by Gregory Pratt, Special to BaseballEvolution.com
October 25, 2007
The contempt I have for Scott Boras stems
from the belief that he harms small market teams, fans, and by extension, the
game of baseball with his contracts. I definitely believe him to be
out-of-control, and I can't help but admire those organizations that refuse to
meet his outrageous demands. Conversely, I have nothing but scorn for those who
accept his nonsense for anything other than what it is (hello, Texas Rangers,
Boston Red Sox!).
That's why I got such a big
kick out of John Schuerholz immediately making it clear this offseason that he
won't pay Andruw Jones the money Boras is requesting, (goodbye!), and why I got
a bigger kick out of Schuerholz referring to Boras' contracts and figures as
"voodoo economics." Schuerholz is, you see, a fairly conservative man, so
anytime you hear such a person call something "voodoo economics," you've got to
enjoy it. I mean, it's true. As we'll soon discover, Scott Boras is all about
smokescreens and voodoo. And the truth is that John Schuerholz was and is too
intelligent for Scott Boras with regard to Andruw Jones, and he was too smart
for Boras years ago when Alex Rodriguez first became a free agent and duped the
Rangers into giving him full no-trade clauses and 252 million dollars. Schuerholz
had offered exactly half of that without any no-trade and was fine when
Rodriguez walked into Texas, especially at the price.
Unfortunately, most owners
and general managers aren't as smart as John Schuerholz, who would never
consider giving Barry Zito the money given him and who would never sign someone
to such a crippling contract as Rodriguez', especially without the ability to
dump him elsewhere, even if his name is A-Rah and he's the best player since
Babe Ruth (even though he's much more like Casey). Even though I'm skeptical
about the rest of the league's general reasoning ability, I still have some
trouble believing that anyone is willing to give him thirty million dollars a
year, especially not for ten years until he's forty two years old. Boras is
doubtful as well, but that's just added incentive for him to exaggerate and
lawyer on Rodriguez' behalf.
Take Boras’ recent claims
that Alex Rodriguez is a billion dollar player, due to marketing and other
dollars he brings to the table. It's a delightful way to fool people into
believing that his client is worth the biggest contract in baseball, but it's
probably untrue. The Yankees certainly dispute his arguments, and so do the Red
Sox, as it turns out that their investment in Daisuke Matsuzaka (please, no
"Dice-K" -- you can pronounce six syllables) didn't pan out quite like Boras
predicted it would. Larry Lucchino, the president and CEO of the Boston Red
Sox, recently called Boras' estimates of Red Sox residuals from Dice-K marketing
being in the $20-million range "laughable." The Yankees, too, have scoffed at
Boras' claims that Hideki Matsui was worth $21 million to them and that A-Rod
boosts YES Network’s ratings.
And he wasn't all that great
on the field, either.
1 204.2 191 100 100 25 80 201
So, newsflash: Scott Boras
is by my estimation a liar (a lawyer) and his clients are, generally,
overrated and to be avoided after they reach free agency for the first time.
Develop your own talent or find better values in younger players. Nothing too
No, the true "outrageous"
thing is that Alex Rodriguez isn't worth twenty million a year, let alone
thirty. That's why NY only wants him with a subsidy; that's why Texas
can only truly afford to pay the subsidy. No player is worth a fifth of your
payroll, especially not if your organization is capable of drafting and
developing worth a damn, and no player is worth more than a fifth if you've got
a smaller payroll. It doesn't matter if he's a monster with the bat and okay
with the glove and okay on the basepaths. Get some good young
players, spread the money out, and find a star whose agent doesn't want your
I just hope that nobody
gives into Boras'
demands. I'd like to see organizations refuse to meet these demands, which would
of course lower them, or else Rodriguez wouldn't play. That would be his loss
and no one else's, assuming he even enjoys the game anymore. If the franchises
do the right thing, perhaps Johan Santana can stay in Minnesota, Miguel Cabrera
can be Florida's future, and Grady Sizemore won't break Cleveland's
heart like Jim Thome did.
But hey, you know what I
think would be funny? Really, really funny?
If Rodriguez were signed to
a monster deal and got busted as a steroid user by the Mitchell commission or by
a newspaper. That would be a laugh. Just hypothetically speaking, of course, but
it's a thought that's crossed my mind several times. I'll make no bones about
it: I would be stunned if Alex Rodriguez were a "clean" baseball player. Just
looking at him, his numbers and the era? Maybe I'm too cynical. It is entirely
possible that he became the youngest member of the 500 homerun club because the
good Lord (or atomic fate) blessed (or chanced) him with the ability to mash
like no one else.
But if I were signing
Rodriguez, that'd be a concern of mine, coupled with natural questions about the
general aging process of a baseball player and the length of the contract. I
don't care if Rodriguez is on something and it's the best something ever made
(better than Pud Galvin's testicle steroids and Mark McGwire's Operation
Equine) or if he's just the most blessed player in the history of the game,
he won't be worth thirty million a year in his age forty season, or twenty
million, and likely not even fifteen. He'll be an albatross.
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