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Scott Boras says MLB has “stolen our youth … kidnapped our children”

Mar 22, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT


Scott Boras is the absolute best because when you need him at, say, an 8, he always goes to 14.  Today he talks to Bob Nightengale about the dilemma Kyle Lohse is in right now, and how the changes to the draft pick compensation and free agency systems have led to perverse incentives. But rather than say something along those lines, he puts it thusly:

Now, you’ve taken away the structure of the scouting and developing. They have stolen our youth. They have kidnapped our children in this system.”

Look, life sucks for Kyle Lohse right now, but isn’t that a bit … dramatic? Scott Boras: the Morrissey of sports agents.

But he’s not all fretting. He actually argues in the article that Lohse has everyone right where he wants them. Which is another awesome thing about Boras. Dude just never, ever admits that things are bad.

Of course, he has a long track record of things turning out much better for him and his clients than most of us expect, so who knows?

  1. danaking - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    I’m all for players getting whatever they can, and Boras gets a lot for his players. This bit is, as usual for Boras, too much. Lohse is a rich man who is going to get richer, no matter what he signs for. Right now they’re priced higher than the market. Someone would sign Lohse tomorrow for the right price.

    • Caught Looking - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Loshe could be in camp right now and playing for $13.3 million. It was he and his agent that turned down the qualifying offer. No one was ‘kidnapped … in this system’.

      • schlom - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Don’t get bogged down on details.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        exactly. Could I please be forced to suffer the slings and arrows of being offered $13.3MM for 6 months of playing a child’s game? Quite frankly, I would do it for the $.3MM part of that deal, but that might upset the union so I am sticking to my guns and holding out for the whole 13.3. Any team that doesn’t give it to me is a child kidnapper!!

      • blabidibla - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        I really detest it when people cry how they would play this “child’s game” for 1% of the money these players make.

        Guess what? You can’t. Why? Because you lacked the drive and determination it took to get there, or (less likely) you suffered some kind of physical liability keeping you from your dream. But I bet you’re really good at Halo!

        I have no problems with Lohse trying to get fair market value for his services. The draft pick compensation seems to be a huge factor in his inability to get that contract.

        Of course Boras is hyperbolic. It helps him do his job. That’s what salesmen do.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        You guys realize the players did this to themselves by agreeing to the CBA right?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        @blabidibla: My point is that, apparently in the mind of team GMs, I have an equal chance or receiving the money Lohse is asking for. Which is a 0% chance. He has an incorrect idea about what his fair market value is.

    • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Poor Kyle Lohse. First he gets “low-balled” by those no-good-dirty-low-down Cardinals, who paid him only $41M over 4 years, and now this, which is also the Cardinals’ fault for making a qualifying offer to pay him $13.3M for one year. There is no end to their dastardly deeds!

      • spudchukar - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        C’mon PL, you and I both know it was a mutual understanding between the Cards and Lohse.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        I know…that was all sarcasm.

  2. Caught Looking - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Bora$ has kidnapped my wallet with the price of his free agents and ticket price increases.

    • Ben - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Boras didn’t exactly hold a gun to the teams’ heads and force them so sign 10 year, 250 million dollar contracts, did he? If he did, I missed it.

      • jm91rs - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        I don’t think he’d be against that tactic if he felt it necessary.

      • schlom - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Well, a gun to the head could explain the Prince Fielder, Jayson Werth, and Barry Zito contracts.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Macro 101. Take it. Learn stuff.

      • Ben - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        The escalation of free-agent contracts is directly related to TV deals, not teams’ sense that ticket price demand is inelastic. Joey Votto got thrown piles of cash in response to a new TV deal, not a ticket price increase.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Yes. The point is salaries haven’t driven revenue increases as Caught Looking seems to think.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Exactly. Tickets cost what they do because people will still buy them at that price, and for no other reason whatsoever.

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      The way I see it, if the money doesn’t go to the players, it will be pocketed by the owners. Ticket prices have nothing to do with it.

      That said, I think the big beef with Boras is how fan bases fall in love with a homegrown “franchise” players and then watch them leave for a mega contract setup by Boras. Maybe the team doesn’t have the budget to accommodate that $120 million dollar contract and only offered $90 million.

      The fan perception is that thanks to Boras the players (and agents) are more mercenary and willing to squeeze a team. Then the average Joe Baseball Fan just can’t fathom why is it so important for Superstar A to earn $120 million? Has he not been treated well the last 6 years? He has not been showered with fan love and attention? Has his jersey not flown off the shelves for ridiculous prices? Isn’t $80 million enough? Heck Joe Baseball Fan barely earns 30K a year, he just can’t fathom why 9 digits is more important than 8. Why does he have to go? And besides with the $40 million the team is saving maybe they can spend it on that bullpen that is absolute crap and maybe Superstar A can lead the team to a Championship.

      Or so the thinking goes…

  3. aceshigh11 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    What a dick.

    To use terms like that when there are ACTUAL children out there being subjected to REAL horrors like kidnapping everyday…

    I’m all for the entertaining use of hyperbole, but that’s just…stupid, and rather classless.

    • dowhatifeellike - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Could we combine stupid and classless into a single term?

      Proposed usage:

      “I’m all for the entertaining use of hyperbole, but that’s just… boras.”

      • professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Petition to officially use the term “Boras” in every day conversation.

  4. professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Ah, another Morrissey reference. Bless.

    The agent with a thorn in his side,
    behind the hatred, there lies
    a murderous desire…for money.

    • scatterbrian - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      Kyle is human and needs to be loved, just like everybody else does.

      • professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        You shut your mouth! How dare you say Boras goes about things the wrong way?

    • pbastille - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Big Mouth strikes again

  5. chacochicken - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    So if I were to file suit against MLB for having stolen my youth, children, and potential children, what do you think that would be worth? Could I use it to get a look at team finances?

    • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      You’d get sanctioned. And anyway, what makes you think that cash income would even be accurately accounted for in those books?

      • chacochicken - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        Hey its Unrealistic Lawsuit Day, Let me dream. I want a moment where I can stare face to face with Buddy and say “Look upon your work!” Then when the verdict is read ” Free us both. With the same bullet. Do it. Do it. Only you can do it!” Even that might not be as hyperbolic as Boras.

    • professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Hmm. Can we add in the ulcers I got from the Braves/Cardinals playoff game last year and say it affected my health, too? Make it a class action suit?

      • indaburg - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        I’m in. You think we can get Craig to represent us?

      • professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Why not? If we all chip in and get him a super pricey bottle of bourbon, perhaps it’ll sweeten the deal.

  6. evanwins - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Maybe GM’s are finally tired of the Boras act and decided to make a stand and Lohse just happens to be the guy that their using to make an example of. Hopefully they continue to not give in to him, Lohse fires him, gets a great deal immediately with a new agent and all of baseball benefits,

    • dwrek5 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      That would be collusion…

      • evanwins - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        No it’s only collusion if they got together and made a plan to do this. If they did it individually it’s called taking a stand.

        Don’t throw around big words if you don’t understand their definition.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        You implied collective action. Choose your words more carefully next time.

      • evanwins - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        I “implied” collective action or you “assumed’ it?

        If I implied it, please show me how and where? Did I say anything about them getting together to act a certain way? No.

        The post is right there, point out where the implication is.

        You are a liar. And you lie in the face of proof and still maintain your lie, which also makes you stupid.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        You’re an idiot. Any individual GM, sans coordination, would simply be passing on Lohse at the given asking price. To call it “taking a stand” is to grossly misuse the term. It might be considered “taking a stand” if one was to cease negotiating with Boras altogether, foolish as that may be, but one GM, refusing to sign one player? Meaningless. For the stand taking to have any meaning with respect to Lohse, it would have to have been coordinated amongst at least a significant number of GMs. And that would be collusion.

        As to me being a liar, not only is that untrue, it’s practically impossible. It’s possible I was wrong, though I believe that unlikely. For me to be a liar, however, would require me to know that you meant that each GM acted individually, despite the fact that wouldn’t be taking any kind of stand, and decide to say you implied collusion anyway, despite having no stake in the conversation. You, on the other hand, got called out for something and then acted as though you meant something different. You had every reason to lie, and projected that upon somebody who didn’t.

        Good day, sir.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Maybe GM’s … decided to make a stand

        Unless you meant to write some or most, it’s implied you meant all; ergo collusion.

  7. heyblueyoustink - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Of course we will ignore the breaking of a child’s heart when Boras represents that proverbial kid’s favorite player right out of town over a couple of sheckles.

    Scott, we all know you’re good at your job, but enough already.

  8. cackalackyank - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM


  9. paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Goddamnit! I don’t have youth or children….now I know why.

    • professormaddog31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Paperlions, you should join our class action lawsuit! We’re going to sue MLB for ruining our lives/health/finances/stealing our children. We’re trying to get Craig to be council, perhaps OG can be the Clarence Darrow of the piece and deliver the most confusing closing brief ever devised by man.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        I’m in.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    I am sure Lohse could play for a team tomorrow if he dropped his asking price. The only one keeping Lohse from playing baseball is Boras.

  11. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    and how the changes to the draft pick compensation and free agency systems have led to perverse incentives

    Anyone want to mention how the draft pick compensation was worse for teams under the old CBA compared to the new one? No one, no one at all…

  12. unlost1 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    collusion against Boras

  13. ugglasforearms - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I think Boras (and people like him) stole my youth. In fact, the unbridled love I had for baseball lasted until I realized the desire for money leads players to opt for competitive advantages. That was only about 15 years ago, so he stole my middle age enthusiasm too.

    He didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head and force them to give big money. He didn’t tell his clients to use PEDs so they could put up numbers that would get them big money (I hope). But by his admittedly brilliant ability to negotiate lucrative long term contracts he has inspired players and other agents to do what is necessary to make as much money as possible. Yes, we all want the biggest salary we can get, but not all of us are willing to bend the rules, break the law, or ignore what is ethical, to do that. Some players do, and Scott Boras is willing to use it to his advantage.

    I still love baseball, just not in the naive, carefree way I did in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The way I felt in my youth will never be there again because a sort of “wall” is in the way. I have to be careful not to lose my perspective now, and that makes me sad. The game put me on an emotional high back in the day.

    So, I’m joining Burg’s class action suit against Selig, and want to include Boras et al.

    I’ll donate my portion of the settlement to MLB’s RBI Scholarship program.

  14. dowhatifeellike - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Looks like someone came through and thumbs-downed everyone. What a boras move.

  15. vallewho - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Instant Classic

  16. albertmn - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Boras is very good at what he does. But, while he won’t ever admit it, he blew this one. Lohse should have taken the $13.3 million.

  17. chill1184 - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    ..and todays award for most absurd statement of the day goes to….

  18. dbldmr - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Scott Boras is the baseball Antichrist.

  19. hitdog042 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Yeah. It has nothing to do with Lohse’s age and rather mediocre overall career.

  20. officialgame - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    And Boras has raised the price of tickets to a point that kids and famlies can’t afford to go to games.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      No. He. Hasn’t.

      If salaries drive ticket prices, why is major college football so damn expensive?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Baxter Cain: Do you think Shaq got rich playing in Orlando? Hardly, he made his fortune moving to L.A. You know how much he makes now?
        Douglas “Swish” Reemer: As much as he made playing in college?

  21. jkaflagg - Mar 23, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Always felt the same way about Boras: if my son was a top pitching prospect, I’d gladly let Boras maximize his earnings….but when he starts talking about the “integrity of the game”, it becomes ridiculously self-serving….like all good agents, he works first and foremost for his clients and his own self-interest; his thoughts about the system and the rules always must be considered thru that prism…..

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