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Scott Boras says that the Indians owners don’t care about winning

Nov 12, 2012, 7:00 AM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros Getty Images

Well, he essentially does.  I’m going to warn you, this may be the most convoluted bit of bad lawyerspeak you’ll read this year, but the upshot is clearly Boras saying that the Indians have not demonstrated that they really want to win baseball games.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer quotes Boras, who was responding to a question about whether his client Shin-Soo Choo would be traded this winter:

“Choo’s let it be known that he has a desire to win. I think the ownership in Cleveland, foundationally, they’re going to have to illustrate some dynamics with new revenues and where they stand about what they do to show their fan base and their players who they are in competing.  That’s a new calling that they are going to have to bring forth to give players, and everybody involved, (an idea) about what their intentions are in their ownership.”

It may be convoluted English, but there’s no mistaking that he’s saying that the Indians don’t give a crap about competing.

Now, to be fair, Boras’ definition of competing is almost indistinguishable from “spending lots of money on Boras clients,” but he does have a point about the Indians needing to better declare their intentions.  Tribe fans I know have no clue from year to year what ownership’s plans are. In light of that, it’s hard to look at the team’s fixation on cost-cutting and not conclude that profitability is paramount.

  1. pestiesti - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.

    • kicksave1980 - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      I guess it doesn’t work as well as it did when the movie came out, but I still love this one.

      “Just a reminder, fans, about “Die-Hard Night” coming up here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.”

    • mundial8 - Nov 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      12 people don’t know who Harry Doyle is.

  2. gibbyfan - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Translation: They are not willing to spend outrageous sums to further fatten his wallet.

    • skids003 - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      Right on the money.

    • heyblueyoustink - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      I get the feeling that if eating a baby would strengthen his bargaining position, he’d slap some mayo on the infant and wolf it down.

      • professor30 - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Boras looks more like a mango salsa kinda guy to me but funny stuff none the less.

  3. onbucky96 - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Drop dead Satan Boras. So sick of your b.s. about teams not caring about winning and your hype of your players. Baseball will be better off the day you retire. Go To Hell, and take”a mystery team” with you. Better yet, go and represent soccer or nascar drivers. That way you can kill those “sports”.

    • chill1184 - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Boras and those like him are slowly being weeded out with teams locking up their stars to team friendly deals before they hit FA. He sees the writing on the wall and realizes that he wont be able to cash as much as he has in the past. However as much of a douchebag Boras is, the man is simply doing his job

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        Huh? You realize that nearly ALL players have agents, right? And that many of the guys that are “locked up” to team friendly deals turn out to be “locked up” to player friendly deals, as often they are just buying up the arbitration years and 1 or 2 years of FA….and that agents get their cut regardless of whether or not a player is a FA.

        Teams are still spending more money than they used to, meaning Boras is still making a crap ton of money….but yeah, he’s just doing what he’s paid to do. He isn’t supposed to be unbiased, he’s not a judge, he’s an advocate for his clients (just like a lawyer).

      • uwsptke - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        That works for some (Brewers locked down Braun, Gallardo, Hart, Weeks and Lucroy in the past few years to name a few), but not for others (Fielder repeatedly turned down offers to buy out any free agency years).

        Trivia – guess which one of those six guys is a Boras client?

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Do you honestly think that if owners save a few million bucks from a player signing that somehow that will translate to lower gate fees? Please pass along whatever it is you’re smoking.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Crap. Unable to properly use reply button. I was responding to jeff down below.

    • Charles Gates - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Scott Boras is the truest thing in MLB today. Everyone knows what he’s trying to do and, in most cases, he does it. He is phenomenal at his job. I would hire him in a nanosecond to represent me in my up coming year end review.

      • jeffbbf - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        What’s so frustrating is that yes – everyone knows what he’s trying to do. that stupid “mystery team” tactic is old and tired, and most of us just laugh at the silliness of it. Then, of course, some dumbass owner panics and falls for it. Almost every time. There’s only been a couple of instances where Boras’ tactics didn’t work for his client, and a player ended up taking a 1 year deal for $2 million instead of the 3 year $20 million deal they were demanding. Bottom line – it’s the owner’s fault. Blame those morons. Boras is only taking advantage of the weaker party in the negotiation. Unfortunately, it’s costing all of us more in gate fees.

  4. pisano - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Boras would make a great used car salesman, and we all know how reputable they are. I think onbucky96 pretty much nailed it with his post.

  5. stex52 - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Nobody will ever accuse Boras of an excess of integrity, but there’s a reason he gets so much business. He sets a high price and pretty much knows that with 30 bidders, there is always a bigger fool in the mix. That and the fact that there is so much cash flowing into baseball that GM’s can make stupid moves and survive. We all enjoy seeing his occasional mistakes, but year after year he gets a new crop of young players signing up for him.

    He will continue to be part of the landscape. Teams ust have to be very intelligent how they deal with him. Know the actual worth of a player and don’t fall in love with a big, glossy notebook. Then he’s just another agent.

  6. edelmanfanclub - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Just because a team doesn’t want to overpay your clients doesn’t mean they don’t care about winning.

    • gibbyfan - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Stex and Edel –great points !! Just to expand –I’m sure all owners want to win but some seem able to contain their egos and remember what made them successful in the first place –I will always root for the underdog. But dont be too concerned for Mr. Boros –Until and unless owners realize that overspending can make them look foolish, he will always have clents. I mean, c’mon even the Yankees have to be a little wounded in the ego at this point, and deservedly so.

  7. shawnamer - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    BREAKING NEWS! The Royals ownership doesn’t care either.

  8. albertmn - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    As fans, many of us dislike Boras and other agents like him. We don’t like what he does to the game and he just seems like a slimy guy. But, if we were major league players, how many of us would want him to be our agent? I would at least consider it, even as it pains me to write it. The guy does his job very well and makes money for the majority of his clients.

  9. xpensivewinos - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Boras is a vile scumbag and represents everything bad about baseball.

    Anyone who would have him as an agent is a scumbag by proxy.

    • paperlions - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      What, exactly, does he represent that is bad about baseball? All he does is help more of the fan’s money find it’s way to where it belongs…in the pockets of the players.

      Would you rather your money be kept by the owners (who are the one’s setting crazy high prices for tickets, parking, and concessions….the market drives those prices, not player salaries) or go to the players whose talent makes the game what it is?

      I’m voting for the players.

      • deepstblu - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I’ve been looking into keeping more of my own money recently.

      • skids003 - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        Well, as owners, they are entitled to try to make a profit. If the players want to share in the profits, they should also share in the losses.

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        What losses? Over the last 50 years no owner has lost money owning a team, most have made many hundreds of millions of dollars. There aren’t any losses to share in, just profits.

        Besides, the player are the entire basis of the profits. The owner are fungible and could be replaced with any other group of 30 rich guys and you won’t notice any difference….the only leverage the owners have is their monopoly and their control of stadiums, many of which were built with public money.

      • Liam - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        “Well, as owners, they are entitled to try to make a profit. If the players want to share in the profits, they should also share in the losses.”

        Considering the way MLB teams make money, I am sure Boras and his clients would happily accept ownership shares in lieu of direct pay, it’s much more likely that the owners would find the issue with this kind of system.

        The economics of baseball aren’t that complicated. The players produce nearly all of the value while the billionaire owners capture that through monopsony practices early in the players’ careers. Boras and his colleagues just simply try to recapture some of that value. Once the money’s out of my pocket, I’d prefer it go to the players than the owners.

    • Charles Gates - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      It is my moral imperative to sign the best deal possible to support my family and loved ones, and in most instances, this means obtaining the contract worth the most money. Scott Boras does not try to obscure his intentions and he almost always gets the best deal for his clients. Call me what you want, but I wouldn’t feel guilty one iota about cashing one of those paychecks.

  10. Old Gator - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    One thing you can always say about America: there will always be a gobbet of worse “convoluted lawyerspeak” around the next corner.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Whereas the Nationals want to compete more than any other team as they continue to sign Bor-ass clients. Of course, they don’t want to compete so much that they disobey Bor-ass when he mandates that his client not pitch above a certain # of innings.

    • albertmn - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Give it a rest already on the Strassburg crap! It’s over. Let it go. Move on with your life.

  12. willclarkgameface - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Boras is a slimy bastard, but he’s got a real strong point here.

    You could, however, throw this accusation at a number of organizations that are reluctant to spend any kind of money, teams like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, San Diego (old ownership), and Oakland.

    Cleveland must be a nightmare for players and fans alike. Why on Earth would you go there as a player? 1995/97 was a LONG time ago. Even in 2007 they showed hope and then they let Lee and CC go and BAM. Finished.

    What now Cleveland? Time to become Reds fans?

  13. roverkarlthecannedham - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    I am Kar Rover and I approve of Scott Boras. He is just like me. If I ever get to meet him I shall offer him a drink of my favorite libation: a crystal goblet of the blood of my enemies . . . over ice with a twist.

  14. theghostofberniekosar - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I can’t stand this guy any more than the rest of you, but he’s completely correct on this one. Larry Dolan has never and will never care about winning. As long as he makes his money, he’ll be happy.

    You can expect a roster dismantling this winter followed by one of the smallest payrolls in the league next spring.

  15. vallewho - Nov 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    why can’t he just choke on his own tongue?

  16. mojosmagic - Nov 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Scum bag and the single biggest reason many fans can’t afford a family outing to the park.

    • stex52 - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      You give him too much credit. If there hadn’t been a Scott Boras, the player’s association would have created one. He gets the money because his clients are willing to fight for it.

  17. albertmn - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Of course, if Cleveland is nowhere near a playoff team, there is no reason for them to spend big on free agents. Free agent spending is better done when you need to add a few pieces to a strong nucleus of home grown players, not as a productive way to build your entire roster.

  18. mottershead1972 - Nov 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM


  19. minimatt27 - Nov 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Someone should tell Boras that not any of his clients are worth the money he brings them. Look what ARod did to the Rangers and Yankees.. Crippled them for years after he signed there.. People like Boras should not be allowed to be a Agent.. People like him are ruining the game of baseball.. Choo is not worth what he is going to try to get him

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