Boras: Matt Holliday = Mark Teixeira

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Just as the robin is the harbinger of spring, Scott Boras overselling his free agent clients in a distracting manner during the playoffs is the first sign of hot stove season:

Scott Boras threw out the ceremonial first pitch in free agency
today, comparing Matt Holliday to Mark Teixeira in the impact the agent
believes each player can have on a club.

“These guys are blue-collar superstars,” Boras said. “They don’t hit
50 home runs, but they’re complete players. They can give you something
without swinging a bat. . . .There are differences between hitters and complete players,” Boras said. “Matt Holliday is a complete player. “There is, frankly, no one like him in the market.”

Holliday is a nice player. He’s going to help whoever signs him.  He is not, however, some unique thing in the world and certainly not a player worthy of the Full Boras Treatment.

Jason Bay doesn’t have Holliday’s glove, but he’s kind of like him.  Johnny Damon isn’t going to produce near his level, but he’ll probably cost a fraction of Matt Holliday this year.  Matt Holliday is not the kind of player a team is going to want to be paying eight figures to six or seven years from now like Boras is going to demand that they do.  I’d argue that that goes for almost any corner player.

If you don’t believe me, ask the Cubs, who will be paying Alfonso Soriano until my kids are in grad school.

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph: “We suck”

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, Baltimore lost its 107th game last night, tying its 1988 mark for the most losses in Orioles history. They will certainly break that record and will almost certainly blast by the all-time franchise loss record of 111, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. That team only played a 154-game schedule so the O’s likely won’t be the worst team in the franchise’s 118-season history by winning percentage, but it’ll be close enough.

Over at The Athletic Dan Connolly reports that one Oriole, catcher Caleb Joseph, is well aware of how bad the Orioles are and he is not mincing words about it:

“I’m not a loser. So, to be associated with that severity of losing is embarrassing. It’s shameful really . . . I don’t blame [fans] at all [for not attending games]. We suck.”

That last bit was in response to Matt Olson of the Athletics coming up to him before a recent game, noticing how many empty seats there were in Camden Yards and asking Joseph if it was always like that. Let that sink in: a player for the Oakland Athletics who, year after year, have some of the worst attendance in baseball, is shocked at how poorly Baltimore is drawing.

As for Joseph, he spends a lot of time talking about how the attitude is all wrong with the Orioles, how there does not seem to be any accountability and how things weren’t like that when he came up back when the Orioles were winning. Which, well, yeah.

Baseball players often attribute winning and losing to whatever attitude is prevailing around the clubhouse. Maybe that’s true on greatly underachieving teams or borderline teams that aren’t catching the breaks, but it seems far more likely that winning makes teams happy and instills camaraderie while losing makes teams sad and makes people look inward. Players tend to get the causation wrong about all of that because, I suspect, they don’t want to admit that they’re not as talented as the competition so it has to come down to some motivational or mental defect. Which, if that makes a player feel better, fine, but these O’s weren’t going to win many games even if they came in with smiles on their faces while singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of their rear ends every day. They just aren’t good.

Whatever you think of all of that, one thing is clear: the O’s need to clean house in a major, major way.