Scott Boras is not the most likable person navigating the MLB planet. But he has the wits and the drive to lead the MLBPA out of its current funk.
Scott Boras is one of the wealthiest sports agents in America. According to Forbes, Boras has a net worth that currently stands at an estimated $118.8 million as of September 2019.
He is a self-made man who, in another setting conceivably can be seen riding down an escalator of his choice – a la fellow entrepreneur Donald Trump – to announce his candidacy for President of the United States.
But Boras’s platform is in Major League Baseball, and a mighty one it is.
Bora has a reputation as a hard-line negotiator who brings his client to the table against MLB owners and their representatives with an arsenal of notebooks and research gathered by his staff.
And always armed and ready to secure the best possible deal for everyone from Gerrit Cole to Matt Harvey, who is still seeking a team to resurrect his major league career.
The Players’ Union In A Leadership Funk
Scott Boras continues at the top of his game, bringing in a $1 billion slice from the MLB’s reported revenues of $10.7 billion for 2019 on behalf of the players he represents, topped by the record-setting $324 million contracts awarded to Gerrit Cole by the Yankees.
Boras has no standing in the current negotiations between MLB owners and the MLBPA.
Still, from a distance, he has not been shy in stating when asked which is often, what his views are as he sees a client 2020 salary (Gerrit Cole) slashed from $36 million to $8 million if and when the 2020 season resumes.
Boras also observes as the MLBPA, currently under the leadership of Tony Clark, is caught with their pants down.
This, as the MLB owners emasculate the players with an underhanded, yet advantageous, financial settlement designed to re-establish everyone’s “Patriotic Duty” to play ball in 2020.
By all accounts, Tony Clark is an honorable and useful public spokesman as the MLBPA president. Unfortunately, the job description has a broader horizon in the 21st Century.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but can anyone recall just one original idea or proposal he, or his executive team, has put forth on behalf of his constituency?
Just one that was designed to head off MLB owners at the pass – before the current debacle and losing strategy of the players was decimated by proactive ownership?
Scott Boras – The Pros And The Cons
Out with the old and in with the new is never that simple. Replacing mild-mannered Tony Clark with an explosive and self-assured personality like Scott Boras is an endeavor filled with minefields.
But union leaders don’t necessarily need to be “liked”. They must, however, draw respect from within and without the dominant position they occupy.
Moreover, first and foremost, they must lead their membership with an authority that engenders a unique form of trust that is indigenous only to labor unions.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely it is said. Tony Clark, for all practical purposes, has reached his Harvard. In all likelihood, he will retire from his current status in life.
Scott Boras, on the other hand? – Well, you never can tell.
Scott Boras – A Marvin Miller Protege
But one thing MLB players can be assured of is that Boras will promote, promote, and promote the players’ interests.
And more significantly, he will do so with original, if not controversial, ideas designed to move MLB further into the 21st Century – all of which will be subject to negotiation and owner’s approval – and not the other way around like we have now.
Scott Boras is made of the same DNA as Marvin Miller, who is now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Miller, whose credentials include, in 1975, when Miller and the union tested the reserve clause through arbitration.
Pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played the 1975 season without signing their contracts, then contended that they were free agents due to the wording of reserve clause. Arbitrator Peter Seitz agreed, and suddenly baseball’s economic structure was thrown on its ear. (MLB Baseball Hall of Fame account)
Those were radical days calling for equally sympathetic progressive responses, and Miller responded to the tenor of the times.
We’re not there now as the playing field between the owners and players has been leveled. But the recent one-upmanship engineered by MLB owners is not something the MLBPA can afford to left unanswered.
Assuming Scott Boras would even want to make the leap from his standing as the premier and most sought after player rep, it seems at least a topic worthy of exploration between Boras and the Executive Board of the MLBPA.
Given the MLB owners (seeming) win in the efforts to revitalize a lost 2020 season, change within the leadership of the MLBPA is not only warranted but should be welcome as a new start to what promises to be tumultuous negotiations from 2022 forward.