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Scott Boras says he had nothing to do with the Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg

Sep 10, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Boras sulking AP

There’s been some speculation that Stephen Strasburg‘s agent, Scott Boras, played a part in the Nationals’ decision to shut the 24-year-old right-hander down for the season with 28 starts and 159.1 innings.

However, while Boras agrees with the Nationals’ call he told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that he wasn’t involved in the decision-making process:

Before players are under contract, I have a matter of control. I’ll ask a team, “How much is he going to pitch? What’s your plan for him?” That type of thing. But once he’s under contract, I don’t say a word.

Do you think Mike Rizzo’s personality is attuned to having someone call him and tell him what to do with his particular team? Come on. Certainly, I try to give teams insights and information. But when you’re not there every day, how can you make these calls? It’s not my place or anybody’s place unless you’re there. A manager has a job. A general manager has a job, and that’s what they should do. They make these decisions. I don’t.

That’s refreshing to hear, even if you ultimately disagree with the Nationals shutting down Strasburg.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Except Sith lords are reknown for their skills at deception.

    • bigleagues - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      If Scott Boras is a Sith Lord, doesn’t that make Bud Selig a Jedi Master?

      Almost forgot . . . where there is one Sith, there is always one other. Yes! It all makes perfect sense now . . . Supreme Chancellor Selig and his understudy, Darth Boarass.

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        That’s the spirit, Which I guess makes the managers Jedi. Hmmmm, Charlie and Yoda have similar speaking oddities, albiet one can understand Yoda most of the time.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        I could see Davey Johnson as a Jedi. Speak softly, carry a big light sabre.

  2. zacksdad - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    “That’s refreshing to hear”

    Wait Boras spoke and you believe him?

    • beearl - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Exactly. And maybe he hasn’t been speaking to the Nats’ management directly, but he has been talking to the media about the situation all summer long. Saying things like if the team places winning over an individual player’s health then it could harm the team in the future when trying to sign draft picks. Do you think that Nats aren’t paying attention when Boras says things like that? C’mon.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      It is a little hard to believe. An agent not discussing the health of one of his clients with the team?

      At the same time, there is this perception that Boras is some sort of Svengali, running the Washington Nationals from the shadows. It’s absurd to suggest that Mike Rizzo can’t make up his own mind, but Boras knows the perception is out there, and is trying to counter it. Not all that convincingly.

  3. natslady - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I hear it. I don’t believe it, though…. Maybe in the particulars, this day, that day, exactly how many innings. But the general policy–you bet he influenced it. He said so in other interviews–he influenced it by “mentioning” legal action, by describing how insurance might not cover Stras if the Nats went against the best medical advice and by suggesting that he could take future clients elsewhere.

    I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. A player’s agent should try to assess and “improve” workplace conditions, that’s part of his job. He’s in effect a lobbyist–so what?

  4. frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    This makes a ton of sense – until you actually think about what he is saying.

    Of course they all have jobs. And YOUR job Scott is to secure the best financial future for your client.

    Add to that the fact that you control a TON of players in the MLBPA (not to mention much of the top tier talent), and your job might just be to ‘blackmail’ Rizzo into a move like this, whether he likes it or not.

    “You sit Strausburg and I’ll see that Bourne doesn’t ask you for the moon this offseason”

    Either way this guy is a drain on the sport – at least from my perspective as a fan. I am sure if you asked some players, they might tend to disagree with my point of view…

  5. Old Gator - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.”
    …Keyser Sozé

  6. bigleagues - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    So, let us review . . .

    The following Boras statements from less than 4 weeks ago:

    Rizzo and I put this team together. I got eight or nine guys on the team. I got another whole group in the minor leagues.

    . . . you better do this because you are going to need these innings because we have this plan for Stephen Strasburg.’

    I said, “Look, you want to draft these players? Great, but you know what? I’m not on board. We won’t sign and I’ll send them back to college. I want to make sure we have an organization that will put the health of these players first.” I saw this coming. I saw all this coming. He was too talented, and his body wasn’t yet mature.

    I told Rizzo, “I’ll be honest with you, you got a guy who is a No. 1 pitcher. There are only a few of them in the game. He’s worth $30 million dollars a year . . . You only have to pay him, because of the reserve system, $40 million dollars (for next 4 seasons – 2012 included) . . . You better look at it that way. You know what else you better look at? With your insurance coverage, if you go against medical recommendations, are you liable for negligence as an organization?”

    Q: So, you’re saying there is some legal consequence involved if something were to happen to him this season or down the road because you kept pitching him?

    A: The fact of the matter is, if you are forcing your player to pitch and disregarding medical doctors, are you going to be able to live with that legally and ethically?

    I said, ‘Riz, we need more innings.’ He agreed. And we went to ownership, and Ted complied. The Nationals, they brought in Edwin Jackson . . .

    Have now morphed and been re-spun into:

    Before players are under contract, I have a matter of control . . . But once he’s under contract, I don’t say a word.

    Do you think Mike Rizzo’s personality is attuned to having someone call him and tell him what to do with his particular team? Come on. Certainly, I try to give teams insights and information. But when you’re not there every day, how can you make these calls? It’s not my place or anybody’s place unless you’re there. A manager has a job. A general manager has a job, and that’s what they should do. They make these decisions. I don’t.

    When thinking of Boras these days, the best comparison (beyond Sith Lord) that I have been able to come up with is Vladimir “I’m not in charge of Russia” Putin.

    And then, reading those latest Boras quotes last night it suddenly dawned on me . . . Bela Lugosi’s character, “Scientist” in Glen or Glenda seems most apt:

    PULL THE STRINGS!

    So . . . dance to that.

    • geoknows - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      If you’re going to post quotes, you need to post links.

      • bigleagues - Sep 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        I actually did include the link in the blockquote tag, but for some reason WordPress doesn’t hyperlink it.

        The first six quotes are from the now infamous Washington Post Interview with Mike Wise back on August 17th:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/scott-boras-stephen-strasburg-qanda/2012/08/17/c7228c08-e89c-11e1-a3d2-2a05679928ef_story.html

        And yes, I did edit some of them down.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Excellent job of fact-checking. Perhaps agents need to be fact-checked, like presidential candidates.

      The agent, like the politician, wants to be perceived as influential, unless it’s in his interest to be perceived as not being influential.

      • bigleagues - Sep 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        EXCELLENT point!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Presidents are fact checked, in fact they are very frequently. the problem is that most dont seem to care about the results.

    • protius - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:55 AM

      The best character I can think of all dressed in black is Obersturmführer Ozmunt-Boras Dortbanger, who was in charge of keeping strict control of all the Fuhrer’s mid-fielders attempts on goal. He didn’t want to over work those lovely legs. For der fader landt.

    • bigleagues - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      You know whats so great about Scott Boras?

      He’s one of the few things in baseball that virtually everyone agrees on.

  7. onbucky96 - Sep 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Sure, whatever Satan.

  8. mybrunoblog - Sep 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Scott Boras had absolutely nothing to do with the Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg. In other news OJ is still desperately looking for the real killers and Lindsey Lohan hasn’t a drop of booze in three years.

  9. electstat - Sep 23, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    In other words, another fabricated story picked up as something worth reporting on.

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