25 May 2007

On "The Boras Factor"

LA Weekly has a great article on baseball super-agent Scott Boras. It's a pretty insightful piece, and author Jeffrey Anderson was definitely given more access to the man than on any other previous account I've read. It's a must-read for over the long weekend. But in case you're too lazy, here are a couple of little gems from it.

The parts of the article really deal with Boras' ongoing feud with the Dodgers, and GM Ned Colletti. From his depiction it's easy to see how he's gotten the reputation that he's gotten:

In the eighth inning, newly acquired Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre drops a deep fly to right center. A run scores, then another, putting the Giants up 5-3. “Well, well, well,” says Boras, cackling and looking over at Stillwell, enjoying a moment of what might be considered payback. “J.D. Drew would’ve caught that ball,” he says confidently, leaving no doubt that he has not forgotten the off-season controversy. “You just don’t let Greg Maddux leave your building, and you sign J.D. Drew,” he says.
Lots of people are quick to criticize Boras, and Colletti does nothing in the article to distance himself from that camp. He's quoted as saying "I hear all the time that it’s not about the money, but that’s what we are always negotiating over, so what else is it?" It's usually the teams and fans that have been scorned by Boras players who gripe the most.

But what at least the fans are forgetting is that Boras is just doing his job. And he's good at it. He gets the best deals for his clients, plain and simple. And you never hear a word of complaint from his clients, do you? The article calls it the Boras Factor. I'd just say that he's smarter, and more prepared than any front-office in baseball.

And like the Pierre example earlier, Boras can take the heat, and he can dish out plenty himself. For you Dodger fans, the next part won't be pretty.
He believes teams like the Dodgers, in not owning the entirety of all advertising and TV revenues generated at the ballpark, are behind the curve. That’s because McCourt bought the team in 2004 for $430 million, about half of what the organization was worth, and left Fox with the TV rights for 15 years. “[McCourt] can just raise parking prices for the next 12 years and he’ll be fine,” Boras quips. “Then he can buy the TV rights to his franchise.”
Oh boy.

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