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What Is Going On With The New York Yankees? Alex Rodriguez Edition

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Sunday's NY Daily News has an article about the current state of the Alex Rodriguez War with ARod and his agent, Scott Boras, facing-off against Yankees Management and GM Brian Cashman's statement that the Yankees will not resign Rodriguez is he opts out of his contract and forces the Yankees to lose the $30MM subsidy the Rangers agreed to pay when it dealt him four season ago.  The article is mainly an indictment of agent Scott Boras and the magical powers he has over his clients and the owners he gets to agree to his pitch.

How did I come to that conclusion?  Here are some excerpts from the article:

"Boras is the ultimate Svengali," a veteran baseball insider says. "Alex will come to a conclusion and express a conviction, and if it's counter to Boras' thoughts or Boras' best interests, in a nanosecond he can make Alex change his mind....

... the man who will sacrifice the truth and his own clients' best interests in order to get record contracts. He has been called hypnotic and manipulative, able to maneuver owners into signing deals they had no business signing. ....

I'm not willing to concede his mystical powers, but I do see the makings of a deceptive man in this ubiquitous piece of negotiating:

It [his new team] also will benefit when he chases some of baseball's all-time records in the coming years (he has said that A-Rod will play until he's in his mid-40s and could hit 1,000 home runs). And a team with a regional sports network (such as YES, for example), the little engines that have driven baseball's revenues past $6 billion, would have the "iconic player" it needs to sell gobs of advertising.

The Yankees are well aware of what A-Rod will bring them, Boras says. He notes that since Rodriguez was traded to New York, annual attendance has increased every year, from 3.47 million the year before to 4.27 million this season.

This is the type of cause-and-effect question that the innumerate seem most likely to fall victim to - a correlation mistaken for causation.  If Boras knows how little others know and plays on their ignorance, can that be considered deception on his part?  If a sub-prime lender uses their mastery of the English language over non-English speaking buyers, is that morally right?

Another attack on Boras surrounds his claims to taking care of his clients in every facet of their professional lives at his institute in Arizona where players have their own physical trainer and dietician.  This revolves around his contention that ARod has the body of a 25-year-old and will be able to play until his 40s in perfect health.  From the article:

Part of Boras' sales pitch with all of his clients is the promise of longevity. He famously provides players with workout and nutritional regimens, and repeats the mantra that Rodriguez, for example, "has the body of a 25-year-old," and that any of his clients will exceed normal projections for a player's career.

But after two Boras clients, St. Louis' Rick Ankiel and the Mets' Scott Schoeneweis, showed up on the client list of Signature Pharmacy as having received human growth hormone, and, in Schoeneweis' case, steroids, several executives say they will look twice at a Boras client, no matter who it is.

"Absolutely," one GM says. "He talks about how involved he is with their lives - how could he not have known?"

This was clearly an article meant to inure the media and public against the magical powers of the Boras Public Relations Machine.  By playing the Steroids card, and doing so in a way even I found effective, the Daily News has added to the debate over the 2008 laundry that Alex Rodriguez will wear.