MLB Players Sports Agents

Boras May Soon Experience “Total Hell”

When Sheffield started calling out Boras back in February, I must admit that I got a little excited.  Boras was taking Sheffield to arbitration to acquire a percentage of what he believed he earned by negotiating the elimination of an $11 million option in 2004, which allowed Sheffield to negotiate his own three-year deal with the Yankees immediately.  The quote of the year from a very quotable man:

“It ain’t going to be pretty…No fine is going to be big enough. No suspension is going to be long enough…When it’s done, it’s going to be personal with me.

Total hell. I shouldn’t have ever introduced myself to him. Period. Bad person.”

And the day finally arrives.  Will Sheffield hold true to his word and lash out against Boras now that the arbitration hearing has concluded and Boras has been awarded his fee of $550,000?

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.

4 replies on “Boras May Soon Experience “Total Hell””

I think all of what has been coming out about Boras as of late speaks volumes for how his clients feel about him as a person. From A-Rod, Kenny Rogers, and now Sheffield, all strongly voicing their opinion of how they feel even when he is the one getting them top dollar. It is nice to see these top notch players seeing the fact sometimes it is the stuff that money can not buy in the person that represents you that means the most. I think this link does a find job showing the kind of person he is and how much he really cares about people in general as long as he is getting money. I feel his clients are starting to catch on.

First of all, I would like to thank you Darren for bringing to the audiences attention such an interesting topic of discussion. Interestingly, Scott Boras is one of the best known names in baseball, none of which can be attributed to his actual accomplishments on the field. Instead, he is demonized by baseball fans and front office fans alike for his ability to get huge contract offers for players he represents. I remember when Sheffield initially made this statement regarding Boras and to be honest, I was pretty surprised. In the past few years, as Boras has become more and more of a negative figure in the baseball world, players he represents have begun dismissing him as they begin contract negotiations with teams. To be honest, I think Boras has unfairly received his bad reputation. The business of sports agency is no different from working in the the front office of a MLB team or playing for one of those teams. A person from any of these three occupational choices will all look to make money first. I just find it ridiculous that teams are able to turn fans against Boras simply because he fails to give in to their contract demands.

I think it has become very clear in the past few years that MLB organizations are making huge profits and if these profits are not in turn invested into top notch players (Boras only represents established stars or ‘sure-thing’ draft picks), then the team’s front office and ownership are instead the only one’s profiting. This seems to create unfortunate circumstances in which the teams look to acquire talent at below market price. One must, however, also consider that many of the players that Boras represents, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Garry Sheffield, all are marquee players and likely return the full value of their contracts (even at $20 million or over a year). In just additional ticket sales, merchandising and general fan excitement, Boras claimed (on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning) that Manny could return a $25 million dollar a year investment by the Dodgers, not to mention possibly lead them back to the playoffs and perhaps the World Series, as Manny almost managed to do that in only have a season this past year.

In all honesty, I do not quite understand the grounds on which Sheffield claims Boras deserves nothing for his services in the negotiating of the elimination of Sheffield’s $11 million contract. I know Sheffield was planning on leaving Boras and did negotiate his contract with the Yankees himself, but nonetheless, Boras negotiated the elimination of his former contract and simply by the contract he had with Sheffield, he is owed his 5%. I find it a little strange that Sheffield, who made $11 million in the transaction, is going to be so picky about $550,000 when he is currently paid over $13 million.

It seems to me like most of the animosity towards Boras is coming from players and teams that feel Boras is simply reducing their profit margins and therefore standing in the way of them making as large a profit as possible. Perhaps my view is partially biased because I hope to one day work as a sports agent. It just seems to me that players in the league are making so much money (in a large part due to people such as Scott Boras) as are the teams (in a large part due to the players that Boras represents). I guess even though Boras provides a valuable service to players and is the middle man for teams attempting to acquire all the best players, everyone would prefer to pay less for his services and make more for themselves.

I want to know if you see this arbitration decision having any bearing on future events in the world of baseball agency. I think that the panel judged rightly that Boras deserved his share of the settlement and this goes a long way in protecting the rights of agents, even if that agent is despised by a majority of the baseball world. For me, all I can do is give kudos to Boras for reaching the pinnacle of his respected occupation.

Strong comment. I believe that you are correct on many of the points you have made. Even though writers constantly frame Boras in a negative light, he continues to get some of the highest earning clients year in and out. The arbitration decision is good for sports agents. It sends a message to players that they should think twice before trying to stiff their agent after the agent put in hard work to get the player to where he is today. Our labor is not free and must be compensated for accordingly.

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