Sport

Scott Boras is talking about rectal thermometers, pancakes, and chickens

Baseball may be driving itself over a cliff, but at least its most famous agent hasn’t changed.

Yep, Scott Boras is still out there in Newport Beach, calling up reporters and saying odd things. Things intended to be funny and profound but which, at times anyway, land like jokes told by a robot that was programmed for humor but which jussssst miss the mark. Fun, though! At the very least colorful.

Like the stuff he says in Tom Verducci’s latest article at Sports Illustrated about the current state of negotiations between MLB and the union. Here’s Boras on Rob Manfred:

“He’s being the pancake commissioner, where ‘I’ll flip anywhere I want to. When you negotiate publicly, once you say it, if you go down a different road you lose credibility. When he said on draft day ‘100 percent we’re going to have baseball,’ the commissioner said there’s a chicken in every pot.”

I’ll give him 5 of 10 on “pancake commissioner” — pancakes are a bit tired an analogy for flip-flopping leaders — but I like the “chicken in every pot” reference. That comes from a criticism of Herbert Hoover in 1932 based on something he allegedly promised in 1928 but actually didn’t. It’s a political trope that has started to fade from the discourse and I think it’s sad. We often forget how the politics of the past are, actually, not as different from modern politics as we’d like to think. We do the same thing when it comes to nasty baseball labor wars. Looking at the past is useful, though, and I’m glad Boras is well-versed on the rhetoric surrounding Hoovernomics.

Boras starts to lose me a bit later in the article, though:

Moreover, Manfred’s case was weakened by word that TBS was giving MLB a billion dollars to remain in the postseason broadcasting business.

“The TBS contract was the rectal thermometer,” Boras said. “It illustrated the truth to all the fans, and that is the content of this game has such value even in the heart of a pandemic that you get a record contract for your rights. When I say rectal thermometer, I say it as the truest form of the temperature of the game.”

Eight out of 10 on “rectal thermometer” in the abstract, but if you have to explain your joke and/or metaphor you probably need to revise it a bit.

Oh well, at least at the rate we’re going there will be plenty of time for someone to call Boras back and get him talking again. By August or September I suspect he’ll be spitting fire.