The Dodgers made veteran starting pitcher Zack Greinke the big winner in… (Larry W. Smith / EPA )
Zack Greinke is a huge basketball fan. Magic Johnson is one of the Dodgers' owners. So did Johnson deliver a personal recruiting pitch for the Dodgers?
As it turns out, no. Johnson expects to meet Greinke for the first time Tuesday, when the Dodgers hold an introductory news conference for the $147-million pitcher who did his own free-agent research.
Johnson was not in town when Greinke, trying to decide with which team to sign, visited Dodger Stadium for a three-hour meeting with Dodgers President Stan Kasten and General Manager Ned Colletti. Manager Don Mattingly also met with Greinke.
"What happened was really interesting," Johnson said Monday. "He came in by himself. No agent, nobody.
"He just came in to talk to Stan and to Ned to find out the direction, find out about the organization, find out about us. So, when Ned called me, I said, 'Do I need to call him or not?' And Ned said, 'No, let him go ahead. I think we laid it out to him.' I am always willing to make the call.
"I think, because he played with the Angels, he knew L.A. He got a sense of it already. I think a lot of questions were answered in terms of L.A. I think Stan and Ned just had to talk to him about the Dodgers."
Johnson said he is looking forward to meeting Greinke.
"We’re going to have a lot of time to talk," Johnson said. "I heard he is a big basketball fan, so we’ll be able to talk not only Dodger baseball, but also we’ll be able to talk about basketball. Whatever direction he wants to go."
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