Whenever the Dodgers stepped up to bat during their'08 National League West-winning season, a Russian emigre scientist watching the game on TV at his Massachusetts home sent mental waves of positive energy their way. Perhaps the strangest detail to emerge in the bitter divorce proceedings of Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt is that the McCourts employed Vladimir Shpunt, 71, to channel his healing powers toward Dodgers games for five years, beginning in 2004.
Shpunt, a physicist with a side business in faith healing, claims the energy in his hands "might be 10 or 15 times higher" than a normal person's—enough to heal the sick or turn around a baseball game. He says he often worked 4 hours a day for the team, and could increase the team's chance of winning 10% to 15%. The Dodgers bosses not only hired him to heal but listened to his diagnoses about who was to blame when the team lost, the LA Times reports. Jamie's lawyer says the team paid Shpunt a stipend, plus bonuses "six figures and even higher" for playoff wins.