“For Boras, when does this start being about his clients’ doing what they love in their work and playing baseball?”

December 12th, 2006 → 3:08 pm @

Insider of my trying to comment on/summarize this, you really should just read Buster Olney’s column on ESPN.com; it’s great. Here are some pertinent sections:

“‘If I represent you,’ [Boras] has told some players in so many words, ‘only I do the negotiating.’ Their impression is that he wants 100 percent control. ‘Why would I do that?’ one player mused, looking back on the day that Boras tried to sign him as a high school senior. ‘It’s my life.’ When Boras negotiates, club executives sometimes wonder whether all the facts — whether every piece of every offer — gets through to the player. They never know, and it scares the hell out of them; Boras is the funnel through which all the information is channeled. This is why Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino flew to California late, why they rode on John Henry’s private plane, why they’ve become so open and outspoken about their negotiations.” …

“And you’d have to wonder: For Scott Boras, when does this stop becoming a chase of dollars and start being about his clients’ doing what they love in their work and playing baseball?” …

“Matsuzaka has never pitched a day in the major leagues, and it could be that when Boras is finished haggling, the pitcher could make $10 million in his first year in the majors, and more after that. Much more.

But with every passing day, with every delay, with every insistence upon more dollars, Boras is effectively placing more pressure on the shoulders of his client, who already is facing an enormous adjustment if he signs to play in Boston. And if Boras/Matsuzaka don’t sign, if the agent’s filibuster continues and they try to make the pitcher the Curt Flood of the Japanese posting system, you have to wonder whether it really will be worth it, in the end, for Matsuzaka.”

Post Categories: Keith Foulke & NESN & Nomar Garciaparra & Roger Clemens

Other people report (on Andy Pettitte); you decide

December 7th, 2006 → 9:50 am @

Apparently, Andy Pettitte is close to signing a one-year deal with the Yankees for somewhere around $14 or $15 million. Speculation is that if Pettitte ends up in New York, Roger will too; indeed, the Times pretty much says that if Andy jumped off a bridge, Roger would too. (They do look awfully cute together.)

That might be true — I honestly have no idea (although I do know that last year the Rocket was deciding between the Sox and the ‘Stros; the Yankees weren’t really in the final picture). So for argument’s sake, let’s assume that it is, and let’s assume that a season of Andy and a half-season of Roger is going to cost somewhere north of $53 million ($14.5 for Pettitte, $18 for a half-season of Clemens, a bit north of $20 million in a luxury tax hit). Good deal for New York? Last year, Pettitte’s WHIP was higher than it’s been since 2000 and Roger is, after all, 44. (At least he’s not in Orlando, pathetically trolling for a job.)

So I’ll leave it up to. Make your voices heard. I’ll tally at the end of the day.

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Andy Pettitte & Roger Clemens & Yankees

The press is shocked, shocked! Roger Clemens named in Grimsley steroid affidavit

October 1st, 2006 → 5:16 pm @

You remember Jason Grimsley, right? Back in June, the Diamondbacks reliever was busted by federal agents when he signed for a shipment of human growth hormone; within days, he’d given an affidavit in which he named a bunch of names of MLB players who’d recommended PED regimens and/or used the drugs themselves.

Well, as Will Leitch predicted, the names in those affidavits didn’t stay blacked out for long. Today’s Los Angeles Times has a report in which they reveal those players: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, who played with Grimsely on the Yankees, and Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons, who played with Grimsely on the Orioles. (David Segui, now retired, has already told ESPN he was one of the names in the Grimsley affidavit.) Grimsley, according to the Times piece, met his first steroid supplier through former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee, who remains Clemens’s and Pettitte’s personal strength coach.

Anyone who’s followed Clemens’s remarkable career shouldn’t be completely surprised by this. (As Buster Olney wrote earlier today, Clemens’s name was not “being whispered on background” after the Grimsley affidavit, “it was being shouted behind the scenes.”) Before the start of this season, Clemens had the best winning percentage of any pitcher after age 40, the third best ERA, the third best walks plus hits per nine innings, the third best hits per nine innings, the second best strikeouts per nine innings, and the fifth most strikeouts. Save for K/9, Clemens’s post-40 numbers are all better than those he put up from ages 21 through 39. The question is, why hasn’t someone looked into this possibility before?

Olney thinks the fact that Clemens’s name is in the affidavit won’t affect whether or not he returns next year. If true, I think that’s a sign of arrogance, although Olney clearly disagrees. But it should affect whether or not the Red Sox pursue Clemens in the offseason, as they did before before the ’06 season and at this summer’s trade deadline. As Jerry Remy noted in last night’s broadcast, the media coverage of the Red Sox is unique: “It’s probably the only place in the country where there’s a baseball story in both papers every single day of the offseason.” A PED scandal in Boston would make the tempest surrounding Manny’s knee injury seem like a decorous meeting of the local library lovers club.

Clemens will get a lot of scrutiny, and a lot of criticism, over the coming days and weeks. (Can you imagine what it would have been like had the Astros made the playoffs?) But this is a black mark on more than just a handful of players. It hasn’t been long since the country’s sportswriters made massive mea culpas — with special reports, investigative articles, and tendentious broadcasts — promising that never again would they turn a blind eye to players who mysteriously bulk up or show odd performance spikes. And yet there’s been very few questions asked of Jason Giambi concerning his remarkable return to his peak performances…which occurred during a time in which Giambi has acknowledged he was using steroids. And there’s been nary a published peep about Clemens.

Back in June, Jeff Pearlman asked, in Slate, why the country’s sportswriters were pretending that the steroid era was over. It was a good question then. It’s an even better — and more embarrassing one — now.

Post Categories: Jason Giambi & Jason Grimsley & Obvious references to Casablanca & Roger Clemens & Sports Reporters & Steroids