Dodgers Hired Russian 'Healer' to Boost Wins

Russian immigrant sent positive energy to team

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 11, 2010 5:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

This Sept. 25, 2008 photo shows Los Angeles Dodgers owner and chairman Frank McCourt and his now-estranged wife Jamie McCourt in Los Angeles. Each of the McCourts claims the other hired Schpunt.
This Sept. 25, 2008 photo shows Los Angeles Dodgers owner and chairman Frank McCourt and his now-estranged wife Jamie McCourt in Los Angeles. Each of the McCourts claims the other hired Schpunt.   (AP Photo/Carlos Delgado)
Helped by Shpunt? LA Dodgers Reed Johnson, Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 to take sole possession of first place in the NL West, June 8, 2010.
Helped by Shpunt? LA Dodgers Reed Johnson, Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 to take sole possession of first place in the NL West, June 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Perhaps aided by healing energy, LA Dodgers' Manny Ramirez hits a two-run home run as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and umpire Kerwin Danley look on, June 9, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Perhaps aided by healing energy, LA Dodgers' Manny Ramirez hits a two-run home run as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and umpire Kerwin Danley look on, June 9, 2010, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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