Alex Rodriguez has fired uber agent Scott Boras and is now being represented full time by Pittsburgh attorney Jay Reisinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first one to run with this this morning, but for reasons that are unclear, the link disappeared as soon as it showed up (UPDATE: It’s back up now, though it has changed a bit). Not sure why USA Today would pull his story, because it was essentially accurate. Nightengale’s report went that A-Rod is “using” Reisinger and has “abandoned” Boras, though Nightengale says that if he ever needed more contract work, “Boras is only a phone call a way.”
Nightengale’s report inspired me to make a couple of phone calls and I’ve learned that all of what he wrote is technically true, but it’s a bit more stark. I’m hearing from reliable sources that A-Rod has definitely fired Scott Boras. Did so about a month ago. It wasn’t really ugly or anything, which is why we didn’t hear about it at the time, but it happened and the relationship is over. Enter Reisinger.
Those who follow the steroids beat know that Reisinger has been representing Rodriguez as his attorney for some time. He counseled him last year when the PED revelations came out and has continued to counsel him to date as A-Rod has been dragged into the Anthony Galea blood spinning stuff. Reisinger also represents Andy Pettitte in connection with the Mitchell Report/Clemens stuff and counseled Sammy Sosa before his infamous congressional testimony (counseled him expertly, as I have written).
But as time has gone on, A-Rod’s trust in Reisinger has grown, and Reisinger has assumed greater responsibility. He is now — and has been for some time — the point of contact between A-Rod, the union, the league and the Yankees. That has made him the defacto agent. Given the sorts of challenges A-Rod faces these days — an investigation and other dealings that are less about negotiating the big contract than they are about various ancillary matters that require greater attention to detail and maybe some hard nosed litigation skills — he just makes more sense than Boras does.
So there we are. Boras isn’t lacking for clients, but he has lost his most famous one.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.