Gio Gonzalez
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Gio Gonzalez fires Scott Boras

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Gio Gonzalez has had a rough few months.

Despite being a pretty solid pitcher over the years, he claims he only received one offer all offseason: a minor league deal with the Yankees. He signed that in late March and the Yankees have kept him in the minors. If they don’t call him up by tomorrow, he can request his release. For what it’s worth, Gonzalez has not pitched well in Triple-A, likely because he didn’t get a spring training (this past month has been his spring training for all practical purposes). A such, it seems doubtful that the Yankees will call him up and likely that he’s going to be a free agent once again by this weekend.

He’ll be a free agent with a new agent, too, as Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that Gonzalez has fired his agent, Scott Boras, and is now represented by CAA.

Normally at this point I’d offer some stuff about how crappy the market is for free agents. And it is. But I’m more taken with the Scott Boras angle here. And wondering why on Earth players who are not top-of-the-market talents sign with him.

I’ve been wondering this for years and years, actually. I wrote about it a lot back in 2010 and I’m pretty sure I wrote about it at my old Blogspot blog back in 2007 or 2008 as well. The upshot: I’m sure Boras handles his business professionally and responsibly, and I don’t think he commits agent malpractice or that he is somehow not serving his clients in the way he thinks is best. I simply think that the way Boras tends to approach the market is not, actually, what’s best for secondary talents, even if it makes zillions of dollars for elite players like Bryce Harper.

What has made Boras so successful is his patience. While he, like all agents, have been burned in the past, he has been remarkably successful at getting good and often great deals long after most experts figured the money was not out there to be had. People were talking about Harper taking a short term deal with the Giants before he nabbed $330 million from Philly, you’ll recall. In the past he’s done that with other great players too. If I was an MVP-contender or looked to be the top guy at my position in the market, I’d strongly consider hiring Boras because the guy isn’t gonna blink and isn’t gonna get nervous playing chicken with clubs.

But if you’re not that guy — if you’re Gio Gonzalez, say — is that the best approach for you? If your agent’s m.o. is to get the top guys to set the market and then work on the dudes lower down the chain, why do you want to have the same agent a current free agent like Dallas Keuchel has?

You may counter that Boras is capable of doing two things at once, but even nine years later I can’t forget what Boras said to Jim Bowden on a radio show back in 2010 when he had both Matt Holliday and Johnny Damon in the same free agent class, both of whom were looking for left field jobs:

“Well, I think the market now after Matt [Holliday] has signed and Jason Bay has signed is starting to come alive because obviously teams are, some of the teams that were interested in those players have been contacting us. And I am in the process right now of turning my attention to Johnny’s situation.”

Maybe that was a poor choice of words, but if I’m Gio Gonzalez, I have to wonder if, given that Dallas Keuchel still doesn’t have a job, my agent’s attention has turned to my “situation” yet. And, when, exactly, it will.

And, yeah, maybe I fire him and hire CAA.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.