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Great article about Scott Boras and A-Rod


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http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7318254?MSNHPHMA

 

Ian O'Connor

FOXSports.com, Updated 51 minutes ago

 

Scott Boras has his sprinter in the blocks now, ready to race after another pot of fool's gold. Alex Rodriguez will win a contract that will let him clear out half the jewelry stores in America.

 

Meanwhile, his agent will ensure that he never wears the one ring money cannot buy.

 

Before the body of Joe Torre's work was cold in the Bronx, Boras was already trying to beat the manager out of town. The superagent did a series of interviews promoting A-Rod as an asset more valuable to baseball than green grass and blue skies, and good for the enterprising reporters who got on him on the phone.

 

But for all the $252 million phrases Boras throws around like wet clubhouse towels, the man has long had trouble spitting out the c-word.

 

Championship. Scott Boras rarely talks about a championship, which is a chief reason why A-Rod's never won one.

 

Start with Boras' decision to send his free agent to Texas following the 2000 season. Rodriguez wanted to play for the Mets, his boyhood team. He wanted to steal New York from those charmed princely hands belonging to Derek Jeter, the shortstop who had just beaten the Mets in the World Series. A-Rod told his friends, his relatives and his agent the very same thing — I want to be a Met.

 

Boras made him a Ranger. No, the Mets never made A-Rod an offer. But they would've made him an offer if they thought Boras was sincere about serving his client's baseball interests rather than feeding his own insatiable ego.

 

So the agent found a sucker in Tom Hicks, and convinced the Texas owner that a quarter billion dollars over 10 years wasn't good enough. Boras needed another two million bucks so he could brag at cocktail parties that he doubled Kevin Garnett's record $126 million contract with the Timberwolves.

 

That extra $2 million says more about Boras than the first $250 million does.

 

"I'm almost embarrassed and ashamed of this contract," A-Rod would say. "I don't know if Michael Jordan or Bill Gates or Alexander the Great. ... I don't know if anybody is worth this money."

 

A-Rod spent three years of his prime in last place, miserable in a market where football is king. In his heart of hearts, Boras knew all along that A-Rod and Hicks would never share a convertible ride in any World Series parade. He just fooled both of them into believing otherwise.

 

Before Hicks figured it out, Boras added insult to insult by sticking him with Chan Ho Park for $65 million. Even A-Rod wasn't buying that. He needed to get as far away from Texas as he could, and ordered his rep to draw up a plan.

 

To free him from this Faustian deal, Boras sold A-Rod to the Yankees and left Hicks to pick up the tab. The agent wore a great big smile after that move, figuring he'd just guaranteed that Rodriguez would get the money and the rings.

 

But not enough was made of the sacrifice along the way. Rodriguez was scheduled to go down as the greatest shortstop of them all, and Boras' greed cost him that chance. The agent turned A-Rod into a third baseman, the equivalent of turning Joe Montana into a slot back.

 

Four years later, with no ticker tape to brush off A-Rod's shoulders, Boras is ready to exercise an opt-out clause in his man's contract. That $252 million deal is suddenly a '59 Edsel. Boras wants a new contract worth somewhere between $300 to $400 million, and he'll take half a billion if he can get it.

 

Scott Boras needs to learn that bigger isn't always better. ( / Getty Images)

 

Of course, there's nothing wrong with seeking the best deal for your client; that's what an agent's supposed to do. But the best deal isn't always the biggest deal, and Boras' brilliant, beautiful mind has never been sharp enough to make that distinction.

 

Rodriguez is just hitting his stride in New York. The Yankees are his team now, not Derek Jeter's. The fans are finally ready to love him. New Yorkers are finally ready to believe that A-Rod means it when he suggests he'd give back Hicks' money if it meant winning even one World Series title for the Yanks.

 

So naturally, Boras will do the right thing by his client and secure a contract extension from George Steinbrenner, who said over the weekend he wants to keep A-Rod right where he is. Naturally, Boras will make sure Rodriguez enhances his legacy by claiming more MVP titles as a Yankee, breaking Barry Bonds' home-run record as a Yankee, and winning the first championship in the new Yankee Stadium — as a Yankee.

 

Naturally, Boras will allow Steinbrenner to keep the $21 million donation from Hicks while extending A-Rod's current deal at more than $30 million per. Naturally, Boras will not insist that the Yankees junk the current contract and join the free-agent frenzy with every other Tom, Dick and Arte.

 

Guess again. Boras just put Angels owner Arte Moreno and other potential suitors on notice that A-Rod will likely cop-out — I mean, opt out — of his deal. And if that happens, Yankees GM Brian Cashman is cashing out.

 

"Not because we can't afford it," Cashman said, "but because it becomes a much different economic animal.

 

Boras is the absolute best at getting his price, and history tells him he only needs to seduce one owner with his printouts and his charm. Let the buyer beware. Chances are, a $350 million deal for A-Rod will make a $126 million deal for another Boras client, Barry Zito, look like the best move the Giants ever made.

 

Boras sent Zito into last place, just like he once sent A-Rod into last place. Now he's talking about the hundreds of millions in value Rodriguez would add to a franchise's TV network. He's saying nothing about A-Rod's impact on big October games.

 

If nothing else, Rodriguez outplayed Jeter in the Division Series loss to the Indians, and didn't completely crap out like he did in the Division Series losses to the Tigers and Angels. Sometimes progress comes in small, painful increments.

 

A-Rod is one ring away from owning New York like no athlete from Jeter to Namath ever has. He doesn't need a new address, just a new agent.

 

I don't know if it can be said any better.

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