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Kibbee Nayee

Scott Boras, an American Sports Agent Specializing in Negotiating Baseball Contracts

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New topic for 2015? Wasn't sure the convention on these newer topics.

Scherzer?

There is an abhorrent stench of a carbon life form named Scott Boras, who has loaded the Nats' roster with the largest contracts they have. He has even boasted of building the Nats along with Mike Rizzo, who Boras apparently views as his lackey.

I will not knowlingly and/or willingly spend a nickel on the Nats this year, knowing that some small but significant amount of my money would end up in the pocket of Scott Boras.

That is all.

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Boras has done more to erode the concept of a true "home team" than any other single actor save, maybe, Marvin Miller. He'll be the reason why both Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper will likely move on when free agency beckons, turning down crazy money in pursuit of even more. Exactly as the team has been complicit in doing with the Scherzer deal as he turned down $144/6 last year and thus ensured even more star-player mobility.

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Playing devil's advocate (I haven't really developed an opinion yet), why isn't Boras merely helping to optimize an already-existing free market, and how is he any more culpable than Curt Flood?

I'm reminded of Glenn Robinson here, who held out for $100 million in the NBA *as a rookie*. Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said (apocryphally), "I'll tell you what: I'll take your contract, and you can have my franchise."

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Curt Flood was both victim of an unjust system (the reserve clause) and beneficiary of having the exceptional talent to play pro ball even though it wasn't anywhere near as lucrative for him as it became later due in part to his raising of an entirely understandable and even admirable objection. Easy to argue his was an honest and principled stand easy for most to empathize with. As such, that's an easier question to debate and win than the more typical 'Boras: Good or Bad?" question debated over beers, in parks and in front of TV sets for more than forty years.

Figures like Boras, Miller and MLB officials (even Peter Seitz) of the day were much more educated, sophisticated and affluent than Flood and his contemporaries. On one hand, Boras merely has been best in class at taking advantage of the system to benefit players and himself. On the other, many see him as a greedy SOB only interested in $ whose success has come at great cost to the game and, particularly, fan enjoyment.

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Boras has done more to erode the concept of a true "home team" than any other single actor save, maybe, Marvin Miller. He'll be the reason why both Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper will likely move on when free agency beckons, turning down crazy money in pursuit of even more. Exactly as the team has been complicit in doing with the Scherzer deal as he turned down $144/6 last year and thus ensured even more star-player mobility.

Not "likely" but "definitely" -- his tactics are to take all players to the open market and get the best (HIGHEST) deal. With Boras, there are never any home team discounts.

Playing devil's advocate (I haven't really developed an opinion yet), why isn't Boras merely helping to optimize an already-existing free market, and how is he any more culpable than Curt Flood?

I'm reminded of Glenn Robinson here, who held out for $100 million in the NBA *as a rookie*. Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said (apocryphally), "I'll tell you what: I'll take your contract, and you can have my franchise."

You two have hit on one of the great debates of baseball. One side supports the concept of the home team, where players build a local affiliation and sense of place, and fans rally around the concept of a truly home team. Think of guys like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera of the Yankees....or Cal Ripken of the Orioles.

The other is the totally free market, where players are free to pursue the maximum amount of money available, even if they end up in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee or anywhere.

But Boras represents the worst of them. Greed is good in Boras' world. In fact, greed rules Boras' world. Damn the fans, the teams, the game and anything else except money. He is the evil that gave us Alex Rodriguez, two perfectly blended personalities, and his antics usually result in the highest contract for a player but not necessarily the best contract for the player.

Wherever there's Boras, there's stench and slime and scum.

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You two have hit on one of the great debates of baseball. One side supports the concept of the home team, where players build a local affiliation and sense of place, and fans rally around the concept of a truly home team. Think of guys like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera of the Yankees....or Cal Ripken of the Orioles.

The other is the totally free market, where players are free to pursue the maximum amount of money available, even if they end up in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee or anywhere.

But Boras represents the worst of them. Greed is good in Boras' world. In fact, greed rules Boras' world. Damn the fans, the teams, the game and anything else except money. He is the evil that gave us Alex Rodriguez, two perfectly blended personalities, and his antics usually result in the highest contract for a player but not necessarily the best contract for the player.

Wherever there's Boras, there's stench and slime and scum.

One can argue that Boras is the most blatant symptom of a system that has been manipulated well beyond the good objectives it was supposed to achieve in 1975. Can also argue he's The Master at exploiting the system to ensure "best contracts for...players" if, and only if, "best" means the most money possible. There are Boras characters in every industry and government and exemplify why smart, strong and adaptive regulation is so important to ensure efficient AND effective markets.

And, as for free agency being "...one of the great debates of baseball.," absolutely true and maybe a good topic in its own right. Steroids? Instant replay? Etc. Etc.

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Boras strikes again, this week with Matt Harvey:

"We Wish Scott Wouldn't Boras Anymore with this Matt Harvey Nonsense" by John Harper on nydailynews.com

When I look at the Nats, filled as they are with Boras contracts, I see an underachieving team with a group of players that seem to enjoy their money more than winning. This is not a "team" but a collection of individual me-first contracts, all going their separate ways....why would any sane general manager actually choose to make Boras contracts the centerpiece of a team?

At such unlikely point in time that I am granted the divine authority to deliver summary executions for the good of mankind, Boras will lead the list, over all Kardashians and Jenners, over all Food Network stars, and even over all hipsters.

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Oh man, KN: This one strikes a chord. I was a commercial real estate broker. People of our work were in the "Boras" role. Way back, having enormous leverage in the negotiations, my colleague and I "broke the back" of a property owner, representing the tenant (actually we made less money, doing so, not more like Boras.

Without going through the details at the end of that lease the tenant decided to leave the building, as did virtually all tenants, the building was for sale, and there was a "sales package" which included existing rents, including the last year or so of our tenant's deal and at least one comparable lease. Our lease was dramatically lower priced than the comparable deal. DRAMATICALLY.  Our tenant ultimately saved millions in the aggregate.

Son of a b**ch. Our tenant didn't speak "well of us". I think the rent was "too low" overall and the landlord cut back on services. It wasn't a great place to work for the bulk of the 12 years following that negotiation.

(you don't know what you are going to get with any negotiations going forward) good bad or indifferent.

BTW: Do you think Angelos in Baltimore, or our local friend Snyder here deserve or merit "home team discounts". I don't. We the fans end up with crappy teams with those two and if there is a "home team discount" it goes into Snyder or Angelos' pocket. Who cares.

I say....SKIN THEM.

Boras does have undue influence on the teams, the players salaries, etc. Its obvious.

By the way, Boras is not Albert Pujols agent. When Pujols wanted a huge contract the STL Cardinals balked. Pujols got a killer 10 year deal with the LA Angels.  I think starting with his last year in STL and there after his game has degraded  (somewhat). At this rate the long term contract is an albatross on the Angels...but damned good for Pujols.

Also note as discussed elsewhere here: Albert Pujols DID NOT get voted among the top 4 living STL Cardinals by the fans from ST. Louis.  What a joke.  During his first ten years he arguably had the best start to a career of any baseball player in history. Holy crow. What is better than the best??? I believe the fans in STL must have resented Pujols for not taking the home team discount and moving elsewhere.

The fans spoke. He is not as beloved in Stl as is Jeter in NY or Cal in Baltimore.

Every person has a part in these "deals". The player, the agent, the home team, the owner(s) and lastly the fans. We fans have the last say and it counts the least.

Lastly, while per that above link suggests Pujols was the all time best hitter in baseball during the first ten years of his career....you know who probably had a better first 10 years  "as a full time hitter"???? Why the Bambino of course, Babe Ruth. Once he became a full time hitter....there was never anyone better.

Back in that day, the Babe was earning more than the President (and salaries for athletes, entertainers and corporate chiefs were not what they are today). A reporter asked the Babe what he thought about the disparity between his salary and that of the President of the United States.

The Babe responded "that he had a better year". The Babe was correct. :D

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I'll make my point another way....

Baseball is a fan-centric sport. Everything exists because of fans, who watch, read, pay and otherwise support the game. Without the fan, there is no game. It is the fan's game.

Boras has flipped the paradigm to a money-centric sport. With Boras, it's only about money, and nothing else. It's not about the game, the team, the player -- and it's certainly, definitely not about the fan.

That doesn't make Boras the only culprit, but he's the face of it, the poster boy. Robinson Cano is not making $24M a year in the oblivion of Seattle, when the Yankees could use a second-baseman, because of Boras. But Jay-Z certainly wanted to be the next Boras when he signed Cano to a stupid contract in a stupid location for the only reason that mattered -- money.

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I'll make my point another way....

Baseball is a fan-centric sport. Everything exists because of fans, who watch, read, pay and otherwise support the game. Without the fan, there is no game. It is the fan's game.

Boras has flipped the paradigm to a money-centric sport. With Boras, it's only about money, and nothing else. It's not about the game, the team, the player -- and it's certainly, definitely not about the fan.

That doesn't make Boras the only culprit, but he's the face of it, the poster boy. Robinson Cano is not making $24M a year in the oblivion of Seattle, when the Yankees could use a second-baseman, because of Boras. But Jay-Z certainly wanted to be the next Boras when he signed Cano to a stupid contract in a stupid location for the only reason that mattered -- money.

KN: Theoretically I agree with you.  I'm a fan.  I want "my" players to stick around for a very long time.  I want to be their fan and I want the better players to stick around and help my team win.  But the reality is that owners rule and players use free agency to test the market and see what they can earn.

There are plenty of owners who basically just focus on the bottom line and don't really try and win.  In baseball it could be because of the incredible in balance in income streams.  Of course a team such as Oakland has defied that imbalance with clever picks and strategies and has competed far far more often than their income stream should or would suggest.   Bully for them.   They are smart and clever and creative.

The Orioles on the other hand are owned by a d*ckhead.   He is a Snyder type jerk that turned a great franchise into a joke over many years.  Only recently, and apparently not this year they broke his curse and had good runs.   He is there to make the bottom line work for him regardless of the final results.  On top of that he is embroiled in an endless lawsuit about TV revenues with the Nats.  Any objective reading of regions and markets suggest some kind of reasonable settlement and frankly the Nats would be owed a lot.  But the lawsuit persists as two heavyweight business men battle it out in court with endless funds to continue the battle forever.  (Angelos is probably using his own firm to fight it out in court.  If so he can continue forever.)  And Ted Lerner (if you followed his long history in real estate) has been involved in countless lawsuits.  He isn't quitting)   The "Oriole Way" is long since history and a terrific tradition was destroyed.

This upcoming free agent season if practices remain as they have been, the Orioles will lose some key players.   AGAIN.  Seriously how can the fans "stick it out" when the ownership's interests are at odds with the fans?

Again, theoretically I agree with you KN.  But owners and agents and players don't see it our way.

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The amazing thing with people like Snyder and Angelos is, that with their tens- and hundreds- of millions of dollars, there should come a point where money matters less than "being loved and respected." Why isn't this happening? People hate their guts - they *must* know this, so why don't they do something to make people like them?

Are they so egotistical that they think "the public will eventually come around and understand?"

As for Boras, all he seems to care about is money and ego - winning negotiations at all costs. That's what seems to get him erect. This mentality is so anathema to my own that not only can't I relate to it, I can't even understand it except as some sort of abstract intellectual concept.

I guarantee I'm happier with the way I've lived my life than all three of these people are with theirs.

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19 hours ago, DonRocks said:

About Strasburg's contract, I just found this:

"Stephen Strasburg's $175 Million Contract is Mostly Smoke and Mirrors and is a Brilliant Ploy by Super Agent Scott Boras" by Cork Gaines on businessinsider.com

No reason to mask my disdain of Boras, who I believe represents all that is evil about the greed of baseball. He is like the over-the-top Wall Street corruption of the mid-80s and early 2000s. For him, it's never about the team, the fans, the sport, or even the player. It's all about the money. He is "Greed is good" Gordon Gekko.

He is also why I can't warm up to the home team Nationals. For whatever reason, the ownership and front office have sold their souls to Boras. Articles like this one are more common than they should be:

Jan 22, 2015 - "Does Scott Boras Run the Nationals?" by Barry Svrluga on washingtonpost.com

 

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1 hour ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

No reason to mask my disdain of Boras.

I don't remember ever having heard his name spoken. Is it pronounced like "Boris?" Or does it rhyme with the first two syllables in "velocity?" Or does it rhyme with "Poor Das" (as in "Das Boot?")

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4 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I don't remember ever having heard his name spoken. Is it pronounced like "Boris?" Or does it rhyme with the first two syllables in "velocity?" Or does it rhyme with "Poor Das" (as in "Das Boot?")

It's "bore-ass" which, not surprisingly, also describes him.

He is all of Donald Trump, Gordon Gecko, Martin Shkreli, Kim Jong-Un, and Ivan Boeski, all rolled into one reprehensible package of slime.

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2 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

It's "bore-ass" which, not surprisingly, also describes him.

He is all of Donald Trump, Gordon Gecko, Martin Shkreli, Kim Jong-Un, and Ivan Boeski, all rolled into one reprehensible package of slime.

You ... don't ... like him, I assume.

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

You ... don't ... like him, I assume.

That would be an understatement. 

 

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Anyone who is a fan of baseball hates Boras.

He has convinced an entire generation of players that they owe it to other players to go free agent rather than signing a long term deal with the team they are playing for, to pump up the market value.

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20 minutes ago, DanielK said:

Anyone who is a fan of baseball hates Boras.

He has convinced an entire generation of players that they owe it to other players to go free agent rather than signing a long term deal with the team they are playing for, to pump up the market value.

Then he's killing the game, long-term, because this is a sport about cities; not individuals. Think (and I'm not talking to you, Daniel, because you already know) about the players who mean the most to you: They most likely played most if not all of their career in the town in which you grew up.

Surprisingly, the other sport I can think of that inspires this level of hometown fandom is hockey - perhaps soccer does, too; I don't know.

On the other hand ... Tim Duncan, Darrell Green.

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45 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Then he's killing the game, long-term, because this is a sport about cities; not individuals.

Yep. And this is why we hate him.

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On 9/1/2019 at 8:12 PM, DaveO said:

I hope the Lerner's reverse their thinking and spring big time for a contract for Anthony Rendon.  He is on a hot streak and knocking the starch out of the ball.

Right now he leads the majors in batting average and RBI' s and is near the top for total bases, doubles, runs, OB% and slugging %.  He has won a couple of games with walk off hits.  Rendon's agent is the agent for Bryce Harper so he knows the Lerner's tendencies.

Come on Lerner's.  Sooner or later you are getting a big fat local TV payoff from the Orioles.  Now is the time to share it with Anthony Rendon.

Scott Boras is an evil slime-bag, and he will take Rendon out onto the free agent market. With Scott Boras as an agent, the player is committed 100% to money-money-money, not the team, the fans, the game, or anything close to noble.

I think Rendon ranks with Matt Chapman and Nolan Arenado as the best third-basemen in the game right now. His reputation is not likely to be pristine after climbing into the pig sty with Boras this winter.

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12 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Scott Boras is an evil slime-bag, and he will take Rendon out onto the free agent market. With Scott Boras as an agent, the player is committed 100% to money-money-money, not the team, the fans, the game, or anything close to noble.

 His reputation is not likely to be pristine after climbing into the pig sty with Boras this winter.

You mean just like Boras did with Stephen Strasburg?

Assuming you've paid no attention to Anthony Rendon's actions in the community throughout his tenure with the Nats - if you had you'd realize that he's deeply committed to fans, the game, and the DC area - all with Boras as his agent. Shocking, eh?

I think most understand the need to maximize their earnings, regardless of occupation. Would love to see an example of a player who has suffered reputation damage solely from their choice of agent (in baseball - pretty clear that Ricky Williams suffered for having Master P as his agent). Clearly players don't see a risk in being associated with Boras - nor do owners seem to avoid detaling with him.

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Well, that's one minority view of Boras and his antics.

The Nats have had more Boras clients than any other team, and their post-season success to date is...?

Alex Rodriguez publicly opting out of his contract during the last game of a World Series, shifting the limelight to Boras and A-Rod....classic Boras.

With the single exception of Strasburg, Boras takes his clients out on the market, and waits out the market until he zeroes in on one dumb owner. That tactic didn't quite work out well for Dallas Keuchel this past year. Or how about Mike Moustakas, who turned down a one year deal for $17.4 million, and because of Boras, was backed into a one year deal for $6.5 million? He also squeezed the Brewers for $214 million for Prince Fielder, who hasn't played since 2016 but is owed $24 million a year through the end of 2020. There are many more examples, like Jacoby Ellsbury, or the final 3 years of Jayson Werth's contract -- yes, the stupid owner had to approve these deals, but there was breathless Boras hyping mythical notebooks of stats and lying about all the other offers he was getting for those clients. Yes, he does that, and teams are not allowed to call around and check, because that would constitute collusion!

When it comes to anything other than money, Scott Boras is bad for baseball.

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53 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

You mean just like Boras did with Stephen Strasburg?

And don't forget that after one of the best years of his career, Stras has an out clause in his otherwise very team-friendly contract.  I don't think for a minute that this is a piece on the game board that Boras won't try to leverage for Rendon ("That's a nice All Star pitcher you got there.  Be a shame if he decided to opt out ...")

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14 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Scott Boras is an evil slime-bag, and he will take Rendon out onto the free agent market. With Scott Boras as an agent, the player is committed 100% to money-money-money, not the team, the fans, the game, or anything close to noble.

I think Rendon ranks with Matt Chapman and Nolan Arenado as the best third-basemen in the game right now. His reputation is not likely to be pristine after climbing into the pig sty with Boras this winter.

I don't blame Boras either.  I worked as a "tenant broker" for a couple of decades.  It's really the same thing.  As an agent you work the market to get the best deal possible for your client.   If it works for a long term deal the player's financial life is set (if he is reasonable and not a stupid spendthrift).  If it doesn't work for the player, well he has to keep playing.   A player might keep playing to support his team, the fans, and his owner but suffer so badly he ruins his contract opportunities.  A current example is Isiah Thomas in basketball although $2.3 million/year is mighty good.  But he sacrificed probably $10-15 million/year or more for long term.

When viewing what occurs it is ugly.  No doubt.  It hurts the local rooting public.  It also defines "market" in an imperfect world economic system where all you need is for one participant to "break" .   Its certainly not fan friendly.

I hope Rendon stays.  I think to do so the Lerner's will have to "pony up".  If they do I'll probably pay $1-3 more for a beer at the stadium next year.  But I don't blame Boras.

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