As part of further revelations stemming from the highly contentious McCourt divorce case, it was reported last week that Dodgers owners had been paying a 71-year old, Boston-based Russian emigre a six figure salary to provide (ahem) positive energy. Hey, though we can’t all hire Eric Van, LA manager Joe Torre didn’t seem particularly pleased to admit the full extent of healer Vladimir Shpunt‘s contributions when quizzed by the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez.
Torre (above) said he hasn’t read The Times story on Shpunt ” in part to avoid having to answer questions about it.
Torre’s first season with the Dodgers was Shpunt’s last. Asked whether he felt the division title won by the Dodgers in 2008 was in any way tainted because of help they received from Shpunt, Torre replied, “I’m not going there.”
A member of the 14-person committee that reviews on-field issues, Torre would not say whether the use of sorcery was raised during the group’s conference call last week.
“I’m not allowed to divulge what goes on in our conference calls, but thanks for asking,” he said.
Does Torre consider the use of long-distance energy transfers cheating?
“Don’t bother me,” he said. “Please don’t bother me.”
Shpunt, who was paid bonuses of at least six figures, claimed he could improve a team’s chances of winning by 10% to 15%. Told that Shpunt might have had a greater impact on the Dodgers than he had, Torre smiled and said, “I’m against domestic violence, but you’re not a member of my family.”
Did Torre ever feel “V energy”?
“Get out of here,” he said.