As detailed in this article by Deadspin, the Dodgers hired a pseudo scientist to send "good vibes" to the team from 3,000 miles away. The now estranged Frank and Jamie McCourt, owners of the Dodgers, hired Vladimir Shpunt (that sounds like something that would need to be steamed out of bed sheets) in 2004 after Shpunt (hehe) treated Jamie, both in person and at a distance, for an eye infection that was later cured. I'm sure the antibiotics she was likely taking didn't help…
Anyway, the McCourts put Shpunt on the Dodgers payroll for somewhere in the neighborhood of six figures to help the team from his home in Boston. Apparently he would "transmit energy" to the Dodgers while watching games.
Then he took to treating players.
After Werth's horrible wrist injury in 2005, Jayson requested some sort of alternative medicine, and the Dodgers sent him to Shpunt. From the LA Times:
At one point, Shpunt also tried to heal a player. In 2005, Jamie
referred outfielder Jayson Werth to him for treatment of a wrist injury,
after Werth had told her of his interest in alternative medicine,
according to Cohen and representatives for Frank and Jamie.
Werth had one in-person healing session and one distance healing
session, apparently not successful. In 2008, as he emerged as a star
with the Philadelphia Phillies, Werth said Dodgers doctors had
misdiagnosed the injury and that he did not get proper treatment until
he went to the Mayo Clinic on his own. He made no mention of Shpunt.
What in the Sam Hill went on during this distance healing session? Is it like phone sex without the fun?
Jayson Werth just became a little bit more mysterious.
The irony in all this? The Dodgers fired Shpunt in 2008, then they went on to lose to Werth in two consecutive NLCSs.
Cue the Twilight Zone theme.
Read the whole article here.