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Off Base
What Goes Around Comes Around

February 21, 2006

Go ahead, make my day. Fire away with the nearest cliche. “Ding, dong the witch,” “the King is dead, long live the King,” “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” They all apply to Scott Boras. He’s “Great Scott,” super-agent man no longer.

Boras has got his just desserts and he’s all dressed up with nowhere to go. Why? That’s the $64,000 question. Might be because there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or, you know, you swim with the sharks, uh, you get wet feet. Or something.

“Too rich for my blood” is the cry of baseball’s general managers. Way to go, guys. You da men.

Until recently, Boras has let comments like “he is a very, very bad man…exquisitely bad, in a foreclose-on-the-farm sort of way” from Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey and he’s "the Most Hated Man in Baseball, the heartless bastard hell-bent on destroying our National Pastime, the keen-eyed pimp of ball-hogging, bat-whipping, splitter-hurling youth" from Esquire’s Scott Raab fall harmlessly to his side, with a no skin off my nose non-reaction.

But now Boras is taking it in the behind, where his wallet sits, and there’s just no way he can turn the other cheek…so to speak.

Boras has been beaten into one-year deals for players like Jeff Weaver, and just plain beaten by the Dodgers in the Luke Hochevar affair. He could scream collusion if he cared to, but he wouldn’t care to. Besides, he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

Sure, Boras has landed huge deals for Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, J.D. Drew, Dan Kolb, Kenny Rogers and Magglio Ordonez in the last year, but how well have things worked out for those guys? Really and truly. And how thrilled are Rick Ankiel, Kevin Brown, Chan Ho Park and Alex Rodriguez right about now?

At the time of A-Rod’s trend-demolishing contract, the Mariner shortstop was not only the possessor of squeaky-clean, polished yet human-like image, he was universally admired, and prepared to remain in Seattle. And he was a shortstop. Now look at him. Scott Boras is as responsible for the mess that is Alex Rodriguez as is A-Rod himself. No two ways about it.

An opportunity exists for an agent to step up and replace Boras as a more genuine super-agent, an agent who actually caters to the ball player as a person, not just as a product with a license to print money.

Leigh Steinberg used to be that kind of agent, or at least that’s what he would have you believe, and for all we know, he may be again. Because after all, revenge is a dish best served…uh, never mind. Forget I even brought it up…

With a gentle nudge from my business consultant, I’ve finally decided to put my Darren Dreifort autographed baseball card up for sale. $55 million, or best offer…

An Appreciation: When the only baseball on television in Los Angeles was the Saturday morning “Game of the Week” and nine games a year from Candlestick, Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek were a big deal to a generation of boys.

What I remember most about Gowdy was his absolute raving about a young Dave Parker in 1972. He never actually used the phrase “five-tool player” to describe Parker’s many abilities, but that’s what Gowdy was suggesting, and it was the first time I’d heard it put just so.

My brother and I have been joking about it ever since, doing our best Curt Gowdy impersonation: “He can run, he can throw, he can run with power, he can throw with power.” Rest in peace, Curt…

Only the Ball Was White: I’d heard the expression for as long as I can remember, and knew what it referred to, but I didn’t know that it was the title of a book, and I certainly had no idea who wrote it. Robert W. Peterson, who passed away at the age of 80 last week, authored what is still considered to be one of the most important accountings of the Negro Leagues, in 1970. While you’ll have to pay $200 for a mint condition hardback with the striking cover, there are scores of copies for as little as three bucks at abebooks.com. Enjoy…

Visa problems, they're everywhere you want to be…

The Wrong Brother, Part Deux: Thanks to those who wrote in suggesting Ramon Martinez as an example of the Dodgers ending up with the wrong brother. It’s a common joke nowadays, but I don’t agree. Fred Claire and Tommy Lasorda experienced a collective brain cramp, and the rest is history, but Ramon Martinez was a fine pitcher, and a great Dodger, and should be remembered as such…

Jackass of the Week: Jerod Weaver, for, and what a classic of a description from the arresting officer this is: “He just had too much to drink…He was unable to care for himself or to be in the presence of others."

Jackass of the Week, runner-up: Barry Bonds. I’m quite confident Barry will have another chance or two to win the award outright…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged.

It’s Official: I’ve lent my voice to old friend Ivette Ricco and FemmeFan.com, which should pretty much guarantee its success, or come to think of it, lack thereof....

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Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues, so please scroll back to the upper right panel of this page and vote yes on 32…

Remember, glove conquers all….


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