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  1. Uh, but in the quote you give, the offer that Boras was spinning was *real*, wasn’t it?  That doesn’t really back up your larger point.

  2. It was in the Damon case, but I question whether that was a situation in which the Boston Brass truly didn’t believe the other offer or if, alternatively, they were simply content to let Damon go.

    But yeah, Boras could have a real offer out there.  If Teixeira signs with the Yankees, we can probably assume he wasn’t bluffing.  If he signs with the Red Sox or Nats, we can probably assume that he is.

  3. Good for Henry, sure, but if Boras is out there spewing BS to squeeze out the last penny for his clients, good for him, too.

  4. If the Sox really drew a line in the sand (i.e. with terms of contract) then I am in full support.  If they are calling Boras’ bluff, and I believe that he has inflated what others are offering, and they lose him as a result but don’t overpay (man it is hard to say 8x$20 was already a ridiculous amount to pay), then I am in full support. 

    In fact if they do not sign him I will buy one of the new blue jerseys as a sign of support.  Needless to say – I am getting a little tired of Boras’ tactics and struggle with the size of these contracts as I watch the economy in Ohio and the US drop faster than Clemens’ HoF enshrinement.

    Then again – Furcal has shown us that until the ink is dry – nothing is a done deal.

  5. Teix should just be grateful for whatever the Red Sox are willing to offer him, I guess. How dare he ask for more of John Henry’s money!

    I get so tired of this “Boras is evil, Boras is ruining the game” stuff, and I really can’t understand how fans put players on a pedestal, then turn around and argue that they shouldn’t be asking for as much money as they can possibly get from ridiculously wealthy owners. I like Teix, and Manny, and CC—why wouldn’t I want them to get as much money as they can?

    If the Red Sox decide they don’t want to pay that much, that’s their prerogative, and I’m fine with it. If Teix decides he wants to play for the Nationals for a few million more, that’s his prerogative. Teix accepting less money from John Henry is not going to save any jobs in Ohio.  Believe it or not, if everyone acts in his own interests, things will turn out pretty well.

  6. You don’t suppose this is John Henry’s way of reminding Boros of the role Boros played in Manny’s sit-down strike last year?

  7. I love the bluff, if that’s indeed what it is.  I also love the line in the sand, if that’s what it is.

    Time that someone held their ground with big, bad Boras.

    And FWIW, the NY papers are saying the Yanks were not the highest bidder.  Guessing that Cashman, like his counterparts in Boston, had a line they would step up to and not much further.

    Enjoy the Nats, Teix.  Just as ARod enjoyed the Rangers in 2001 or whatever.  The highest offer doesn not always equal happiness when that team are perennial bottom feeders.

  8. You’re acting like he already took the Nats’ offer…or by listening to their offer, he’s decided that he’d be willing to play there for $1 more.

    I don’t see anything wrong with Teix seeing all the best offers on the table, then making a fully informed decision about where he wants to play.

  9. Yeah, millionares getting richer, and I’m supposed to cry a tear becasue someone only offered to pay them $123,000,000 to play a game, and they feel offfended.

    Using the argument that they should be able to get all they can get is complete crap. Back in the days of $100,000 contracts, I might have bought it.

    But not today. Selling yourself to the highest bidder in prostitution, no matter how you look at it. They could at least exhibit a little bit of integrity and proffessionalism.

  10. Ron, would you rather the Owners pocketing 80% of the $6.6B in revenues?  when there were $100k contracts, the pie was less than a billion, in all likelihood.

    I’m more pro-Labor, pro-Capitalism in my leanings.

  11. Ron—why should owners be allowed to drive the hardest bargain they can but not the players?

    (note: my issue with Boras is not that he drives a hard bargain. It’s that, based on what many have said, he often crosses the line between puffery (“there are A LOT of teams out there who want to sign my client, so you had better act fast”) and just lying (“I just received a $200M offer from the Yankees, which we will accept unless you match or beat it”).

  12. I don’t have a problem with them getting as much money as they can. That’s a free market ecomony and its a good thing. I have a problem with guys who are making hundreds of millions of dollars complaining about respect and expecting us to sympathize with them, especially considering the tactic they use.

    And I particularly have a problem with the dirty tactics used by the agents to get the money.

    Any owner who doesn’t use proper tactics should be punished also. Remember in ‘87, when the Players Union sued for millions of dollars for collusion, and won.

    I’d be a lot more willing to listen if Boras or Tellem were fined for thier actions, but that will never happen.

    Bottom line is, whether its from the owners, players, or agents, we’re all getting scrwed when it comes to tickets, concessions and merchandises.

    I’m just trying to figure out what it is that any of them have to complain about. Rich people getting richer, and we’re paying the bills. Why don’t they listen to us for a change.

  13. Ron: They will listen when we stop going to the games.  Until then, we’re just sheep with wallets.

  14. Hey, I’m doing my part.

    No, fair point. I don’t have a problem with the big contracts. I wish I could have one.

    I would just like to see guys like Boras and Tellem get hit for their dirty tactics, like the owners got.

  15. Pete, I think what bothers the public (and me) about Boras is that it doesn’t seem like he negotiates in good faith.  And that is pretty off-putting when the dollars involved are so mind-boggling to the average person.

  16. All this revenue that baseball owners and players fight over come from where again?  Oh yeah – people like you and I that love baseball and can afford to attend games, buy packages to watch our favorite teams and clothes our children in the regalia of our favorite teams in hopes they too follow the teams of our youth.  So when the our pocketbooks are hurting baseball pocketbooks will hurt as well – maybe not quite to the same extent but the effect of the poor economy will be felt.

    Maybe because I live in one of the poorest sections of Ohio, work with college students that struggle to afford an education at a state school and who families cannot afford to attend events celebrating their childrens successes I am a little bothered by the tactics Boras uses to get a few more million dollars. 

    I do not begrudge anyone the ability to make money and have financial success – my wife and I are well educated and have well paying jobs ourselves.  However I do struggle when billionaires and millionaires haggle over money that could alter the lives of many people.  Maybe if they fully funded their enterprises I would be less perturbed than I am today but when Bloomberg asks for more taxpayers monies the same week the Yankees signed two ballplayers for roughly the same amount of requested fund – I feel a little sick to my stomach.

  17. Boras pissed me off because his tactics are unethical or very very close to being so.  That’s the problem I have with him.  Yes, he is obligated to attempt to get the best contract for his clients, but there is a line to be drawn and Boras crosses it often.  Any time anyone stands up to those tactics is a victory for ethics, whether or not it’s a gajillionaire owner who is making the stand.

    I think the difference in my mind is where the money comes from.  John Henry, for example, made his money in trading commodities futures.  That seems to me like a legitimate way to make a lot of money.  Then you think of people making hundreds of millions of dollars for playing a game and it just doesn’t seem right.  No one here would trade stocks for free but many of us here would (and do) play ball for free. 

    My rough and generalized conclusion is that we resent the guys who are actively campaigning for a few more millions to play a game, while we don’t really resent the owners (as long as they’re honest) who have already made their money doing something “legitimate.”  Am I off-base here or does that make sense to anyone else?

  18. I don’t really have a problem with Boras lying in negotiations, because there’s a perfect check for that: At some point, a team will call him on it and his client will lose big. If the team doesn’t call him on it, obviously they were willing to pay the price.

    If Boras lies to the Red Sox and says, “I have a $250M offer” and the Sox offer $260M, doesn’t it follow that they value Teix at $260M? Why should we feel bad for the team or have negative feelings toward Boras for getting the maximum amount the team is willing to pay?

    Moose, I’m just as offended by public financing as you, but Teix not getting the last dollar from ownership isn’t going to make it go away.

    Ron, I don’t think I’ve heard Teix complain or say that he’s being disrespected.

  19. I don’t think it’s about how the owners made their money…I think it’s more that:

    a) We’re jealous of people who get to play a game for money.
    b) We don’t know exactly how much owners are making. When Drayton McLane says that the team just can’t afford to bring in Jake Peavy, we tend to believe him. The bold ones even try to claim that they’re losing money.
    c) We don’t like it when players leave our favorite team, so we find a reason to justify our new-found dislike. Jim Thome is a bad guy if you’re an Indians fan, and the same old loveable Jimmy if you’re a Phillies fan.

  20. My struggle is more philosophical in nature than practical as I understand that what athletes, even the wealthiest, earn can often pale in comparison to corporate executives and many other white collar folks – John Henry is case in point. 

    It just grate me the wrong way that one of the wealthiest teams in sports (i.e. Yankees) has the gall to request the level of public financing they have and then break the bank in signing players.  They reap all the benefits of capitalism while seeking financing via corporate welfare. 

    My frustration is also with communities that vote for public financing agreements or do not challenge their legislators/elected officials that push such funding schemes while voting down schools levies and recoil if a tax for the public good is ever discussed.  Because of the careers both my wife and I have pursued we see the negative effects that lack of public funding can have as my wife sees it at the macro level and I deal with it on a more personal level.

    I am a Columbus Bluejackets fan in large part because John McConnell and Nationwide step to the plate after Columbus voted down funding a hockey arena and spent their own monies to build Nationwide Arena.  I wish more cities voted down these financing schemes making the wealthy communities members step up if it truly is in the best interest of the community to have such a franchise.

  21. I definitely have a problem with lying because it’s lying.  It absolutely DOES NOT follow that if Boras says there’s a $250 million offer on the table and the Sox offer $260 million then the Sox value him at $260 million.  He might only be worth $240 million to the Sox and anything above that would bring them less of a return.  However, they may very well still pay that $20 million as a premium since having the asset is better than not having it.  In this case, it turns out that they paid $20 million because someone lied to them.

    Whatever your morality or basis for principle, lying in business dealings (and even “inflating the truth” to some extent) is unethical practice.  It’s why we have the SEC, among other reasons, even though the SEC doesn’t have any specific jurisdiction over something like this as far as I know.  If Boras is allowed to lie, why shouldn’t teams be allowed to collude?  If you open that can of worms, all sorts of things are going to come crawling out.

  22. To be honest, I don’t really hate Boras, at all.  I understand every complaint with him, but as I see it, he’s just representing his clients as vigorously as possible, putting their apparent desires above any sort of ethical quandaries. 

    That said, I love that the Red Sox have decided that they don’t want to play Boras’ games.  Whether they sniffed an attempt to make them bid against themselves, or if they just don’t think Teixeira is worth more than they’re offering, I think it’s fabulous that (finally) a team has realized that the consumers can (and do) dictate the market.  Boras is a grocer trying to tell you apples are worth $10 a pound, because, I mean, damnit, they’re good apples.  But if you’ll take the somewhat smaller apples down the road for $1.50 a pound, then you do it, right?

  23. Daniel: And what would you call it when teams, throughout history, have told players: “We just can’t afford to pay you X”? They’ve lied the whole way through, and I can assure you that they aren’t going to be paying anyone more than is profitable for them.

    If the Red Sox choose to offer Mark Teixeira $260M, it’s because they’ve decided that they can pay him that much and still make a profit. And if he’s worth that much to them, why should he accept a lower offer and allow them to take the rest as profit?

  24. Pete, I’m not saying Teixeira should accept less than what someone is willing to pay him.  I’m arguing that the means to get to that point are unethical and not consistent with the system baseball has set up to sign free agents. 

    In my opinion there is a huge difference in these two statements:

    1. “Based on this data that I’ve compiled, the price for Teixeira is $250 million.”


    2. “Based on this offer we already have (which doesn’t really exist) for $249 million, the price for Teixeira is $250 million.”

    One is ethical and one is not.  Is that not true?  It doesn’t really matter which side gets/pays the extra money – as a business person, I feel the process needs to be kept aboveboard, otherwise it’s going to escalate into an even bigger mess.

    As for your example of teams telling players, “We can’t afford to pay you X,” of course it’s unethical if it’s a lie.  And I would be against that.  But “afford” is also a very ambiguous term – teams have budgets with broad categories and can easily (without lying) justify that statement to virtually anyone.  Because owners can say: “You want $10 million, but our budget says that we only have $8 million to spend here, because we have $X mil here and $Z mil here, and that gives us a bottom line of $50 million, which is the required rate of return our investors have specified.”  It’s then an agent’s job to explain how an extra $2 million in salary would actually increase the rate of return, etc.  There’s actual negotiations taking place with no dishonesty.

    Boras, on the other hand, CANNOT justify telling a team there’s a certain offer on the table when that offer doesn’t exist.  It’s blatant lying and disrupts the system in a way that doesn’t jive with free market principles.