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Chip R
05-20-2009, 12:57 PM
http://www.playboy.com/articles/playboy-interview-scott-boras-questions/index.html

RichRed
05-20-2009, 02:06 PM
So someone really DOES read Playboy for the articles?

Mario-Rijo
05-20-2009, 02:15 PM
So someone really DOES read Playboy for the articles?

Whatever...LOL!

Good read though.

camisadelgolf
05-20-2009, 02:23 PM
Q1
PLAYBOY: Fans say you’re greedy. Are they right?
BORAS: The last time I looked, fan was short for fanatic. Fans are fanatical about their favorite team. But athletes have choices. They don’t want to be 50 years old, saying, “I turned down $70 million. I could have done more for my family, my community, my church.” A player’s life span in the game is short; his agent is there to help him. In the end it’s not about the fans. I’m not here to win a popularity contest.

Q2
PLAYBOY: You have three of baseball’s five best-paid players in your stable—Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Manny Ramirez—all of whom make more than $20 million a year. Their multiyear contracts add up to half a billion dollars. With the economy tanking, have salaries topped out?
BORAS: I don’t see that. Baseball has had record revenues for years. I expect we’ll see a ballplayer making $35 million to $40 million a year in the next decade.

Q3
PLAYBOY: Did you know A-Rod used steroids? If not, should you have known?
BORAS: I’m not answering questions like that. You need to ask the player.

Q4
PLAYBOY: You and A-Rod almost split up in 2007 after he opted out of his Yankees contract, upstaging the World Series. What happened?
BORAS: The purpose of the opt out was to get the Yankees to say, “Wait a minute. Don’t opt out. Maybe we’ll increase his compensation.” But we didn’t want the public to know—that was clearly not in our best interests. As for upstaging the Series, what about Fox? If they thought it damaged the integrity of the game, they didn’t have to cut in with the news during a World Series game. In 1985 Major League Baseball announced its drug policy after game three, a move that was wholly intended to get attention during the Series. Still, I have to be accountable. I could have handled that better.

Q5
PLAYBOY: Your former client Barry Bonds was indicted for perjury in a steroids case. Bonds still wants to play, but no team will sign him, even at the minimum salary of $390,000. Does that smack of collusion?
BORAS: There’s some potential litigation about that. I don’t have all the facts. I will say I was very surprised he wasn’t playing last year. Anybody with that much talent whose name isn’t Barry Bonds would have been offered a contract.

Q6
PLAYBOY: We have to talk roids. How should the Hall of Fame deal with players of the steroids era?
BORAS: Look, the Hall of Fame is for players who distinguished themselves in their day. Each era has distinctive features—from equipment and rules to pharmacology, surgical advancements, labor agreements, federal and state laws—that impact performance. The game is always changing. The Hall’s scroll of admission must be drafted with a fluid and broad pen. Only then can it recognize excellence from every era.

Q7
PLAYBOY: Manny Ramirez made himself such a distraction for the Red Sox last year that they traded him to L.A., where he led the Dodgers to the playoffs. Why did he want out of Boston?
BORAS: Manny enjoyed his Red Sox teammates and loved the organization, but he did not enjoy living in Boston. It wore him out. He wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t like Cleveland.

Q8
PLAYBOY: He wanted out because Boston isn’t like Cleveland?
BORAS: [Nodding] For Manny, environment is important. He had liked living in the Cleveland suburbs. I said, “Manny, I want you to play in L.A. They’ve got some really good young hitters, but they need a slugger, and Pasadena’s a lot like those Cleveland suburbs.” He had been to L.A. only three times in his life, but once we got him there he said, “This is the spot for me.”

Q9
PLAYBOY: Do you advise young players to watch out for baseball groupies?
BORAS: That’s a huge issue because you have high school boys making millions. We have a booklet for young players that tells them about paternity suits. It says, “If a woman has your child, it can cost you $2 million over the course of 18 years to raise that child.” We talk about using protection and having safe sex.

Q10
PLAYBOY: Rubbers for rookies?
BORAS: her if she knows any players from last year’s team and from the year before that. A girl who hangs around the ballpark year after year may be looking for something other than what you’re looking for. She may see you as her ticket out of town. So we tell young players, “An interaction with the wrong type of girl can wreck your career.”

Q11
PLAYBOY: Groupies used to be called Baseball Annies. What’s the nastiest term you’ve heard for them?
BORAS: Road beef.

Q12
PLAYBOY: You’ve said you’d rather watch a ball game than do anything else. Does that mean baseball is better than sex?
BORAS: [Laughing] Well, I may be better at watching baseball!

Q13
PLAYBOY: You grew up on a farm near Sacramento, California. What were your chores?
BORAS: Milking cows, cleaning the barn. I wrecked a tractor, too. My dad didn’t tell me that listening to Giants games on the radio would distract me from my chores, so I got an oversize baseball cap and taped a transistor radio to the inside of it. I was driving the tractor, listening to a ball game, when one wheel went into a hole. The axle broke, the tractor tipped over, and I got knocked out. I remember waking up and hearing the radio—Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons announcing the game. Then I saw my father, who had these big Mickey Mantle forearms, crushing my radio with his bare hands.

Q14
PLAYBOY: You went to graduate school while playing minor league ball. How did you study?
BORAS: We had 14-hour bus rides in double-A ball. Most of the players were right out of high school, so they read comic books or adult material on the bus. If you read a textbook, it was not well received. I’d stick a pharmacology book inside a Playboy so they’d think I was one of the guys.

Q15
PLAYBOY: You hit well in the minors, but you quit and went to law school. Why?
BORAS: I had a knee operation. I was getting my knee drained every 10 days. I could hit .280, .290, but I really wanted to be the best at something, so I changed paths. Baseball can be heartbreaking. I never forgot my first spring training. On cutdown day at the minor league complex, they post a list. If your name is on it, you continue. Everybody crowded around the list, and I was on it. Phew. Then I saw guys who weren’t. First-round picks. They were done. I watched a guy go to a rusted-out van and tell his wife, “Honey, I’ve been released.” His kids were crying. I’d always thought of baseball as all good, but too many young men take a big risk to play pro ball and then go home with nothing. That’s why I think baseball should stop drafting high school kids. Other sports don’t do that. Maybe you let each team take one exceptional high school player a year and pay him a substantial bonus, but that’s all.

Q16
PLAYBOY: Do you have a favorite minor league memory?
BORAS: I loved old George Kissell, the Cardinals’ coordinator of minor league development . George would give you the intel. He said fielding a grounder is like dating a girl: “You don’t go up and grab her. You gotta foster the ball.” Let it come to you. He’d knock on my door at 5:30 in the morning and say, “Boras, get up! Time for church!” I’d go, “Church? It’s Tuesday.” He said, “I saw ya play last night, and we got a lot to pray about.”

Q17
PLAYBOY: How would you change the World Series?
BORAS: I’d modernize it, make it five out of nine games, with the first two in a neutral city. Announce the MVP and Cy Young awards at a gala held between the playoffs and a new World Series weekend. Move the home-run contest from the All-Star Game to that week, too. The gala and home-run derby would lead to game one of the Series on Saturday, with game two on Sunday. Then the Series would go on with the final seven games in the Series teams’ cities. This way, different places get part of the Series. I want the World Series in Pittsburgh, Texas, Seattle. Teams in those markets would sell more season tickets. World Series weekend would be a major stage for corporate events; it could advance the game to the next level.

Q18
PLAYBOY: Have you ever taken less than top dollar for a player?
BORAS: Many times. Alex Fernandez had a big contract with Cleveland but wanted to play in Florida, his home state. We took less from the Marlins. Kyle Lohse liked St. Louis; he just re-signed without even becoming a free agent. Jason Varitek took a lot less to stay with the Red Sox in 2005. Jason said, “Get me a fair contract, but don’t negotiate with other teams. Just Boston.” I said, “That could cost you 20 percent of your value,” and he said fine. Greg Maddux loved pitching for the Cubs, but in 1993 he told me, “I want to play for a team that can win.” I said, “Greg, that won’t happen in Chicago.” We agreed that, with the Braves’ pitching and the prospects, Atlanta was a great destination. Later on Greg gave up about $30 million because he didn’t want to go to the Yankees. His pitching style suited the National League.

Q19
PLAYBOY: What will happen on the field in 2009?
BORAS: The Yankees should win 95 games and make the playoffs. Teixeira, with his .400 on-base percentage and Gold Glove defense, was a huge signing for them. The National League races could be very different this year. The Mets probably would have won in 2008 with the bullpen they have now. The Marlins have an up-andcoming superstar in Hanley Ramirez. Manny’s in shape for a great season with the Dodgers, and I won’t be surprised if the Cubs have a great year.

Q20
PLAYBOY: You’ve been heckled at ballparks. Does it hurt?
BORAS: Yeah, people come up to me and say, “You’re wrecking the game.” All I say is “I’m glad you’re a baseball fan.” Because the fans care. They love the game, and so do I. The difference is that my appreciation for the players’ skills is much higher than a fan’s because I know how hard the game is. I never wanted anything more than to play pro ball. Even the job I have, as much as I enjoy it, there’s no comparison. There is just nothing like waking up and thinking, I’m playin’ ball today.

bucksfan2
05-20-2009, 02:27 PM
In reading the Q&A I came out with two different feeling about Boras. In one corner he is a smart, cunning agent, who saw a void in the system and is taking advantage of the system for him and his players. In the other corner I see an egotistical ahole who will stop at nothing to make money while wrecking the game he supposedly loves.

camisadelgolf
05-20-2009, 02:32 PM
In reading the Q&A I came out with two different feeling about Boras. In one corner he is a smart, cunning agent, who saw a void in the system and is taking advantage of the system for him and his players. In the other corner I see an egotistical ahole who will stop at nothing to make money while wrecking the game he supposedly loves.
That makes sense to me. I think that's what happens when you have his job and simultaneously love baseball and money.

bucksfan2
05-20-2009, 02:40 PM
That makes sense to me. I think that's what happens when you have his job and simultaneously love baseball and money.

To me Boras is basically saying

Steroids bad but make me lots of money.

Fans are fanatics, but I am not a player or owner so am I a fan?

The World Series needs changing so give me and my players a bigger spotlight.

Manny like Cleveland, LA give Manny more money, LA like Cleveland.

ARoid and I didn't up stage the WS, we leaked it to Fox who upstaged the WS.

M2
05-20-2009, 02:43 PM
That’s why I think baseball should stop drafting high school kids. Other sports don’t do that. Maybe you let each team take one exceptional high school player a year and pay him a substantial bonus, but that’s all.

That's a good idea.


Road beef

And there's the new pet phrase America will not be able to say often enough in the near future.

LincolnparkRed
05-20-2009, 02:50 PM
That's a good idea.



And there's the new pet phrase America will not be able to say often enough in the near future.

my favorite is a good old slumpbuster

cincy09
05-20-2009, 02:57 PM
Manny like Cleveland, LA give Manny more money, LA like Cleveland.



HAHA nice!

membengal
05-20-2009, 03:09 PM
Until Boras answers Q3 with something approaching honesty, he won't get much sympathy or understanding from your average fan. The % of high profile ballplayers he has represented who have been found to have taken or likely took PEDs makes that question relevant and his non-answer less than acceptable.

redsmetz
05-20-2009, 03:15 PM
Until Boras answers Q3 with something approaching honesty, he won't get much sympathy or understanding from your average fan. The % of high profile ballplayers he has represented who have been found to have taken or likely took PEDs makes that question relevant and his non-answer less than acceptable.

What is that percentage and how does it compare to other agents? How do we define "high profile"? The answer may have been disingenuous, but I sure don't know what the those numbers are, whether a greater percentage of his players have been suspected or proven to have taken PED's.

IslandRed
05-20-2009, 03:18 PM
That's a good idea.

I've often wondered why it's so terrible for high-school kids to pass up college for the chance of make NBA money right away, but passing up college to play for barely-minimum-wage in the bus leagues is perfectly acceptable. Generally speaking, the baseball players have a smaller chance of making it and will make less money if they do.

But then I look at the TV ratings for March Madness versus the College World Series and it's clear that it really has little or nothing to do with the kids, but about what we want.

redsmetz
05-20-2009, 03:23 PM
IMO, it's easy to hate Boras. He certainly could be the poster child for what's wrong with MLB and it's skewed salary structure. But as many have noted, it wasn't him writing the checks and there have been some fairly stupid owners who have ponied up for players from his agency. I do remember reading some time last year another interview with Boras who talked about the increase in revenues in MLB and how players salaries set into that number, etc. I'm not sure I agreed with him, but I've long said that the pendulum was long overdue for swing towards the players given the 80+ years of being unable to make your own deal.

I remember seeing yet another interview with Boras that talked about some ideas for baseball and how to even the playing field, some of the sort of things he mentions here and I remember thinking, some of those are really good ideas. I haven't been able to find that interview since, so I can't say for sure what they all were.

But, for instance, the WS ideas. Someone understandable was cynical about the reasoning he gives for expanding the World Series back to nine games. Now I think what he has suggested could be a creative notion that could expand interest in the game. I'm not sure it's completely plausible with the season running nearly to November anymore, but how would that be to say two games will be played elsewhere and then play in the respective league champions' cities.

I agree too that the idea about high school players might be a good one too, at least on face value. I'd have to think about that further.

We forget that Boras' job is to maximize the return for his client, given the whatever strictures the client sets forth. He has a fiduciary responsibility to do that. Every agent does that. And it's always going to be a battle between the players and management and that wasn't always the case, "hold outs" in bygone eras notwithstanding.

REDREAD
05-20-2009, 03:26 PM
Thanks for cutting and pasting that interview. I'm sure that URL is blocked here.

I never saw Boras as a villian destorying the game. He's just helping redistribute the wealth from the owners to the players. Let's just say hypothetically that the average payroll now is 70 million (I don't know what it is, but let's just say it).. If the average payroll suddenly dropped to 40 million, I'm not sure the game would be that much more competitive. The owners that are in it to make money would just sandbag their payroll even more. In other words, Boras and the agents are not the reason that this game does not have competitive balance.

camisadelgolf
05-20-2009, 03:30 PM
The players have been ridiculously underpaid for over a century, and even now, you could argue that they are still underpaid. When you pay to watch a game, would you rather the owners receive more of the money?

REDREAD
05-20-2009, 03:33 PM
I've often wondered why it's so terrible for high-school kids to pass up college for the chance of make NBA money right away, but passing up college to play for barely-minimum-wage in the bus leagues is perfectly acceptable. Generally speaking, the baseball players have a smaller chance of making it and will make less money if they do.
.

I wouldn't want to stop baseball from drafting high school kids. For some kids, it's legitimately their best chance to make something of themselves, even though the odds are against them. Not everyone can go to college. I'm not trying to be an elitist snob, it is just true.

Here's what I would change. If you are under 25, and have pro baseball experience, you are still eligible for a college scholarhsip. I think A division baseball was at least considering experimenting with this -- although not as generous. I think their plan was that your years in the pros counted against your years of eligiblity (eg. if you played minor leages for 2 years, you could scholarship for 2 more).

Plus, there's nothing stopping the kid from going to college after he washes out in the minors. Plenty of non-athletes go back to college in their 30's or 40's. IMO, just because a kid was drafted to MLB, doesn't mean that he should be taken care of. It's his choice. No one is forcing him to go on those long bus rides for low wages.

It would be nice if MLB gave more of its money to the minor leaguers, but apparently the union really doesn't care about them. In fact, I have heard established players get angry that first round draft picks get 7 figures. I guess they figure the draftees are stealling money from the MLB players.

Chip R
05-20-2009, 03:38 PM
But, for instance, the WS ideas. Someone understandable was cynical about the reasoning he gives for expanding the World Series back to nine games. Now I think what he has suggested could be a creative notion that could expand interest in the game. I'm not sure it's completely plausible with the season running nearly to November anymore, but how would that be to say two games will be played elsewhere and then play in the respective league champions' cities.



I doubt expanding the WS to 9 games is a good idea. People's attention spans are so shorter these days and you are asking them to add 2 games to the WS?

redsmetz
05-20-2009, 03:43 PM
The players have been ridiculously underpaid for over a century, and even now, you could argue that they are still underpaid. When you pay to watch a game, would you rather the owners receive more of the money?

When you compare it with other entertainment performers, it's not out of line. In fact actors are probably a great example. Your top box office draws are going to make tens of millions of dollars, but if you look at the average wage of all actors, it's not much, because that includes everyone; SAG members who have bit roles in shows or movies, Equity members who play regional theaters, etc. It's a lot like MLB and their minor leaguers (and even independent leagues). We went to the Shakespear company last week (great show there now called Arms of the Man) and in the program it puts a mark by those who are members of Actors Equity (the union). It's quite a number of them. And folks will play there or the Ensemble or even the Playhouse. And you look at their bios and they've been doing stock theater all around the country, some films, some TV, etc. And then your blockbusters make $80M in one year (Will Smith, June 07 to June 08) and so on. And the movie makers aren't going broke with those type of movies.

membengal
05-20-2009, 04:05 PM
What is that percentage and how does it compare to other agents? How do we define "high profile"? The answer may have been disingenuous, but I sure don't know what the those numbers are, whether a greater percentage of his players have been suspected or proven to have taken PED's.

Off the top of my head, here are some Boras clients:

Barry Bonds, Kevin Brown, Manny Ramirez, Eric Gagne, Rick Ankiel, Alex Rodriguez, Pudge Rodriguez, Ron Villone, Gary Sheffield

Each of those has been PED implicated or under heavy PED suspicion, one way or the other. And goes back years. There are probably others. But, certainly, Boras has had his share. And then some.

So, yeah, I do wonder about this agent's obligations to his players. Interestingly, so did NFL uber-agent Leigh Steinberg:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05092009/sports/moresports/fellow_agent_slams_boras_168359.htm


"The obligation of an agent is to advance the welfare of his client," Steinberg told The Post yesterday. "And with welfare, the bottom line, is well being and health."

Ramirez's agent is Scott Boras, whose client list includes Alex Rodriguez and used to include Barry Bonds. So, in a nutshell, it has been a rough few months for Boras.

"The first offense is 50 games. The second offense is 100 games," Steinberg said of baseball's drug policy. "And the third offense is a lifetime ban! Those are serious consequences for a star player. In this case, where is the agent's obligation to safeguard against this?"

Dunno. But it's a fair question to ask, and I would have been curious as to Boras' answer. Or is it cool because PEDs helped his clients to record contracts that he fed off like a remora? This interview was with Boras. I thought the third question particularly relevant.

TRF
05-20-2009, 04:20 PM
The drafting of HS kids part made zero sense to me.

The NBA used to draft HS kids, because they were ready to start right away (LeBron, Kobe). That means they are ready for any college team. That isn't the case for MLB. The NFL doesn't because of physical maturity. But any player drafted by an MLB team goes to work in the minors. they are educated in their craft. Now, there is no standard that I know of for that education, but kids that report to the minors are working every day, and MOST of them, 90% or more of them aren't instant millionaires. A lot of them work second jobs during the season too.

Where baseball needs reform isn't in the domestic draft, aside from signing bonuses and stupid guaranteed major league contracts. No, it's international signings. I'm as thrilled as everyone else the headway the Reds have made into Latin America, but it's bad for the game. IMO there should be two drafts, 1 domestic, 1 international. Limit the international draft to 3-5 rounds and make international FA (any player not drafted) wait one year and one day from the draft date to sign. And cap the bonuses in both drafts. Force teams to comply by having them forfeit two draft picks, one from each draft in the round the break the cap/slot. Go over in the 2nd round, lose next year's second round pick in both drafts.

Anyone else care add detract to this idea?

bucksfan2
05-20-2009, 04:24 PM
Dunno. But it's a fair question to ask, and I would have been curious as to Boras' answer. Or is it cool because PEDs helped his clients to record contracts that he fed off like a remora? This interview was with Boras. I thought the third question particularly relevant.

I agree. I think an appropriate question to ask Boras is "Have you ever encouraged or explained the benefits of PED's to your clients." It would put him on the spot and most likely his answer would be no. IMO he would be lying through his teeth. Players treat their agent like their parent. The refer most decisions to their agents.

But at the same time I get sick and tired of hearing the PED question asked. When asked people lie, commit purgery, forget how to speak English, apologize for nothing, etc. Ask the question but unless a truthful answer is given don't print the question.

redsmetz
05-20-2009, 04:25 PM
Dunno. But it's a fair question to ask, and I would have been curious as to Boras' answer. Or is it cool because PEDs helped his clients to record contracts that he fed off like a remora? This interview was with Boras. I thought the third question particularly relevant.

Thanks for sharing Steinberg's POV. Yes, it is a fair question and I agree that he dodged the question. I just can't say how he ranks with other agents and how that stacks up with the percentage of big time stars he has versus the others.

Nasty_Boy
05-20-2009, 04:35 PM
Road beef

That was a very big saying for me and my teammates when I was in college. I didn't realize that it had such popularity on the left coast. It still makes me laugh a little on the inside because of the stories that it brings to mind.

vaticanplum
05-20-2009, 05:11 PM
While I'm no Boras fan (and he just added himself to the list of People I'll Never Date), I don't know that it is fair to ask him about PEDs in relation to his clients. I see an agent kind of as a defense attorney. His job is to represent them and get them the best deal he possibly can and make sure their careers are advance as much as possible in any given market. Stuff that could hamper that? Don't ask, don't tell, unless he knows they're signing a contract they can't uphold. He's not there to inject judgment into their choices or give them advice on how they play the game. Saying anything against them -- unless it's specific questioning by, say, authorities -- blatantly subverts his responsibility toward them and is kind of ethically wrong in my opinion. It's not going to stop reporters asking, but he shouldn't answer. I think his response accurately reflected that.

And the fact that he's had clients known to take PEDs is totally circumstantial at this point. The two are not related as far as we know. I'm not convinced anymore that the whole of baseball didn't take them anyway -- he just happens to have the best-known clients who are rife for witch hunting and publicity.

REDREAD
05-20-2009, 05:52 PM
Where baseball needs reform isn't in the domestic draft, aside from signing bonuses and stupid guaranteed major league contracts. No, it's international signings. I'm as thrilled as everyone else the headway the Reds have made into Latin America, but it's bad for the game. IMO there should be two drafts, 1 domestic, 1 international. Limit the international draft to 3-5 rounds and make international FA (any player not drafted) wait one year and one day from the draft date to sign. And cap the bonuses in both drafts. Force teams to comply by having them forfeit two draft picks, one from each draft in the round the break the cap/slot. Go over in the 2nd round, lose next year's second round pick in both drafts.

Anyone else care add detract to this idea?

Why make teams wait a year and a day after they draft their international pick? I don't see the logic here. Look at a guy like Ceuto. If the Reds were forced to wait a year before bringing him to the minors, that stunts his growth. Also, he'd likely continue to throw unsupervised (or illegally supervised).

What would you do with kids that are in camps like the Reds have? Let them stay or throw them out for a year?

I do think MLB should work a deal with the union where all draft picks are slotted bonuses. I also think that since the draft would then have a fixed cost, that MLB should fund the signing of all draft picks from it's common pool of money. This would help small market teams tremendously. They would no longer make draft picks based on financial reasons. No reason to not take the best player available if the league is picking up the tab.

Of course, sadly, the owners really aren't interested in bringing competitive balance to the sport.

TRF
05-20-2009, 06:02 PM
Why make teams wait a year and a day after they draft their international pick? I don't see the logic here. Look at a guy like Ceuto. If the Reds were forced to wait a year before bringing him to the minors, that stunts his growth. Also, he'd likely continue to throw unsupervised (or illegally supervised).

What would you do with kids that are in camps like the Reds have? Let them stay or throw them out for a year?

I do think MLB should work a deal with the union where all draft picks are slotted bonuses. I also think that since the draft would then have a fixed cost, that MLB should fund the signing of all draft picks from it's common pool of money. This would help small market teams tremendously. They would no longer make draft picks based on financial reasons. No reason to not take the best player available if the league is picking up the tab.

Of course, sadly, the owners really aren't interested in bringing competitive balance to the sport.

You misunderstood. a year and a day if a player declared for the draft and was not drafted. If a player is drafted but does not sign he is automatically declared for the next year's draft. Plus make it so all internation players have to declare for the draft. Use a combined ranking system, BA, BP and MLB to ensure teams aren't deliberately not drafting int'l players.

redsmetz
09-20-2013, 09:19 AM
Since I mentioned a Boras interview in a current thread, I did find this thread from a Playboy interview (someone has quoted the text, so no need to worry about RZ filters). This isn't the interview I mentioned because I mention two earlier interviews in this thread. I'll see what I can find. But there was some interesting conversation in this one from back in '09.