Scott Boras is the best.
If you give him lemons, he won’t be content to make lemonade, he’ll make a lemon curd white chocolate cheesecake. If he represented a pitcher with no arms and no legs he’d talk about how the guy should get big money because he’ll never tear a ligament. If Stephen Hawking wanted to play baseball, Boras would argue that his mental toughness compensates for his lack of foot speed and he wouldn’t be afraid to make vague-yet-complimentary allusions to Lou Gehrig to boot.
Put simply, the man is an artist.
So it should be no surprise that Boras is over six months ahead of the game in selling Prince Fielder to the free agent pursuing public. Ken Rosenthal reports:
“Prince is a remarkable athlete,” Boras says. “He has size, speed and strength. In football, his comp is Warren Sapp.
“It is rare that a strong, square body type has such flexibility, dexterity and athleticism. Among power-hitting first basemen his foot speed and agility is supreme and without knowing first-hand, he is most likely the better candidate (than Sapp) for ‘Dancing With the Stars.’”
I would be curious to see the ratio of articles about Prince Fielder referring to him as “square” as opposed to other geometric shapes.
But really, I don’t think I can disagree with any of that. Fielder does look athletic out there. He is faster than he should be. It’s so easy to get hung up on his frame and actually miss the fact that he’s a better athlete than a lot of ballplayers. Not just a better ballplayer — he clearly is one of the best — but a better athlete. Honestly: on a purely athletic basis, isn’t Fielder a better bet than Adam LaRoche? I think so.
I agree with the way Rosenthal puts it in the article: Fielder is going to be one of the most interesting free agents of all time. He is once again knocking the cover off the ball. Meanwhile, Albert Pujols is struggling and now hurt. None of which makes Fielder the better player right now — he isn’t — but he may be the better free agent bet.
And Boras may not to have to even break a sweat making the sales pitch.
The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.
After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.
But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.
- They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
- They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
- They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
- They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.
The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.
Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.