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Manny Being Influenced To Be Manny?

Should Boston fans really be upset with Manny Ramirez?  The guy sure bitched a lot about the city in the past few years, but was there another reason for Manny’s move to Los Angeles?  This other reason is so important that MLB has launched a full investigation into the background of the trade.

Manny Ramirez was eying the end of his contract with the Red Sox; an eight-year deal worth a total of $160 million.  The Red Sox had an option to hold onto the slugger for $20 million in 2009 and 2010, but Manny apparently wanted to test the free-agent market.  He fired his former agent, Greg Genske, who took over LS Legacy Sports Group when Jeff Moorad left to become CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Genske has a very impressive list of clients, including Pat Burrell, C.C. Sabathia, and Scott Kazmir, but Ramirez was not happy.  In February of this year, he dropped Genske and picked up Mr. Boras.

So why the investigation?  Maybe Manny was content playing in Boston, but Scott Boras was inconspicuously pushing him to move, putting money into Boras Corp sooner than later.  Had Manny stayed in Boston, Boras Corp could have been representing Ramirez for the next two years without any commission (if Boston chose to retain Manny’s services at $20 million per year).  Personally, this scenario is hard for me to believe.  I do not think that Scott Boras or his company would be interested in having Manny’s options dropped just so that they could rake some quick dough.  Would an agent ever tell his client to play at half speed just to have his club’s option dropped due to a trade?

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Manny Being Influenced To Be Manny?”

I think a potential conflict of interest is always at hand when one agent respresents multiple athletes, especially when they play for the same team. It would be in an agents benefit to have players on different teams to maximize each of their earning potentials. The fact that Boras wasn’t recieving a commission on Manny’s current contract only fuels those assertions.

It may be easier to get Manny more than $20 million in LA than it would have been in Boston, where he also has to try and work out a deal for Varitek after milking them for $70 million (J.D. Drew) and having Johnny Damon sign with the Yanks.

Perhaps Boras was only one half of the equation – maybe the Red Sox didn’t want to re-sign Manny and didn’t want to just let him walk, fearing criticism from the fans. Maybe both sides wanted to split and worked together to make it seem logical rather than being based solely on financial reasons.

At the end of the day we will probably never know, but I agree, it does seem very shady to say the least.

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