Scott Boras is a cult leader with an army of blank-faced disciples willing to do whatever he says regardless of common sense.
One can only imagine the private discussions that go on when he’s recruiting (cajoling, convincing, hypnotizing) with his sales pitch laden with promises of riches beyond any and all player’s wildest dreams.
Even when he errs, it’s never his fault. Those who escape the coven are portrayed as traitors—that’s if they’re not “star” players; others like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom fired Boras, are wished well as they move on.
Ask Felipe Lopez what he thinks of the agent who neglected him in the interests of his higher-profile clients and made the gutsy decision to move on in search of a job. Boras’s reaction was to publicly state he was going to “confront” the player who was once a member of the stable.
The employee is going to confront the employer? A novel concept.
Now Francisco Rodriguez is the latest player to fall under Boras’s spell.
K-Rod, having been traded to the Brewers in large part because the Mets wanted to get rid of him before Boras had a chance to start doing his Boras-thing and interfering with anything the club wanted to do, has done his client a disservice by eliminating a lucrative appearance option that still had a chance to be achieved.
The agent change precipitated the trade and begat the bewildering decision by K-Rod to forego his 2012 contract option for $17.5 million if he reached 55 games finished; he did so in the interests of an extra $500,000 added to his $3.5 million buyout and free agency after the season.
Did K-Rod think this through before signing off? Or was he listening to the sweet-nothings from Boras that have convinced many a player to eschew logic and do something ridiculous?
The Brewers could conceivably have prevented K-Rod from reaching the incentive by simply not letting him close games. But was that feasible if certain very possible circumstances presented themselves?
The Brewers have said that both John Axford and K-Rod would close games based on matchups. Never mind the unwieldy nature of such an arrangement. What would happen if Axford had a few bad games in a row?
Would the Brewers have the audacity to shun the switch to K-Rod because of the contract while in the middle of a dogfight to win a division? As they’re all-in for 2011 having just made this questionable trade and simultaneously knowing that Prince Fielder is on the way out the door?
The reaction to such a clear decision based on contractual issues and not on-field needs would be overwhelming. They’d have no choice in the matter and K-Rod would have to be installed as the closer.
There was a chance that K-Rod would’ve reached that incentive. But Boras obviously convinced him that free agency was a more lucrative prospect.
And it might be. This is the same agent who got Jayson Werth $126 million from the Nationals—based on that, his reputation for squeezing every dollar out of one desperate lunatic is deserved.
But realistically, is any team going to pay K-Rod more than perhaps $30 million over 3-years? Wouldn’t he have been better off waiting a short while to see what would happen in Milwaukee before agreeing to such a snap decision and eliminating the chance for an extra $13.5 million (the option minus the buyout)?
Most importantly, when Boras signed K-Rod, shouldn’t he have known about this apparent lapse by the former agents and taken steps to prevent exactly what happened?
This maneuver appeared to be based more on Boras’s “evil genius” being sullied for his failure to submit to the Mets the list of teams to whom K-Rod could not be traded rather than a smart business decision. That the Brewers were on the no-trade list makes it worse!!
Boras dropped the ball with a lack of preparedness and K-Rod is letting him wriggle his way out of it.
There are the stupid teams who might surpass any and all expectations for a K-Rod contract this winter. The Rangers could use him and he’d free them to shift Neftali Feliz into the rotation with a proven closer replacing him; the Nationals are now Boras’s “go-to idiots” after the Werth deal.
Werth’s been rotten this year, but that won’t affect K-Rod as much as the demands and his reputation will.
If K-Rod was going to do this, he could’ve waited a few weeks.
It was an example of Boras “doing something”. That “something” being stupid and selfish and having little bearing on the player’s future because in the end, with Scott Boras, it’s all about him.
And that’s the key.