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Even after Boras was cleared, the New York Times continues to pound him

Jan 5, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

Boras sulking AP

Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times was fed a line by Major League Baseball sources over the Scott Boras loans to Edward Salcedo. He was told that they were scandalous and wrong and that they violated union rules and he reported the daylights out of it.

Yesterday, the union said, nope, no rules were violated.  You’d think, then, that it’s time for some walkback by Schmidt. Maybe time for a little reflection about what his sources are feeding him. You’d think wrong. Here’s Schmidt in this morning’s paper:

But while the union has now essentially cleared Boras, Commissioner Bud Selig remains unsatisfied, according to those same people.

“If the union feels that Boras giving money to young Dominican prospects does not violate its rules, then they should take a look at their own rules,” said one high-ranking baseball official.

I love the “essentially” added to that first sentence. In this context it’s clearly meant to mean “bogusly” or “regrettably.”  Note to the New York Times: when the very organization whose rules were alleged to have been violated says, no, the rules were not violated, there is no “essentially” about it. The union has cleared Boras. They have not “essentially” cleared Boras.

Following that passage is a bunch more water-carrying for anonymous MLB sources.  Can you imagine if Schmidt — who splits his time working the crime beat, by the way — wrote something like this:

But while the judge has now essentially cleared the defendant, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly remains unsatisfied, according to those same people. “If the government feels that the defendant doing what he did does not violate the law, then they should take a look at the law.”

He’d never write that. Probably because the Police Commissioner of New York would never say that, but mostly because the Times would require that the reporter give the system a little more credence than Schmidt is giving the MLBPA when it comes to the interpretation of its own rules.  Indeed, he spends several paragraphs talking about other ways in which the league can go after Boras for all of this now, and then fills in with more “boy, the Dominican Republic is filthy with agents” rebop.

This story is over, Mr. Schmidt. Your sources had a clear agenda in going after Boras and they steered you in the wrong direction. Their beef against him has not been borne out and it’s time to move on.  And even if they won’t, you should.

  1. BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    But if Salcedo is not (yet) in the union, what the heck jurisdiction does the union have? And what does their opinion matter?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      The union gives accreditation to agents, so they have jurisdiction over Boras regardless of Salcedo’s status.

      • BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        Oh. I thought it was MLB that gave the accreditation. My bad.

      • evanhartford - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Craig, the whole thing’s dirty.

        And just as you criticize sports writers for how they make their HOF votes, despite the fact that they’re following the “rules”, you shouldn’t criticize the NY Times for essentially doing the same thing when it comes to Boras. He might be following hte rules, but the whole thing stinks of bribery, coercion, exploitation, .

        I suppose you and the NY Times need to “stop hating the players and start hating the game”.

      • evanhartford - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Craig, the whole thing’s dirty.

        And just as you criticize sports writers for how they make their HOF votes, despite the fact that they’re following the “rules”, you shouldn’t criticize the NY Times for essentially doing the same thing when it comes to Boras. He might be following the rules, but the whole thing stinks of bribery, coercion, exploitation, .

        I suppose you and the NY Times need to “stop hating the players and start hating the game”.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        How is it dirty? Salcedo was already a Boras client. The loans were not designed to get him to switch allegiances. There is no NCAA-style amateurism at stake here. Salcedo remains a Boras client.

        Please explain to me what aspect of this is dirty.

      • evanhartford - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        It’s dirty because:

        A) The player is indebted to his agent. It makes it much more difficult for him from a bargaining standpoint and makes it near impossible to switch agents. It opens the door for Boras to exploit the player. When someone owes you money, you can make them do a lot of things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

        B) It incentivises young aspiring POOR baseball players all over the world to sign with him since he will lend them money. This creates an extremely unfair competitive advantage to other agents with less financial resources; as if Boras didn’t already have a representation monopoly in baseball.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        Salcedo actually left Boras after the loan was made and subsequently returned, so he obviously didn’t feel obligated. And there’s no bargaining between the agent and the player. Agent’s cuts are standard. And indeed, Salcedo got a multi-million bonus a year ago and still hasn’t paid the $70K loan back. If Boras had some sort of power over him as a result, you think he might’ve at least started by getting paid back yet?

        And there is nothing preventing loans to players. As of October of 2010, however, they merely must be disclosed. Any agent can do it, and several do. And banks and individuals can loan people to anyone. Are you concerned that they might “make someone do something they might otherwise not do?” Boras is regulated. If he screws with people the union can decertify him. He’s not some loan shark.

  2. JM Lattanzi - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Great fisk.

    Eisegetical reporting is obnoxious, no matter what section of the paper it is.

  3. jimbeetle - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    “But while the judge has now essentially cleared the defendant, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly remains unsatisfied.”

    He, he. That reference is kind of fun. Substitute “Police Department” for the Commissioner and you have another NYT article published today:

    How One Police Dept. Reached 2 Rulings on a Shooting
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/nyregion/05chair.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

  4. tominma - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Boras is a dirtbag!!

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