Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Those of you who are interested in how baseball is really played should give Ben McGrath's profile of super-agent Scott Boras in the latest New Yorker a read.

It's lengthy as magazine treatments go, but it goes beyond the usual media portrayal of Boras as the "avenging agent" or as some real-life version of Homer Simpson's friendly-but-also-supervillainous boss Hank Scorpio taking a flamethrower to all the old-time baseball traditionalists hold near and dear. At the same time, it doesn't beatify the man or what he does, and there's a window into what's going to happen with Alex Rodriguez and his Yankees contract.

How do you feel about Boras? He's helped grow major-league baseball into a $6-billion industry, but some of us who are Blue Jays fans were a lot happier when it was a $1-billion industry and the team actually stood more than an outside chance of playing October baseball.

Hopefully reading this demonstrates why diehard Jays fans bristle when the Toronto media always reduce everything to the team not having made the playoffs in 1993. It's clear that Boras' influence has practically given rise to an entirely different sport within the past two decades.

A couple of ex-Jays from the 1980s, reliever Bill Caudill and lefty pitcher Jeff Musselman, are now in Boras' employ. What they do is probably pretty fascinating in itself.

Much obliged to Greg Hughes for the tip.

1 comment:

Pete Toms said...

The Jays are a perfect example of how important the business side is / should be to fans.

You're bang on, it was a whole lot more fun being a Jays fan when MLB was a $1 billion industry. The Jays were high flyers then with their extravagant $50 million payrolls.

You're bang on again, it sucks being a Jays fan in the present $6 billion industry because the Jays have gone from being big spenders to mid level spenders even though they have nearly doubled their payroll to $80 - $90 million.

The problem is that the Jays haven't been part of that 6 fold increase in revenues and have been left behind. That's why the business end matters.

Thanks for the Boras link. I've read a few interviews with him and I think he is an intersting and smart guy - which isn't to say that he's not an asshole.