Slick speaking Scotty Boras addressed the media Wednesday and spewed some things that he needed to get off his moneyed chest. I’m guessing it’s probably because he has been experiencing some financial discomfort lately (I’m being sarcastic – sort of).
It’s here we go dollar dollar bill time, and Scotty needs to make the cash-rules-everything-around his players MLB. So Wednesday night he decided to use the landing above some stairs in whatever hoity-toity hotel as his stage to deliver his charged speech.
Whenever I read about Scotty B and the things he says, I can’t help myself from thinking about some good ol’ vintage Ric Flair interviews. He doesn’t have the charisma of the Nature Boy, but he’s stylin’ and profilin’ and so are most of his clients. So, when the man speaks, it’s heard around the MLB just like a Ric Flair WOOOO.
Now, I’m sure most of you have already read the latest Scotty B quotes because he targeted the Jays organization in his little dramatic whatever. The Newport Beach agent did actually say some interesting things if you take the Boras out of it. But, usually whenever I read between his lies, the only truth I see is M O N E Y, which is all he should care about because he is the high profile agent in the MLB.
What he thinks the league should do is set up some sort of reward system for owners. A system that would influence these billionaires (or corporations) to want to win, so, of course, then they would spend more m o n e y:
We have to create a performance model that is the equivalent of what we require of our players with owners in the sense of there’s a reward for winning. If there’s a reward for winning, I guarantee you they will do things differently.
Ah, sure, I guess. I mean, isn’t the reward for winning higher attendance? TV ratings? More money? And, of course, a parade and a flag that flies forever? I’m not trying to shit on Scotty’s point here, but there already is a reward for winning.
Now, sure, it would be cool if the MLB (and other professional leagues) did reward teams in the draft for winning rather than the way the current system is set up, so that teams don’t deliberately ‘tank’. But, also there is no reason for the MLB to reward the few organizations that don’t give a shit about going over the luxury tax that seem to be in it every September and October, who also back up truck loads of cash to a player’s house when a Bryce Harper superstar hits free agency.
It’s really shitty that big market teams like the dumb Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers seem to always be competitive year-in-and-year out, but we’re all used to the nature of the MLB. There’s nothing like watching Oakland get murdered by the Yankees in a Wild Card game. So, I guess if Boras is concerned with what the fans aren’t buying into and attendance and all that stuff, maybe the league should think about implementing a salary cap. But, that’s probably not good for Boras’ business or the players. But, Scotty B seems legitimately concerned for the fans and baseball:
We have 17 teams in baseball where the attendance has declined — 17 out of 30. We have six stadiums where they had the lowest attendance of their stadium history. We’ve had a total drop in attendance of roughly 4%. Now, some of the things we heard about this was it was due to weather. However, the two largest drops in attendance, of over 800,000 fans, have been in domed stadiums — Toronto and Miami.
And, sure, Toronto’s attendance was down last year after having three really successful years at the gate. But, losing does do that, which makes winning kind of, ya know, a reward for ownership.
Atkins politely reminded fans that:
No organization is going to win absolutely every year, there are always going to be lulls, and there are going to be teams that are spending at the very top of the payroll potential and still not go to the World Series.
When we talk about sustaining success it means building from within and having that depth of talent that’s constantly coming and then recognizing the opportunities to double down on that in free agency and trades.
It’s hard not to agree with what the Jays’ GM is saying and any reasonable thinking baseball fan knows this. The Jays aren’t going to go out and spend this season and that’s fine. The organization is going to have plenty of payroll to work with when the future Vladdy Jays need a little help through free agency. It’s just not the right time for the Jays right now.
Scotty B’s money quote, which I know you have all seen by now, is this:
Toronto’s a wonderful city, it’s been a great franchise, they’ve drawn over three million fans, (but) they’ve lost nearly a third of their fan base due to the ‘Blue flu” of not bringing attractive players that fans find interesting to their market.
The first time I read this quote, I thought he said the ‘Bird flu’, which kind of makes more sense because everything that could’ve possibly gone sideways for the Jays in ’17 and ’18 did. It was like some ailing sickness just seemed to linger, a kind of two year hangover after two years of fun.
Even if the Jays would have went out and spent money on an ‘attractive’ outfielder like Lorenzo Cain last offseason, the team still would’ve missed the playoffs. Even if the Jays were able to sign Arrieta, they wouldn’t have won enough games to earn the opportunity to lose to the Yankees in the Wild Card game.
If Aaron Sanchez, who we all know is represented by Boras, could’ve pitched like he did in ’16, that might’ve helped the attendance at the Rogers Centre. But, a suitcase injury and overall mechanical issues kind of got in the way of that. In the past two seasons, Sanchez is 5 – 9 with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.642 WHIP – those type of blistering numbers don’t help the team win and losing doesn’t ‘attract’ fans.
I really could go on and on about this stuff, as we all know the 2018 woes that were Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Marco Estrada, Roberto Osuna, and Marcus Stroman, but there’s no point in diving into all that terrific stuff and the ifs that had to break right for the 2018 team to be good that didn’t break at all.
I guess my point is that the Jays had attractive players that should’ve brought fans to the Rogers Centre. But, when all of those attractive players are on the DL or playing well below their expectations, there’s not a heck of a lot that the front office can do.
Now, one thing that I think might’ve negatively affected the drop in attendance in Toronto, besides the shitty baseball that was played, was the price of tickets. If it weren’t for Internet sites like Stub Hub and Seat Geek, I wouldn’t have gone to any games last season.
My mom came up from St. Catharines last summer for the weekend and we were walking along the waterfront on a Saturday afternoon. We ended up near the Rogers Centre, so I thought it would be cool to take my mom to a game (because Washington was in town and I wanted to see Bryce Harper). I didn’t buy tickets in advance, it was an in the moment decision. So we went to the box office while the game was in the third inning to get tickets and two seats in the ‘upper bowl’, the 500 section, came close to $70 dollars. I passed and I took her out for lunch with that money instead. Jays games are expensive. I will never spend that kind of money on a seat in the ‘upper bowl’.
I digress. I figure since Mr. Boras seems so concerned about how the fans are responding league wide to their losing teams, maybe the MLB should consider a salary cap to even out the playing field – or drop the luxury tax payroll thing to 150 million. Maybe there would be more competitive teams in the league and that would help attendance. But, I know that a radical idea like that is probably not in the best interest of Mr. Boras or any of the players, but it would be better for all of the fans.