1. Manny Ramirez has re-signed with the Dodgers. Despite the media hysteria when both sides balked at the other’s respective offer, there was never any doubt he would re-sign.
Where else was he going to go? Who else was going to pay more money for a productive but aging slugger with no defensive range in LF? Who had the money? Who among those who had the money was going to scrap their incumbent lineup and game plan in the middle of Spring Training to pay out the nose for a defensive liability with attitude issues, just for the added offense that may or may not be in age-related decline? Where else was Manny shopping his trade besides Los Angeles?
Ned Colletti loves veteran stars and the Dodgers have plenty of money to burn. The two sides were close on a deal before the media hysteria. There was no way Manny was going anywhere else.
2. Kurt Warner re-signed with the Arizona Cardinals, and despite the media hysteria when Warner turned down the Cards’ initial offer and entertained an offer from the San Francisco 49ers, there was never any real doubt that he would return.
The Cards just came off an incredible Super Bowl run and still retain many of the parts they would need to repeat that run. The 49ers, despite some solid player development by new coach Mike Singletary, have a long way to go before they field a competitive unit. Why would Warner, chasing one more ring before retirement, jump ship from a team that can get him there and take a couple extra million dollars just to run for his life around a patchwork, fledgling offensive unit, on a team that could go 8-8 with some breaks? And who else needs a starting quarterback besides the 49ers and Cardinals? Pretty much every team has the position accounted for. The two sides were close on a deal before Warner went fishing, the only real difference being Warner wanting an extra year, and the Cards’ only other alternative at QB was young party animal Matt Leinart, who is rapidly approaching Bust status. There was no way a deal wasn’t getting done.