Atlanta 4 Chicago 0 – MLB – Recap – Cubs at Braves

Pretty solid win. The Braves took the lead in the first, Kyle Davies and three relievers took it from there, everyone reached base, and pretty much everyone the Braves are in a race with lost.

LaRoche was the hitting hero. With one on and one already in (RBI single by Andruw) in the first, he hit a homer to give the Braves a 3-0 lead that stood most of the game. In the eighth, he hit a solo shot off of a lefty (wait, we didn’t hit Jordan for him?) to finish the scoring.

Estrada was hit by a pitch, Davies drew a walk, and everyone else had a hit. Except for LaRoche, it was one hit apiece. Johnson and Giles also drew walks.

Davies went 6 2/3, threw 96 pitches, 54 strikes. He allowed four hits but walked four, still a concern. He did strike out three, and the hits were all singles. Foster finished the seventh. Boyer allowed one hit but struck out Derrek Lee in the eighth, Reitsma gave up a hit but got a game-ending double play.

Natspos lost (by three runs, so they’ve now scored fewer runs than they’ve given up — again), and the Marlins lost as well. The entire Eastern division is back at .500 or better, while with the Cubs’ loss only the leaders are over .500 in the other divisions. Maddux versus Colon in the second game tomorrow, on Turner South because all the interesting matchups wind up there.

67 thoughts on “Atlanta 4 Chicago 0”

  1. When that pitch hit Johnny, my heart literally stopped for about 3 seconds until I realized it hadn’t hit his head. The last thing he needs is another concussion. Besides that one moment, this was a great game. I knew both of LaRoche’s home runs were gone the minute they hit the bat, especially the first one. What a beautiful swing! And our pitchers, for once, were excellent. I was so impressed to see Bobby come out as soon as Davies gave up the walk. Usually I fault him for leaving guys in too long, but this time he was perfect. And how dumb can Jeromy Burnitz get? First he gets picked off third in the 9th down by a run, then he overruns second and gets caught in a rundown. Watching Marcus barrel after him was pretty funny.

    Could this be the start of a huge momentum swing? Let’s hope so. The Cubs are demoralized after that sweep and we’re energized after last night’s comeback win. The Nats finally lost. Maybe this is the beginning of what we’ve all been waiting for. Cross your fingers!

  2. Jenny, I thought the same thing when Cox pulled Davies — it was the perfect time to do it. The bullpen has been pretty good lately (Bernero excepted) — maybe he has a little more faith in them.

  3. I like Boyer and I may have missed it but I didn’t see any changeups, what pitches does he throw?

  4. I second or third people about Cox tonight…I applaud his managerial style. He came right up when Davies was tiring & I hope this is a positive trend.

    Solid win.

    One other comment…

    JD Drew breaking his wrist. What comes arouns, goes around. No tears shedding here for that prick.

  5. Leave us, I guess. Alex just likes being ornery, it seems. I liked JD Drew. Gary Sheffield, no, but Drew, yes. I was upset to see him go.

  6. JD Drew & his bastard agent Scott Boras wouldn’t even SIT DOWN with the Braves to discuss a new deal in the off season.

    He’s shown to be a phone over his career and this past off season proved it.

    He says he was so happy with his hometown team Braves but when the Braves sat down to offer him a high end 3 year deal, his agent Boras wouldn’t even sit down with the Braves.

    Second of all, he’s a jerk. My brother whp’s a sports writer was in Spring Training with several other sports writers last Spring and the ONLY Brave who was an asshole to every writer + every kid who wanted an autograph was Drew. My brother hasd the opportunity to sit down with everyone from Smoltzie to Chipper to Cox to Schuerholz (and again this Spring) and the only person who was a complete egotistical jerk was JD Drew.

    So, Jenny, seeing as you don’t even KNOW me, before you accuse me of being ornery, why don’t you hear me out? That’s bullshit.

    If you don’t want to guess as to what’s in my head, you can ask the guy who RUNS THIS WEBSITE. Mac….he has known me for 12 years.

    Good night.

  7. Devine pitched for Mississippi tonight 1 inning no hits no walks no runs and one K. Through 6 minor league innings he has allowed no runs no hits 3 walks (all first game) and 8 K’s.

    James pitches tomorrow.

  8. First, Jenny, you don’t even know me so don’t just accuse me of being ORNERY when you don’t even know what you are talking about.

    Did the 2 of you shut your brains off dring this past off season or did either of you bother to see how Drew and his evil agent SCOTT BORAS treated the Braves?

    First, Drew claims when he comes to the Braves he is just SO HAPPY to be playing for his hometown team. Then, when the Braves attempt to sit down with him this winter to make a FAIR OFFER of 3 years, 30 million, & Boras won’t even come to the table with Drew’s “hometown team that he’s so happy to play for, supposedly”.

    So, he leaves and takes 4 years from Dodgers?

    (Braves are amazing…I am ‘ornery’ for attacking an asshole like Drew but you are the same people who pick on a class act like Tom Glavine who did nothing wrong and wanted to stay with the Braves who also did nothing wrong, they just simply couldn’t agree).

    Also, my brother who covers the Braves spring training every year along with several other sports writers in the state had the pleasure of good conversations with many Braves including Chipper, Cox, Smoltzie, Andruw…all nice guys. The only guy who was a jerk to deal and who wouldn’t sign autographs for the kids? JD Drew.

    So, before you people who don’t know me whatsoever accuse me of being ornery, talk to my friend, MAC THOMASON who runs this website and has known me for 13 years. He can tell you…I like whjo I like and dislike who I dislike for very valid reasons.

    JD Drew is rat bastard. Whether some Braves fans choose to lump him with asshole ex-Braves like Kenny Lofton and Gary Sheffield is not my problem. Good Night.

  9. On the subject of jerks and pricks… did anyone else get a laugh out of seeing crybaby Bret Boone’s interview after he was released? Bwaha. Everyone knows he was on the juice.

  10. And on the subject of Drew, I think it’s pretty fair to label anyone who keeps Scott Boras as their agent as a prick. That jerk ass seems bent on ruining baseball.

  11. I don’t know what to say, Alex, except that I’m very sorry if I offended you, that really wasn’t my intention at all. I wasn’t really being serious and I was just haphazardly speculating, but it’s hard to communicate that with a keyboard and no facial expressions. This topic is obviously very sensitive for you, and I do respect your opinion on it. I didn’t know any of what you mentioned about JD Drew, and while I can say it’s diminished my liking for him personally, I still wish we had him and I’m sorry about his broken wrist.

    That being said, your response was too strong. Telling me you’re not ornery and then making statements like “Did the two of you shut your brains off during this past off-season?” and “So, Jenny, seeing as you don’t even KNOW me, before you accuse me of being ornery, why don’t you hear me out? That’s bullshit,” kind of supports what was not intended to be an accusation and is very ironic. You’re right, I don’t know you, and if I did, I would never have posted what I did because it makes you much angrier than I would ever have guessed. I really am sorry, I didn’t mean to make you mad or offend you or anything. But your furious, cursing response also offended me.

  12. Alex, I totally agree with you about the Glavine thing. That he gets such a poor reception when he pitches in Atlanta now shows a total lack of class on the part of (some) fans.

  13. It was big njght. Kyle was so good,but just was one win.Keep it up, babe.
    It only made me feel drowsy.zzz
    OH MY GOSH sunny,your homepage can’t be available for renewal.Even though you ain’t a brave,I’m sorry that things didn’t work out very well.That was not your fault.By the way BK was good the last game.He was nasty,amazing slider.
    Guess what!!!Chris Young & Ho are get along well.They enjoy watching movies and Ho often entertains him for dinner,bulgogi.I haven’t met chris until now he looks so nice. I want to ask him He will face Tim Wakefield tomorrow.I think they can be good friends.
    That depends on you.You’d better find another team next year because braves will be the champs. No harm in giving it a try.I’d like to see your smile. you know braves is a good club.Good luck.
    Way to Braves

  14. I’m so sorry Mac. It’s wrong double post because of error. how can i erase above? -_-;;

  15. I guess it comes down to whether or not you care that a player is a jerk. It does make it easier to root against someone if you know they’re personality-challenged, but I can’t see getting angry about it. The news that a lifelong jock with several million $$$ acts like he can’t be bothered, well, that ain’t much of a shock. Then again, I don’t have to get interviews or autographs for my kids, so what do I know?

    So I try not to let it bother me, and it largely doesn’t. Except for Brett Butler — sanctimonious bastard and likely puppy-f*****.

  16. Is something in the water? Sheesh. And Dan Kolb wasn’t even involved!

    Alex, I have no idea what career you’re in, so bear with me. Let’s say that you have a very productive year with your company and you make them a ton of money. They tell you how happy they are with your contribution, and offer you a 3% raise with a small bonus. The next day, a headhunter calls you and says that one of your companies’ competitors has noticed you kicking their ass and wants you on board. They offer a $20k signing bonus and 40% higher base salary. You take this information to your company and say, hey, I love you guys, but I can’t pass up an offer like this – can you match it? They tell you that they’ve appreciated your efforts but their budget is maxed.

    Are you telling me you’d pass up that kind of difference in quality of life just because you feel loyal to your current employer, even though they didn’t take care of you after you busted your ass for them? I for one could not afford to pass on an offer like that, and I won’t blame JD Drew for taking the $55 million instead of $24 million. I’d do the same.

  17. Kyle S with some common sense.

    I always try to think about MLB labor issues in the context of “what if it happened to MY industry”?

    Drug testing? My current job doesn’t drug test. A prior one did. What if all jobs in my field did?

    The draft and exclusive rights? What if for the first 10 years of my professional life, I couldn’t work for any firm but one, and I couldn’t choose which? I’d use whatever leverage I had to get a fair deal.

    I used to live in Philly, and the Drew/Boras hate is heavy there, but who among us, faced with flagrant collusion in our industry and the prospect of being paid far below value for 10 years of our lives, wouldn’t do everything we could to avoid that?

  18. Nice point, Kyle, and good explanation! I didn’t think Drew’s departure was entirely his fault; he did get a huge raise from the Dodgers (thanks to the evil Kenneth Lay clone Scott Boras, partly) and the Braves didn’t offer him arbitration, did they? I thought we didn’t do nearly enough to keep him in Atlanta. Maybe he is a jerk, as Alex’s examples aptly point out, but for my money, there are bigger jerks in this game than JD Drew. Barry Bonds comes easily to mind. Kenny Rogers would be another.

    How many clients does Scott Boras have? I know I’ve seen feature articles on him in multiple publications, but never really read them. Does he represent A-Rod? His main talent seems to be garnering way more money for his clients than anybody ever deserves (Carlos Beltran?) and ruining the integrity and fun of the sport by making every single one of his clients look like money-grubbing traitors. Rich ones. And maybe they are, but I have a feeling that Boras is a large part of it.

    Sorry about the tense atmosphere, everyone. I didn’t mean to make Alex mad and I’m trying to be cool about it.

  19. Alex sounds pretty ornery to me. I don’t KNOW him, but I’m willing to make that claim.

    Aside from all this, does anyone here have ESPN Insider? I had it for about six months a year ago, and I do admit it gave me much more content to read, but is it worth it now to anyone who has it?

  20. I agree with Alex that Glavine has gotten a raw deal from the Braves fans. He’s a classy guy who (I think)made a bad decision in leaving, but I’m not sure how much the Braves really wanted him to stay.

    I pretty much agree with Kyle S, but I will say there’s a big difference between someone in business making say, a hundred grand, and leaving to make two hundred grand, and a player turning down $24 milliong to make $55 million. Frankly, at that level, it’s not going to make much difference to your life anyway and you should do what makes you happy. I get tired of players saying “it’s not about money” when it’s always about the money. I have more sympathy for NFL players who continually get screwed because they don’t have guaranteed contracts.

    Obviously, I can’t comment on whether Drew is a jerk or not–if he is, he is certainly not the only one (eg., Kenny Rogers).

    BTW, did anyone notice that the Brewers’ closer, Jesse Turnbow, has 16 saves? Should we go after him? That way, we could have two ex-Brewer closers.

    Also, has anyone noticed that teh first base combination has 17 home runs and 74 RBIs? I wouldn’t be so quick to trade LaRoche. He has an awfully nice swing and, while he is inconsistent, he clearly has some talent. I’m not so convinced that Chipper is going to come back strong this year given how nebulous his foot injury seems to be.

  21. Everybody was all happy and stuff while you were gone, Jenny. We spent most of our days talking about puppies and butterflies… but I guess all good things must come to an end.


    Boras has a knack for getting teams to overpay even when there’s no real competition for signing the player. It’s amazing. From what I understand, the Braves were the closest competitor to Texas for Alex Rodriguez. And JS even seemed sure at one point he had him until an insistance on a no-trade clause apparently broke the deal (this is all recollection from, I believe, Peter Gammons reporting… so I could be off here). Now, really, you don’t think that Atlanta was offering anything even remotely resembling 10 years and $250 million do you? Given that the Yankees weren’t even really interested in Carlos Beltran, it’s hard to imagine anybody truly came close to offering what the Mets gave him. I’m sure Houston made a substantial offer, but I wouldn’t imagine it was as good in both years and dollars.

    It’s really hard not to have some respect for that ability… even if the whole idea of it rubs us wrong as a fan.

    The one thing I can’t respect is how he handles his amateur clients. He wasted an entire year of development for Drew and Weaver this year… and more than that for JD Drew when he was drafted. I suspect he does this every few years to set the stage for the guys that follow, not for the benefit of the clients at the time… who almost invariably end up not getting what they asked for in the first place and losing out on both development and service time.

  22. I don’t mind Boras so much. He doesn’t force anyone to sign his players. Especially given how much negative press he’s received over the years, the fact that organizations keep lining up to deal with him indicates that his clients are highly valued talents that teams believe will generate high revenues for them. His tactics can seem heavy-handed or money-grubbing, especially to fans of teams who lose players he represents. It’s one thing for me sitting here in my cube to say that Player X should take 5 million from the Hometown Heroes instead of that 8 million from the Out-of-Town Evildoers, and quite another to actually pass up 3 million dollars as an act of loyalty towards a group of people who boo you at the drop of a hat.

  23. Rob – I have Insider, and it’s mostly worth it to me. The biggest problem is you have to get that magazine, which really just gives me a weekly guilt trip about dead trees. I tried to read it once, and it didn’t go very well. It’s awful. But the web content is ok. I like Rob Neyer a lot, so that’s the main reason I pay. The fantasy stuff is at least moderately helpful, and Crasnick and Stark (I think his stuff is “insider” now) are decent enough writers. I probably wouldn’t subscribe if Rob Neyer’s columns went away or were free again, though.

    Marc – One thing that I awlways try to think about is that it’s also another form of competition. These are athletes, and most of them want to be better than anybody else. For better or for worse, money is one way to measure that – “I want to make more money than X because I’m better and more important to my team.” Our salaries aren’t posted for everyone to see. Even though I make a pretty good living and think I’m fairly paid relative to my contribution to my employer, I would demand a raise if I found that certain colleagues of mine were making more money.

  24. Puppies and butterflies??? Hey, it WAS all good when I was gone, we were winning! And we still are. I won’t say I don’t have complaints about this team, but for all the injuries we have, we’re doing pretty darn well.

    I can’t even imagine the thinking that goes on behind these contract negotiations. Where I’m coming from, that beautiful, lazy summer between high school and college, both $24 million and $55 million are unfathomable. I was excited to get $750 as a graduation gift. The real problem is that everyone gets paid too much. Yes, the schedule is rigorous, but it doesn’t last all year. No other job gets a 3-4 month vacation with barely any career-related work going on (I don’t count working out, these guys would do that anyway). If anybody deserves a pile of money, it’s NFL players, who sometimes wind up with permanent, life-shortening injuries in the course of their job. For someone to get paid $10 million for baseball is absurd, whether it’s Scott Boras demanding it or someone else. The fact that the sport has gotten to the point where he CAN demand this much and occasionally get it is the real problem.

    For anybody watching Cold Pizza, Woody Paige is a huge moron. Special honor at the ASG for Barry Bonds? Why do you reward somebody for juicing? He hasn’t admitted it, but if he thinks we don’t know, he is even more arrogant and has an even lower opinion of the rest of humanity versus himself than I ever imagined. He doesn’t deserve any honors, as far as I’m concerned. No ASG showboating, no HOF, nothing. He’s a cheater.

  25. Boras did us a favor (not intentionally, obv.) by getting LA to overspend on Drew and getting the Mets to do the same with Beltran, which also weakened Houston. Suits me fine. Just means they’ll have less to spend on other guys who could help them out. And I love seeing the Mets and Dodgers lose, so I ain’t complaining. Is he trying to ruin baseball? I doubt it, no more than ESPN is trying to ruin baseball, or Bud Selig, or the owners, or Congress. But he IS the appointed boogeyman of the owners and commissioners office, which gets a lot of traction in the press. I won’t argue that.

  26. Baseball players woudln’t be paid as much as they are if people like us didn’t like watching them so much :) Fact is, people are willing to pay lots of money to go to baseball games. That means that owners are willing to pay lots of money to players so that more people will come see them. If you want to blame someone for high salaries, blame yourself!

  27. I agree Kyle. There is a TON of money being made by the sport. Those guys should make as much of that as their agent can get for them. Period.

  28. …but I will say there’s a big difference between someone in business making say, a hundred grand, and leaving to make two hundred grand, and a player turning down $24 milliong to make $55 million.

    Are you serious?

  29. Great point, urlhix. Boras makes our opponents weaker by their overspending on his clients. However, the flip side of that is his heavy-handed tactics cost players years of their careers as creynolds pointed out. He also prevents players from even coming to the table with hometown teams they would probably otherwise sign with. Does anyone else believe that Atlanta would have given Maddux even more than he signed with Chicago for? I do, except Boras wouldn’t even deal with the hometown Braves.

    I think that’s the main problem, that Boras often prevents the incumbent team from even talking to the players they have invested in and developed relationships with. What peeves me is not that Drew and Maddux left, but that it seems they weren’t even permitted to get an offer from the Braves. Any agent that will do that to a player is no friend of mine, and any player that will do that to their teams and fans deserves to be labeled a jerk ass.

    When is Andruw’s contract up? Are there any other Braves represented by Boras?

  30. Dan Kolb is the only other Brave represented by Boras. Andruw’s contract is up after the ’07 season. I remember hearing stories that Andruw’s father was actually the driving force behind his contract… essentially telling his son and Boras that they were to work out a deal with the Braves to keep him there. If any of that is true, it’s a least a sign that Boras will bend to his clients’ wishes. I worry that he takes advantage of kids and their parents (not the I have an awful lot of sympathy), but I think his pro clients are fully aware and supportive of what he does. Maddux had a good enough relationship with the Braves that he could have easily talked to them if he’d wanted to. I think what you saw there was both sides quietly and professionally acknowledging that it just wasn’t going to happen.

  31. Nate, you and creynolds are right, there is always a flip to that kind of ambition. But if his young clients (and their parents) don’t understand how the business side of it operates, then they haven’t done their homework, especially considering the agent they are signing up with. He is only one agent, though. And we seem to be doing just fine dealing with him as little as possible.

  32. We couldn’t sign Maddux for what the Cubs signed him for because of abitration rules. Had we offered him arbitration, he would have accepted, and made at least $12 million for one year (because we could only cut his salary by 15%) and likely more. In order to get him to sign a multi-year deal, we’d have to offer a lot more than 7 per for 3 years.

  33. Saying that Scott Boras is ruining baseball is pretty silly. He does his job (better than anyone else) and nothing more. Have his tactics made the draft order semi-archaic? Sure, but it’s not his fault MLB refuses to adapt(make the first 3 rounds of draft picks tradeable as long as even numbers of picks trade hands, or slot the 1st and 2nd rounds and put a cap of 1 million on any pick below that) is it?

    Boras also doesn’t get his clients nearly as much as people think. The Braves offer to A-Rod was something in the neighborhood of 7/115, the Mets offered him about 7/140 and he got 7/150 from the Rangers. The last 3 years of the deal (at 30+ a year) are basically made to be voided(well until his trade, the Yankees can probably afford it) and mean about as much as the last 3 years of Michael Vick’s new contract.

    Boras does his job, and better than almost anyone else. Doesn’t that sound a bit like Billy Beane? So we love Billy, and hate Scott?

    Lastly, the offer we made to J.D. Drew was far from fair, if one percieves fair as market value. Drew was in the Beltre/Glaus/Ordonez/Sexson/Pedro echelon of FA and 7 million a year(Kris Benson money) was probably insulting. I wouldn’t sit down at the table either if I was horrendously lowballed like that.

    Also, J.D. Drew is a pretty darn nice guy. I’ve known him(non-personally) since about 1999 due to my close family relationship with Mark Petkovsek(who introduced me to McGwire in 1998, who introduced me to J.D. in 1999). He’s a very personal, introverted person, but is very nice in a Bible-belt christian sort of way. He also routinely signed for over an hour before home games last season. So, at the risk of incurring Alex’s wrath, nothing you said is true.

  34. When is Andruw’s contract up? Are there any other Braves represented by Boras?

    I believe Andruw is signed through ’07. Fortuantely when Andurw was up for FA last time he worked around Boras to get a deal done, otherwise he would be long gone. I doubt we can expect that to happen again.

    And put me down for agreeing with Alex on this one. Drew is a prick and I have to admit cracking a smile when hearing about his injury. There are fewer better examples of a player being in the game just for the money than Drew. He and the Dodgers deserve each other. Hopefully someday baseball scholers will be discussing which was the worst contract Dreifort or Drew.

  35. I want to amend my comment. It seems as if my last line calls Alex a liar, which was not my intention. I apoligize for that.

  36. He does his job (better than anyone else) and nothing more.

    Make sure to remind Stephen Drew and Jared Weaver of this fact. They lost a year of development time (and probably a year of major league pay) and didn’t get a dime out of it. Boras often times sacrifices his clients best interest to feed his ego and to keep up the facade of never giving in.

  37. Once more, Kyle S with a good point. The Braves couldn’t offer arbitration, as Maddux/Boras had already shown they’d have no qualms about accepting it, and with no arbitration offered, Maddux would have had to wait until May 1 to resign. If I’m the Cubs, I don’t leave an offer on the table long enough for Boras to wait and see if the Braves will top it.

  38. I’ll amend my comment that Boras is ruining the sport. It wasn’t what I meant, really, but it IS silly to say that. But I will not agree that Boras is unqualifiedly, which is not a word :-), good at his job. There is more to being an agent, I believe, than getting your client piles of cash. He is extremely talented at that, but at what cost? Are these players as happy as they could be? Is their potential being maximized and are they enjoying their jobs as best they could? Or are they also victimized by this “as much as possible” attitude? I would make the statement that Andruw would not be happy with any team other than the Braves. He has been in this organization since he was a teenager and I just can’t see him being happy getting an extra $3-4 million a year to be with a team (like the Yankees, who need a center fielder like nobody’s business) he doesn’t know and isn’t comfortable with. If Boras winds up pricing him out of our budget, I think everyone involved will regret it later, Andruw more than anyone. Just my thought.

    I see a huge problem with the entire arbitration system. Does it seem ludicrous to anyone else that arbiters have to choose between one of two offers, the team’s and the player’s, and there is no middle ground? This is inviting trouble and causes many teams to lose good players and many good players to lose promising teams because each is afraid of the other and each offer is always semi-extreme in opposite directions. Life doesn’t work like this: there is always a middle ground, always a gray area. Why should arbitration be so black and white?

  39. I would literally kill someone for just one million dollars. For 3-4 million dollars a year, I’d sure has heck deal with a non-optimal working environment. Most people know that, in the long run, years after baseball, they’ll be happier never having to worry about money. Boras just works for his clients.

    In the case of Andruw, who may have had different priorities, Boras got a deal done with the Braves. Once again, he worked for his client, even to the tune of a considerable loss of commission. All this stuff about the deal being done despite Boras is just rumor and speculation.

    If anything, the Andruw’s resign supports the claim that it isn’t Boras increasing player salaries, it’s the players wanting to be paid what they’re worth.

  40. In the case of Andruw, who may have had different priorities, Boras got a deal done with the Braves.

    Wow, this is inaccurate. Andruw and his father met with the Braves by themselves and worked out a deal. All Boras did was collect his commission. He had no input into the deal, and is on the record saying he would have advised Andruw against signing it.

    Here’s a nickle, buy a clue…

  41. I think that arbitration is a pretty good compromise in exchange for the reserve arrangement. It’s not perfect, and some players get more than they deserve because of it. But the same can be said for free agency. Part of the reason that it’s so black and white is that the assumption going in is that the team and player have negotiated in good faith over a decent interval of time. I don’t think there’s usually a huge difference between the two figures because both parties know there will be no middle ground. If the player is asking too much, he knows he risks losing. And the team that would offer too little has ample time to trade, or even non-tender, the player before they get there. The worst part about it is that it forces teams to go in and talk about how good their player isn’t.

  42. I think that Boras’ tactics are pretty reprehensible and that (in the case of the amateurs, at least) not in the best interests of his clients. Furthermore, his practice depends upon the continued escalation of salaries. If player salaries were to stop rising relative to inflation, he’d be out of business. That being said, he’s not the embodiment of all evil or something.

    In the long run, he probably didn’t cost JD any money because Drew made it to the majors so rapidly. However, a finished product like that only comes around once every five years or so. Most players need more work in the minors before they’re ready and losing that in a fit of pique over not getting a monstrous bonus instead of a tremendous one is clearly not in a player’s long-term interest.

  43. I think that Boras’ tactics are pretty reprehensible and that (in the case of the amateurs, at least) not in the best interests of his clients.

    Not to paint you with the same brush as Alex, but what exactly do you find “reprehensible”? An amateur’s only leverage is not to play. If they can’t agree with the club on salary, there is no other option. There have been but a very few high profile “backfires” that didn’t ultimately get what they wanted. In fact the only one I can think of is Matt Harrington – and I don’t think Boras was his agent – and even he doesn’t regret it.

  44. Do you guys see Jered Weaver or Drew complaining about how Boras screwed them? Of course not – they’re happy with the results. Weaver likely would not have pitched at all last year anyway because of the number of innings he threw in college, and Drew has certainly hit the ground running in High-A, so I find the cries of lost development time misplaced. Anyway, why is it your concern that Stephen Drew doesn’t make the majors as fast as absolutely possible? One of Boras’ most high-profile clients in this year’s draft, Mark Pawelek, signed within minutes of being drafted.

    The draft’s raison d’etre is that owners were tired of paying big signing bonuses to 18-year-old kids, and colluded to limit their salaries (this was back when the union was too weak to stand up to such strong-arm, monopolistic tactics). If you feel underpaid by your company, you can always leave; Jered Weaver could only sign with the Angels. Moreover, the Angels knew that the only reason he was still around that late in the draft is because of the bonus demands he had. If they didn’t want to pay him, they could have passed over him for a different player.

    Andruw decided to not listen to Boras’ advice and negotiated his own deal (which many of the folks here now decry as an example of the kind of gross overpayment the Time Warner Braves cannot afford). Did Boras say, “No! You are not allowed to negotiate your own deal! I command you to wait for the 10/$250m deal you deserve!”? Of course not. Scott Boras is just a lawyer who makes a lot of money for his clients and himself, and in so doing pisses off lots of people.

  45. It’s not as if Boras holds his clients hostage and won’t let them sign where they want to. Boras’ clients sign where they want to, he just makes one place more tempting by getting a ton of money. He gives his players what he feels is the best option (which unless you are 35 and don’t ahve a ring, is almost always where the money is.) Quit romanticizing this so much, players play to make enough money to support themselves and extended family for the rest of life.

    Playing in the minor leagues is not the only way to devolop. It may be ideal(or at least seem that way) but there are other ways to devolop talent. Has anyone here ever heard of the Royals Baseball Academy? Our own GM was part of that, and it had basically nothing to do with playing in the minor leagues but it devoloped a HOF(as mediocre a one as Frank White is) as well as some other MLB players.

    As for Weaver and Drew, if I’m not mistaken the appeal of both players was the fact that they were as near ready as a player can be, as neither(especially Weaver) had a once in a lifetime type of cieling. What percentage of first round pitchers never make the major leagues? What percentage of 1st round pitchers never sign another big contract after the rookie deal? You would have to be stupid not to try and get as much money as possible in the first contract, because the likelihood is that you WONT make it. The same is true(to a slightly lesser extent) for position players. Boras does his job, is good at it, and is villified for no damn good reason. A-Rod left Seattle because he wanted to be rich as God, insteas of just really freaking rich. Scott Boras didn’t force him to do anything, he just did his job and got him a ton of money. Carlos Beltran signed with the MEts because he wanted to play there, not because it made Scott Boras the most money.

    Put it this way. Let’s say somehow(even though I am competely useless athletically) I make the Braves as a backup C. They pay me the major league minimum. My dream has come true! I’m in the major leagues, playing for my favorite team, making more than qenough money to live on! So I play 2 years and hit FA. The Braves offer to bring me back for next year at the MLB minimum. Thats a ton of money and a great deal. I don’t have the play that much, there is no real pressure to be good(after all, I’m a backup C) and 325K(or whatever the minimum is) is more money than I make in my current job as a waiter(I’m in college, give me a break here). I should take the deal right? Well, not so fast. The MEt’s just offfered me a 3 year, guaranteed deal at 750K per year, with a 1 million dollar signing bonus. No understand, I HATE the Mets. I cheer for the Natspo’s when they play the MEts, even though the Braves need the Natspo’s to lose to win the division(as things stand right now). Even hating the Mets THAT much, I sign that deal in a heartbeat. Thats 3.25 million over the next 3 years, 1 million up front. I can have the life I want on that money. living comfortably for quite awhile. Who wouldn’t take that deal?

  46. Of course not – they’re happy with the results.

    Sure they are. They waited a whole year for nothing. I can’t believe these 18 year old kids didn’t come out publicly and slam their agent. Shocking.

    Anyway, why is it your concern that Stephen Drew doesn’t make the majors as fast as absolutely possible

    Because that’s where the real money is Kyle. That’s what your missing in all this. To make the most money in this game (which is obviously important to these guys), you need to burn through your arbitration years as quickly as possible so you can be a free agent as soon and as often as possible. What Boras did with these guys is took one year’s paycheck from them. He was gambling he could get them more in signing bonus to make up for that lost year. Instead he got them nothing more than they could have had the day they were drafted. That’s failure. If these families aren’t upset about it, it’s simply because they don’t understand what they have lost.

  47. can someone explain to me why the Braves didn’t offer arbitration to either Sheff 2 years ago or drew lasy tear? it occurs to me that both would have declined, as they were seeking (and would have heard they would get) multi-year deals somewhere else. By not offering arbitration, the Braves didn’t get the compensation draft choice when they left, which would have been compensation picks between the first and the second round. So, basically, they lost to low first round picks? Do I have this right? Why did the Braves do that?

  48. billy-jay,

    You are right–I exaggerated. The difference between $24 and 55 million is significant. The point I was trying to make was that at the level of income that top level players are at, why are they worrying about a few million dollars more. It’s not going to affect your lifestyle much if you are making, say $10 million rather than $15 million.

    Creynolds, you are right. It is competition for these guys. I guess I can’t comprehend the thinking; but it seems to me if a player is happy in a city, why uproot his family just to say that you are even richer than before? But I guess Bill Gates wouldn’t agree.

  49. It might not affect someone’s lifestyle NOW to make 15 million instead of ten, but it might affect the way they live in 18 years.

  50. To make the most money in this game (which is obviously important to these guys), you need to burn through your arbitration years as quickly as possible so you can be a free agent as soon and as often as possible.

    I’ve got to take issue with this – the overwhelming majority of drafted players will never even see the show, let alone have a career that lasts longer than arb. For most, draft day IS payday, and probably the only one they are going to see. Boras’ clients are absolutely right to leverage their stock when it is the highest. Half a mil more today vs. a potential FA deal a year sooner? You’d take the money now – it’s not even close. If you’re that good, the money will still be there a year later.

  51. I think it just bugs me when I see these guys hold out forever and get nothing for it. And since that is at least apparently what happened this past year, at least according to reporting I have read, it’s fresh in my mind. Maybe it didn’t affect them as much as others, as has been pointed out, but they apparently didn’t benefit from it. If there was any sacrifice, it was to benefit the guys from this years draft who are signing quickly because everybody knows what will happen if they don’t. Maybe they willingly signed up for this. Or maybe they just didn’t mind missing a year. I’m generally very frustrated in the draft anyway. This is bugging me today, but it’s far from the biggest issue.

    And at least baseball isn’t like football where big-time players hold out all the time.

  52. nyb, he didn’t take anything from them. Both players followed his advice not to sign. As I mentioned before, Jered Weaver threw too many innings last year to even think about pitching in the minors anyway. The only development time he lost was in the Angels’ instructional system. Stephen Drew lost some time, sure, but I’m sure he was working on his game in case he had to go back into the draft. Based on the way he’s playing so far in High A, an extra few months likely would not have mattered.

    The guy who you guys SHOULD be pointing to is Wade Townsend, who went back to Rice for his senior year instead of taking the Orioles’ lowball offer (mindboggling in its stupidity to throw away a pick that high – guess they thought he was bluffing?) and looked terrible in workouts this spring. However, the D-Rays picked him in the top 10 anyway, so it didn’t cost him anything.

    Anyway, what do you care if Stephen Drew signs his first free agent contract one year late because he followed his agent’s advice? Does that really make Scott Boras a bad guy?

  53. Does that really make Scott Boras a bad guy?

    Never said he was a bad guy. The point I originally responded to was something to the effect that he was the top agent around. That I have issue with. If my son was a top baseball prospect I’d keep a taser with me at all times to keep Boras away from him.

    And I still don’t agree that Weaver didn’t loose any development time. If he’d of signed right away he may have been the guy called up when Escobar’s elbow went south, or later when Lackey implodes (scheduled for Mid-August). But I guess it’s not worth arguing further over.

  54. And then Townsend signed with TB for only a little more than the O’s gave him after going through a song and a dance about how he knew his value and the O’s weren’t respecting him and how he was better than everybody else in his college. Sorry, I’m an O’s fan and I’m not taking this guy’s arrogance. Maybe the O’s front office played it stupidly, but why would you go to TB, who can’t compete, over the O’s, who at least show more promise, for an extra few thousand? And why would they want this guy, anyway? His ego is the size of Bulgaria. No thanks.

  55. Jenny, I agree that his move didn’t work out. I’m not a fan of that rhetoric either. But any time you have a top 10 pick in the draft and get literally nothing to show for it, you blew it – so the O’s deserve some culpability as well.

    nyb, this is a small point, but Weaver likely would not have pitched for the Angels last season because of the number of innings he threw (144, plus the College World Series games) at LBSU. Therefore, he would have begun this year at around the same level anyway – High A. I think it’s unlikely the Angels would have called him up especially over Ervin Santana, who may well be a better prospect anyway.

  56. Of course they do. The O’s front office is completely incompetent. Beattie and Flanagan are like Ed Wade squared and Angelos multiplies it by two. I’m just saying I’m glad they screwed up because I wouldn’t want Townsend in our system anyway. The team is getting great chemistry, I don’t want a showboater like him spoiling things.

    Look out, if the O’s don’t pull out of this skid soon, JS may need a bodyguard to avoid being kidnapped by desperate Birds fans and forced to make trades for starting pitching. And Theo Epstein should find a bunker quickly.

  57. Shoot, I would deal the farm for Brian Roberts. He may be the 1.000 OPS slugger he’s impersonating, but he’s a stud and I’d take him in a heartbeat. Who knows, maybe he can play short…

  58. JPMouton,

    Do you really think that someone is going to have problems maintaining their lifestyle on $10 mm? I guess they might if they are Mike Tyson. Otherwise, I can’t imagine how an extra $5 mm is going to make any difference-unless, of course, you want to buy your kids an island.

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