The Boras Reaction

Master manipulator Scott Boras [“The Boras Factor,” May 25–31] can claim all he wants is respect for his players, but Ned Colletti is right: When Boras always measures respect in terms of dollars and cents, he exposes himself as the shortsighted, greedy agent he really is. In his blind pursuit of the quick buck, coupled with his selfish desire to punish GMs who do not kowtow to him, Boras totally neglects that less tangible — but eminently bankable — asset known in the business world as goodwill, thus ultimately cheating his own clients.

For example, Boras may have scored short-term big money for Johnny Damon in New York, but when the turncoat centerfielder hangs up his cleats in a few short years, he will discover he’s just another ex-Yankee — instead of the demigod he could have been throughout New England. In his retirement years, Damon will be earning less money than if he had remained in Boston — as well as lamenting the loss of the “respect” he and Boras sold for 30 pieces of Steinbrenner silver.

Moreover, Boras’ trademark “escape clause,” exercised by J.D. Drew so he could spurn the Dodgers’ apparently insulting offer of a measly $33 million, is a destabilizing influence on baseball. But Boras couldn’t care less: This gave him the opportunity, after robbing the Red Sox of Damon, to turn around and come back to Boston in the role of savior, proffering Drew as a replacement. Boras taketh away and Boras giveth — collecting commissions at both ends.

In yet another display of chutzpah, Boras advocates tinkering with the World Series, citing his yearning for the “tradition” that was Major League Baseball in 1903. Who is he kidding? Ask Boras if he would like to go back to the baseball days of yesteryear before there was free agency. The mere thought of it would shrink the Boras empire to the size of a Little League franchise.

Buzzy GordonValley Village

Boras’ clients all have something in common: They have no loyalty and they will play hardest when it is in their best financial interest. As a Dodgers fan, I would hate to see Derek Lowe leave next year, but if the Dodgers have no Boras clients on their roster on opening day, that’s okay by me.

Michael VincentLong Beach

I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a little boy, and although I think the same holds true for Scott Boras, his utter certainty in his own rightness is just plain frightening. I grew up idolizing the Dodgers infielders, year after year: Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey. That kind of continuity is getting rarer and rarer, though, and people like Boras are to blame, people who think that an offer to a baseball player of $15 million per year shows a lack of respect, whereas $18 million does not. Once you have everything you could want in life, why would that extra $3 million make a difference?

Mike FlanaganSilver Lake

Congratulations on the detailed article on that sanctimonious blowhard Scott Boras. I was delighted to see you paying such attention to an atypical L.A. Weekly subject (non-political and non-artsy-fartsy). I’m in the camp that feels that agents like Boras truly are the antichrist and contribute greatly to the rampant increase in ticket prices and the greater disconnect between athletes and fans (with Barry Bonds being the main offender).

On another front, while I enjoy the Weekly’s calendar of special movie screenings and other events, I would love you to bring back your late, lamented crossword puzzle.

Mark DiamondLos AngelesTales of the City

I’ve been in L.A. for a year and have gradually gotten more familiar with Christine Pelisek’s work. I love her writing and her subject matter. Her L.A. Weekly stories always interest me because so many of them seem to be about odd events that leave me scratching my head. I love it!

Elise EstradaLos AngelesNixing the N-word

Kudos to Peter Woods for his stand against the word that dare not say its name. [People issue, “Collective Reasoning,” May 11–17]. As a teacher in an inner-city school, I constantly reprimand my students for using that derogatory epithet. I accept no excuses. Thank you, Mr. Woods, for your encouragement.

William Joseph MillerLos AngelesSemantics of Suffering

Matthew Fleischer misstates the Catholic Church’s rational for opposing assisted suicide [“The Semantics of Suicide Aid in Dying,” April 20–26]. The principal basis for the Church’s opposition to assisted suicide is simply that it is wrong to kill. As Father Richard John Neuhaus has put it, the appropriate response to another’s suffering is “always to care, never to kill.”

Daniel MansuetoLos Angeles

Scott Boras chides the Cardinals for offering Weaver, who had a terrible 2006 regular season and an uncharacteristically good run in the playoffs, only $5 million for one year. He also seemed to “disrespect” (‘respect’ seeming to be his favorite word) Cardinal GM Walt Jockety for never playing the game, as if that would somehow mar his judgment. Well, what’s left out of the article is that the Seattle Mariners have payed $8.3 million (“respecting” Weaver) in return for zero victories along with six defeats and a 14.32 Earned Run Average. Weaver is now resting comfortably on the Disabled List counting his $8.3 mil. Whose shoes would you rather be in — Jockety’s or the general manager of the Seattle Mariners’?

Reuben LederLos Angeles

In Jeffery Anderson’s profile of baseball über-agent Scott Boras, he quotes Boras as saying that “not signing Jeff Weaver is how you don’t win divisions, and my prediction is the St. Louis Cardinals won’t win their division this year.” Anderson affirms this observation by writing “at press time, the Cardinals were near the bottom of the NL Central.”

What he neglects to say is that Weaver is 0-6 with a 14.32 ERA — the worst record of any pitcher in baseball — and was on the verge of being released until he went on the Disabled List in mid-May. This marks the second consecutive season that a team contemplated eating a big chunk of money and releasing Weaver just a month into the season. The Cardinals salvaged Weaver’s career, and rather than express any loyalty toward the team or pitching coach Dave Duncan — and realize that this was perhaps the best fit for his client — Boras was insulted by their offer and took the bigger bucks from the gullible Mariners. As Dodger GM Ned Colletti said, with Boras it’s always about the money, which doesn’t always translate to the best interest of his clients.

Drew BrownSan MarinoSend letters to L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at
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