Scott Boras: The View From Down Here

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Scott Boras.

Well-known baseball agent.

Newport Beach resident.

Interesting guy.

But, frankly, nobody in the sports world infuriates me more than Scott Boras.

For those of you who’ve never heard his name, Mr. Boras has famously represented some of baseball’s most prolific players.

Have you seen that big glass building over by Fashion Island just off Newport Center Drive?  Well that’s his office, where he sits on top of his pedestal and looks over us like the all-watching eye from Lord of the Rings.  To be fair, I’ve never met the man, but from what I hear in the sports community, he’s an absolute shark.

Boras has represented players from Todd Van Poppel to Alex Rodriguez, meaning he’s covered the spectrum from busts to bust-outs.  (I know you baseball fans out there haven’t heard the name Todd Van Poppel for a while, so you’re welcome.)

He brokered the largest signing bonus ever given to a high school pitcher, Jacob Turner, who received $4.7 million.  He also represents Stephen Strasburg, who inked that deal in 2009 for $15.1 million on draft day, another record signing.  Boras is a big-money guy who only deals with big-money players.

Remember when the Angels had Mark Teixeira for that playoff push?  Well, he’s a Yankee because of Boras.

In addition to big money, he represents big egos such as Manny Ramirez and, formerly, Alex Rodriguez.  Rodriguez and Boras’ relationship became rocky in 2007 after Boras struck a deal with the Yankees to pay Rodriguez $275 million over 10 years.  They reportedly still have a working relationship, but it sounds fishy.  Apparently upgrading his quarter-billion-dollar contract wasn’t good enough for A-Rod.

If you can’t tell already, Boras is a polarizing figure.  He’s loved by some and hated by many.  I write this because, I think, his method of business – aided by the league’s salary rules – is ruining the game of baseball.  It’s all turning towards big money, and that scares me.  Boras is a massive figure in sports and baseball and, on a side note, I still think it’s strange that my office is about a mile away from his.

I’ve always been a fan of small-market teams that play the game the right way and bring youngsters up through their system.  Aside from them being the villains of major league baseball, it’s impossible for me to cheer for the Yankees or the Red Sox due to their massively inflated payrolls.

Not that it’s all Scott Boras’ fault, but driving up payrolls for teams and contracts for star players is different in baseball because there’s no salary cap and basically no ceiling like there is in other sports.

During the Yankees-Rangers series this postseason, one statistic came out that can sum up what I’m trying to say here.  The combined salaries of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter this year were more than the combined salaries of the entire Texas Ranger team.

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