Boras gets the win

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Jon Heyman yesterday: “Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras is said to be using Matsuzaka’s $52 million bonus as the baseline. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come off that number.”

At $15.1 million, I’d say they came off that number quite a bit.  After months of having that $50 million number tossed around so casually, it’s kinda surprising that Strasburg ended up signing so far below his reported demands. A lot of other people are noticing that too and are thus calling this a big win for the Nats.

But then you have to remember two things. First, you have to remember that this deal is some 50% larger than the previous record, which was Mark Prior’s.  Second, you have to remember that Boras has long been the type of guy who couldn’t be bothered with perception and P.R. and all of that — he just wants to get the money. Tell me: if someone told you that they were going to get you 50% more dough than anyone in your position ever got, wouldn’t you think you hit the jackpot? If you were told that you had to pay $50 for something and in the end, only had to pay $15, wouldn’t you think you got a bargain? 

The net result of this is that if you followed the blow-by-blow of it all, it looks like Boras got his head handed to him. If you look at just the numbers, however, it was a great victory for team Boras. He created high expectations, by doing so ended up making his client a boatload of money and, like any good con man, made his mark — the Nats — happy to fork over the dough.

I have a good friend who often notes that It’s About the Money. I tend to believe him when he says that, and in light of it, I have to declare Scott Boras the victor here.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.