Scott Boras wants panels of experts to determine what rookies are ready to be called up

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Scott Boras is a smart guy. But even smart guys have dumb ideas sometimes. This, my friends, is a dumb idea. From Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, who was at the Cubs-Pirates game yesterday when baseball’s most famous agent offered this suggestion about how to avoid Kris Bryant-style callup controversies:

“For example, I would say that the union or somebody may come in and say that they’ve made a claim that this player is major-league ready,” Boras said. “And that to place him in the minor leagues would not be appropriate from a skills standpoint. And then all of a sudden, it’s subject to review by a panel of former managers or baseball experts . . .  It’s objective in the sense that they’re neutral,” Boras said. “The only way subjective turns objective is that you’ve got the best-known experts who are going to make an evaluation of what they do.”

Because, obviously, panels of experts such as former players and managers always make sound, objective decisions.

Really, though, I don’t think this goes far enough. I think a panel of experts should — objectively, mind you — decided which players should start and how often. Which ones should be called in for save situations and the like. In the name of objectivity, you see, since managers, scouts and general managers can’t be trusted to make the wise decisions about their baseball players, as Boras says.

But we could go further! We could take the subjectivity out of player contracts too! Instead of having an agent cause teams to bid against one another for free agents — a process that can get emotional! — let’s have a panel of experts decide what the player should make.

Such a system would be eminently fair. And it might make Scott Boras’ life a lot easier, no?

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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