Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Slight Journey into the World of Baseball

First of all - Barry Bonds

The Dodgers were the team that the Giants hit "The Shot Heard Round the World," Barry Bonds has already broken several records while his team was playing ours. We are not going to go out of the way to plant one down the middle so that he can send out of the park against US. We are arch-rivals for goodness sake!!! And when we did intentionally walk him last night (once, mind you)-- that was not meant to be a barrier to the record (he isn't hitting well right now anyway). That was meant to be good strategy. There were two men on base and the game was tied. You don't pitch to the power hitter in cases such as those!! The Giants are playing for Barry Bonds. We are in contention for the playoffs.

Point two - I've been thinking a lot about Scott Boras. I try not to. But when at one time, the team you follow had 13 of his clients and Boras was helping make day to day management decisions, as was the case in the first part of the century (wow, that makes it sound like SO long ago. I wish! I had to restrain myself from referring to the new millinium).....anyway, you notice a lot when that is the case.

With the exception of a couple of players (Greg Maddux and Eric Gagne - who despite what else you can say, did not fit into the Boras model of clients - both give it everything they've got, as long as their bodies will cooperate) , most of Boras's players ALWAYS have a couple of really crummy years before their contract year. You hear the sportswriters commenting on how Adrian Beltre just isn't living up to his potential, or A-Rod is being heckled by the fans. Then lo and behold, they finally "break out" in a big way during their contract year. They are finally realizing their potential. Then, right after they get that big contract -- BAM, they slow it down again for a while. They are good enough to remind you how good they CAN be, but not good enough to actually make you feel like they are earning their money (oh, and then they are playing under the weight of that huge contract and are having a hard time with the pressure of that.)

I might be wrong, but I have seen it so many times that I would not be startled to find this a legitimate part of the Boras contract strategy. Whenever I hear this happening with a player, the next thing I listen for is if he is a Boras client. It is completely normal for a player to turn it up a notch during a contract year (don't we around raise time?), but his clients seem to have mastered the phenomenon to epic proportions.

So my advice to the general managers out there, including the nutcase Yankees....If you think you are going to get $30 million a year's worth of production from A-Rod, I think you need to look at the previous 6 years and Boras's clients are not playing for your team, they are playing for a VERY comfortable retirement.

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