I’ve been sitting on this article for awhile and I could honestly rant for a couple thousand words about how stupid it is. But let’s just take a quick look at the stupidity of what might be the worst article I’ve ever read – and that’s saying something. This one is from the Boston Herald’s Gerry Callahan and exemplifies everything I hate about Boston sports culture (okay, maybe not everything – the article doesn’t read with a ridiculous Boston accent – but close).
There was nothing particularly savvy or skillful about it, of course. They were dealing with Scott Boras, so they knew that honor and integrity would play no part in the process.
Dealing with Scott Boras takes a considerable amount of savvy and skill. Plain and simple.
Just money. Lots and lots of money.
In other words, it was a New York Yankees kind of deal right from the start, a chance for them to buy the biggest house on the block and act like they built it with their bare hands.
Unlike a Boston Red Sox kind of deal. They pay their players in grit, determination, and heart. Their players love the game so much they play for no money at all.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t even have to travel to Mark Teixiera’s home to grovel. All he had to do was sit back, checkbook in hand, and let Boras do his thing. In the end, the slimy superagent did not let him down.
Boras used the Orioles and Nationals and Angels until he used them up, as Bill Withers would say, and then he played your Boston Red Sox [team stats] like they were his new Guitar Hero game. The Sox desperately wanted to bring Teixeira to Boston, and for a while, actually thought they had a shot at the switch-hitting first baseman. Even though they already had a pretty good first baseman and third baseman, the Sox didn’t try to hide their affection for the best free agent on the market. They pounced on Teixeira like Brian Williams on Barack Obama. They made a bold offer of about $170 million over eight years.
Well, at least, Theo Epstein thought it was an offer. In truth, it was a signal from Boras to Cashman, who might as well have been sitting outside in a white van. Their scheme was coming together. Those rubes up in Boston played their part and drove up the price. Now it was time for the Yanks to pony up and close the deal.
Cashman did as he was told. He topped the Sox by a sizable margin. Final number: $180 million over eight years with a full no-trade clause.
This isn’t even remotely accurate. Do you think Cashman and Boras work together? Do Boras clients only go to the Yankees? Last time I checked, the Red Sox had JD Drew and Dice-K. Cashman didn’t do “what he was told.” He lobbied to sign Teixeira. He also didn’t just hand Boras a blank check – after all, Boras claimed he wanted 10 years and over $200 million for Tex.
The Red Sox offered $176 million. You can’t tell me that $4 million was going to make or break this deal. Nor can you complain about Boston being trumped financially, because clearly their offers were in the same ballpark. So how did Cashman get it done? Oh right, savvy and skill.
Recession? What recession? The taxpayers of New York helped the Yankees build their new revenue-generating palace, and the Yanks turned around and shared the wealth with Teixeira.
And had Tex decided to take Boston’s money, they would have been sharing the wealth they’d acquired from adding monster seats and coming up with 17 alternate jerseys for fans to buy. Same deal.
It is easy to say the Red Sox should have known better, but after lavishing outrageous contracts on other Boras clients, including J.D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka, maybe the Sox thought Boras would give them a fair shake. They thought wrong, and they got burned. The Red Sox ended up with a miffed Mike Lowell, which hasn’t been a problem for them, while New York ended up with one of the best all-around players in the American League, which, as it turns out, has been a big, big problem for the Sox.
What big, big problem do you mean? That the Yankees will be competitive in the AL East like they have been EVERY YEAR since the early 90’s? And in what world did Boras NOT give the Red Sox a “fair shake”? You can’t say that Boras is all about the money and then say the Red Sox never had a “fair shake.” They wouldn’t trump the Yankees offer. If we’re both at an auction and I have $500 in my pocket and you have $450 and you bid $100 on something and I bid $101, I should win right? You had a fair shake. You could have bid more and chose not to.
We don’t know yet if the Yankees finally bought themselves a World Series, but we know this: As they take the field against the Red Sox tonight, the Yankees bought themselves first place (or a piece of it, at least), and they did it primarily with one move. After years of foolish free agent signings from Kevin Brown to Carl Pavano to Jason Giambi to Kei Igawa, Cashman and the Yankees got one very right this year.
Bought themselves first place? Unlike the Red Sox I assume, who’ve been winning with old farmhands like Manny Ramirez, JD Drew, Julio Lugo, Dice-K, etc.
Callahan then goes on to speculate about the future of Jason Bay and whether the Red Sox will have a “fair shot” at signing him. Well, let’s say this right now for the record: the Boston Red Sox have an extreme financial advantage over the majority of MLB teams and have the means to sign any free agent they want. Yes, even free agents the Yankees want.
Boston sports writers and whoever else can continue to pretend that the Red Sox are the small market underdogs, but that really couldn’t be farther from the truth. But hey, keep believing that – I’m pretty sure the Sox just came out with another alternate jersey they’d like you to buy.