the world! You know who has the world’s largest collection of original Trapper Keeper prints? Me, that’s who! So I think I know a little something about working out a deal!

theo.jpgDo you actually want to work out a deal? Because it sounds like you have no interest in negotiating seriously.

loria.jpgI guess if you’re looking to unload this Manfred Dominguez person, I could take him off your hands. But if I’m giving up a can’t miss, sure thing like Jeremy Hermida, I have to get some financial compensation in return.

theo.jpgWe’ve already agreed to pay the remainder of Manny’s salary.

loria.jpgAs well I would expect. I mean additional considerations. Say, two million dollars or so of additional considerations.

theo.jpgSo let me get this straight. We’re handing you Manny Ramirez for virtually nothing. Because you’re trading another player and we’re paying Manny’s salary, you would actually make money on the deal.

loria.jpgAccording to my calculations, yes.

theo.jpgAnd even though you get tens of millions of dollars from revenue sharing every year, you refuse to spend any of that money on keeping players in Florida. You’ve traded away every single good player your team ever developed because you refused to give them salary arbitration. And yet, you want me to give you two million dollars on top of everything else.

loria.jpgThat would be nice.

theo.jpgAnd just to refresh my memory, you’re the douchebag who completely destroyed the Expos.

loria.jpgThe very same!

theo.jpgThanks, I think I’ve heard enough.

loria.jpgHe’ll come crawling back. They always do. Except for those times when, you know, they don’t.