Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Staying True to My Word

"Though I am not a purveyor of truth, instead being a facilitator of discussion, I will try my best this baseball season to crush when crushing is due, and give credit where that is due. That's right - if JD goes 4-5 on a Friday night with three home runs, I'm saying he's great. Journalists won't do it. So I will instead."

-The GM, written January 20, 2011, published January 28, 2011

Wednesday, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira announced that he was parting ways with his long-time agent (and previously "advisor") Scott Boras. Previously, I have hammered almost any player for hiring Boras, saying things like if they do that kind of thing, they are hiring a guy who will do anything to get his commission check, including things at the expense of the game and at the expense of his own clientele. I'm not okay with biting the hand that feeds you, and therefore I think trying to undermine the MLB draft (which Boras tried to do twice with Jason Varitek and JD Drew in the 90s) and trying to upstage the World Series (2007 Arod opt-out) is simply detestable. If you hire someone like this, it says something serious about your personality. That's why the Red Sox' outfielder who played 18 games last year due to sore ribs doesn't get mentioned by name around here.

Previously, Teixeira had been a perfect Scott Boras customer (I will not say "client," as "customer" emphasizes that the agent works for the player who hires him): Very good production, consistent compliance with PR guidelines, including contrived statements, a squeaky-clean image, and a willingness to let the businesspeople accomplish their one task of maximizing salary. Everyone, even those painting the player in a positive light, said this much. Well, it took Teixeira three years after the Arod situation to figure it out:

Having "Scott Boras customer" linked to your name is bad for your image. The power of the agent and the negativity that the agent's business dealings has brought throughout his customer base (Teixeira's own negotiations, including wasting hundreds of gallons of John Henry's jet fuel just to dick him around, didn't help) the image of "aloof mercenary who measures success with one ruler - the bottom line."

Teixeira said he wanted to be "Mark Teixeira, baseball player," not "'Scott Boras [customer].'" He was unimpressed with the way Boras Corp. was handling his charitable stuff, which really shouldn't surprise you that much (although longtime Boras customer Jim Abbott did too much charitable stuff according to George Steinbrenner). But I will give the player credit. Like Charlie Sheen, he decided to clean himself up and start doing what he wanted to do instead of listening to Boras and other trolls. Every statement from here on in, at least in my eyes, seems to be a little bit less contrived and more genuine as a guy who wants to win baseball games and help the world around him instead of adding to trust funds.

And that's awesome. Good for him. Problem is, it's easy to drop a guy when you've already whored yourself out to him and used up most of his tangible value. I applaud Teixeira for having balls, but still censure him for not having balls when it counted.

IN OTHER NEWS regarding staying true to my word, my favorite player of all-time, #4 in your programs #1 in your hearts Coco Crisp, was a jackass last night. His Twitter account was talking about root canals and all that stuff in the morning. By the evening, his teeth were apparently healthy enough to have a few too many and decide he's too lazy to call a cab. Seriously, bro, you're a millionaire celebrity. You really couldn't find a ride home? It pains me to say it, but this guy, despite being the most underappreciated Red Sox player of all-time, is in the same category as Joba Chamberlain today.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

good post, i'm digging this new approach of sometimes pushing biases aside. i can't wait for the post after jd's first big game.

the only things i really disagree with here are that being a boras client makes your comments contrived, and that having boras linked to your name is bad for your image. robinson cano are too of the most genuine and jovial guys you're going to come across this game. they both apparently hired boras this winter. does that make both of them contrived and give them a worse image? i know in your mind it does, but i don't go that far.

Anonymous said...

DV

Admirable post. I'm openly rooting for Jacoby Ellsbury to hit .365 now. I don't think it will happen (or anything close to it) but it would be amazing if it did.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Pat,

JD's first big game? Is this including Friday night only beer league games in Georgia in summer 2012? Because I anticipate that will be the next one.

Cano has made it clear by this latest action that he cares about the bottom line at the expense of baseball. Who's the other one who decided to have his wishes communicated by Boras? I hope not Swisher.

Gunn, I'm rooting for Josh Reddick.

Patrick said...

it is swisher. on that last point, it's baseball's job to regulate boras, not the players. players' jobs are to play as hard and as well as they possibly can, and as long as they do that should be allowed to have someone else worry about getting them as much money as they possibly can. if they think that is boras, then so be it. as long as it doesn't impact their game on the field i have no problem with it, even though i'm not a boras fan. it just doesn't impact my perception of these players.