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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Heyman | Boras Sees Too Much Of Past In Current State Of MLB

This is just bluster. First, the offers have been in the press. Second, as MLB gets complaints by the Players’ Association it needs the ability to verify whether the claims are true or not. Third, just like MLBPA and the agents have the right to take their case to the public, so does MLB.

Boras stopped short of using the word “collusion,” but took issue with MLB revealing in its statement of response that “some” nine-figure ($100+ million) offers have been turned down. The 1987 case won by the players regarding collusion resulted in a $280 million settlement paid after it was found owners were colluding.
...
Boras said the issue isn’t the existence of offers or non-offers but MLB reporting the offers as fact when they shouldn’t even know about them.  The league office doesn’t have the right to know of the offers, Boras said.

“I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money, from a central office that oversees, coordinates with and represents the 30 teams, is any different than the infamous ‘information bank’ in the 1980s,” Boras said.

Dan Halem, MLB’s lead negotiator and a deputy commissioner, pointedly responded to Boras’ remark, telling FanRag through a spokesman, “If Mr. Boras spent as much time working on getting his players signed as he does issuing inflammatory and unsubstantiated statements to the press, perhaps the events of this off-season would be different.”

Boras, responding to that, but ignoring the personal observation, noted, “So he did not deny the point.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:13 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cba, collusion, free agents

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5621317)
The intro is wrong. MLB does not have the right to make its case in the press because it's not allowed to have a "case." The teams are supposed to act independently, in their own individual interests, in the labor market. The Red Sox ownership might have a case to make in the press, MLB does not. That is the whole point of the anti-collusion findings -- "collective interest" is to play no role in the labor market. Without collective interest, what "case" is MLB making?

Boras is also correct that the league is not supposed to have information on amounts and the progress of negotiations. When a contract is submitted, a contract is submitted. For MLB to publicly release or confirm press reports on dollar amounts, etc. is clearly not kosher.

Now I didn't see what MLB said and if they said something like "according to press reports, these offers have been made and turned down" then they would seem to be covered.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5621323)
“I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money, from a central office that oversees, coordinates with and represents the 30 teams, is any different than the infamous ‘information bank’ in the 1980s,” Boras said.

Scott, please stop that thing you do with your mouth. Yeah, the thing where sound comes out.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5621325)
Scott, please stop that thing you do with your mouth. Yeah, the thing where sound comes out.

I don't think he's the one who put his foot in his mouth.
   4. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5621328)
Now I didn't see what MLB said and if they said something like "according to press reports, these offers have been made and turned down" then they would seem to be covered.


MLB's official statement -
What is uncommon is to have some of the best free agents sitting unsigned even though they have substantial offers, some in nine figures.


Not "according to reports", but apparently knowledge that offers have been made, and an official opinion that these offers are "substantial". This should be a huge issue, that line is obviously and flagrantly in violation of the CBA, but almost certainly nothing will come of it.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5621338)
Not "according to reports", but apparently knowledge that offers have been made, and an official opinion that these offers are "substantial". This should be a huge issue, that line is obviously and flagrantly in violation of the CBA, but almost certainly nothing will come of it.

Yeah, the statement clearly wants the reader to treat it as an established fact.
.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5621351)
Who approved that MLB statement? What a bone-headed move.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 07, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5621353)
Lest we forget, there are ample reasons that the CBA has strong anti-collusion language. MLB seems determined to remind us that when they previously looked to be colluding, they were. Boras is simply better at this stuff than MLB, as demonstrated again by the excerpt.
   8. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5621362)
Who approved that MLB statement? What a bone-headed move


Dan Halem, who only happens to be the Chief Legal Officer, and almost certainly a primary author of the CBA, was the one who wrote it, not just approved it. He’ll probably be called the coffee boy before the week is out though. The league seems to be taking the approach that taunting the MLBPA is savvy.
   9. villageidiom Posted: February 07, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5621375)
The intro is wrong. MLB does not have the right to make its case in the press because it's not allowed to have a "case." The teams are supposed to act independently, in their own individual interests, in the labor market. The Red Sox ownership might have a case to make in the press, MLB does not.
When MLB is being accused of collusion, MLB has a case to make. They don't have a case to make about JD Martinez or any other stalled FA negotiation. But they have a case to make against the accusations from MLBPA.

Now, having said that, Clark's official statement doesn't accuse the teams of collusion. He just says revenues and franchise values are high, and top free agents aren't getting paid, and this threatens the integrity of the game. Which absent an accusation of collusion is just horseshit, so let's infer the accusation.

Likewise, MLB's statement pretty much says "Agents led players to believe they're not worth less because of the new CBA, and that's not our fault." I tend to think they're right, at least regarding Boras.

If there's one thing we've learned about Boras, it's that there's no rule that he won't test the limits of. I've seen it at least three times just with the Red Sox.

1. Daisuke Matsuzaka. The posting rules were stupid and led the posting team to reap the rewards at the expense of the player, with pretty much no risk for the MLB team. Boston made an insane bid for Matsuzaka but then offered him a low-ball contract, his only options being to take it or return to Japan - which in the latter case would cost Boston nothing. Boras had Matsuzaka hold out as long as possible, but in the end there was a deadline, and the offer from Boston was far more than he would have made in Japan, so Matsuzaka signed at almost literally the last minute.

2. Stephen Drew. With the qualifying offer rules having created a big financial penalty for a player wanting a long-term deal, Boras advised Drew to hold out on signing any deals until after the draft, at which point draft pick compensation would not be a factor. Boston called the bluff (he wasn't bluffing) by promoting Bogaerts, who wasn't quite ready; and Boston signed Drew in desperation partway through the season.

3. JD Martinez. The new CBA provides stronger penalties for teams spending over the threshold, not just in one year but with increasing penalties for consecutive years. This means teams have greater incentive to be more judicious in acquiring free agents. Maybe they wouldn't hold back were Mike Trout or Bryce Harper on the market; and maybe it won't make a big difference for the usual flotsam and jetsam out there. But for the next tier or two below elite they have greater incentive. How far are teams willing to go in this new structure? I don't know but Scott Boras intends to find out.

In each of these cases a Boras client held out longer than others, which allowed Boras to better read teams' actions, which in turn probably helped him advise the rest of his clients until the rules changed again. IMO when the rules change he picks one player he represents to serve as a coal mine canary. That works out well for the coal miner, but not necessarily so for the canary.

These new rules were intended to overcome the QO system, right? It seems like they're playing whack-a-mole. Solving issues with one group of free agents has caused issues with another group.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5621389)
Boston called the bluff (he wasn't bluffing) by promoting Bogaerts, who wasn't quite ready; and Boston signed Drew in desperation partway through the season.
Drew's signing didn't bump Bogaerts out of the starting lineup. It bumped Middlebrooks.
   11. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 05:22 PM (#5621430)
Now, having said that, Clark's official statement doesn't accuse the teams of collusion. He just says revenues and franchise values are high, and top free agents aren't getting paid, and this threatens the integrity of the game. Which absent an accusation of collusion is just horseshit, so let's infer the accusation.

Likewise, MLB's statement pretty much says "Agents led players to believe they're not worth less because of the new CBA, and that's not our fault." I tend to think they're right, at least regarding Boras.


I think we can parse this better.

Clark came out and said that a "significant number of teams are engaged in a race to the bottom", and that is what threatens the integrity of the game. Not specifically that revenues are higher and free agents aren't getting paid, but obviously, he would want players to get paid more.

MLB came out and said that owners are trying to win, there are "substantial offers" out there, and, before Boras said anything, that agents need to value their players better.

Boras then responded, asking how in the world the league office knows what offers are out there and are discussing them, being that the CBA doesn't allow that.

The league responded with pretty much an "eff you", and Boras snarkily pointed out how that wasn't a denial.


Clark doesn't need to make an accusation of collusion to say that he thinks things are working poorly in MLB. The league is certainly within their right to think agents, and Boras specifically, value their players poorly, but, regardless of the accusations against them, the CBA seems to pretty clearly say they aren't allowed to comment on such things to the media. They can hash these issues out in smoky backrooms, but not in the media. Boras, who was sitting on the sideline until pretty much called out, is allowed to say "wait a minute, the CBA says the league office can't say these things". The rest is mostly just a pissing match between two sides that seem to want little more than to egg the other one on.

I'm not sure what rule Boras is testing the limits of. The league office is the one who would be in violation here. And the whole point of his job is to negotiate that difference in the perceived value his client has and the team has. The two sides believing the other side values a player incorrectly is not some revelation here.
   12. Zach Posted: February 07, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5621458)
Boras said the issue isn’t the existence of offers or non-offers but MLB reporting the offers as fact when they shouldn’t even know about them. The league office doesn’t have the right to know of the offers, Boras said.

Oh, for heaven's sake. The league has an internet connection, too. Boras has been carefully leaking the size of contract offers for years in order to drive the bidding up.

Boras is complaining about the league referring to information that Boras himself leaked.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: February 07, 2018 at 05:53 PM (#5621468)
Boras is complaining about the league referring to information that Boras himself leaked.
That doesn't necessarily invalidate the complaint.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 07, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5621479)
Boras is complaining about the league referring to information that Boras himself leaked.

And then he goes on to say that it's the same thing as the league having a centralized database of all contract offers. I wonder what the last credible thing that came out of Boras' mouth was, and how long ago that happened. Over/under? 1982?
   15. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5621490)
Boras is complaining about the league referring to information that Boras himself leaked.


I’m not so sure. Boras has denied at least the 5/$125M for Martinez from Boston, 7/$140 for Hosmer from San Diego, and 7/$160 for Darvish from the Yankees. He’s more of a “mystery team” guy than a “ok everyone, here’s the new target to beat”. Nine figure offers that are short of what he originally wanted going public don’t benefit him. That’s what a team who wants to say to their fans “look how hard we’re trying” does. Just as the MLB statement does.
   16. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5621516)
The five year offer from the Red Sox was reported by Bob Nightengale, in the same article where he says "The Red Sox won’t give Martinez a seven-year, $210 million contract". If he's getting his info from Boras, Boras has become the dumbest agent possible. The Darvish offer came from a member of the Yankees payroll: Michael Kay. Those leaks couldn't more obviously have come from the teams, who want to say to their fans "look how much we offered!" and not-so-subtlely saying to the other teams "guys, don't bid more than this".
   17. Zach Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5621533)
Boras has denied at least the 5/$125M for Martinez from Boston, 7/$140 for Hosmer from San Diego, and 7/$160 for Darvish from the Yankees. He’s more of a “mystery team” guy than a “ok everyone, here’s the new target to beat”.

A fair point, but if the league is referring to offers that don't exist, they aren't getting those numbers from a centralized database.
   18. The Duke Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5621549)
None of us are baseball labor lawyers so whether the MLB general counsel said something that would imply collusion is up to the mlbpa to assess but the statement is stupid in so many ways.

1. It does leave me with the same impression that Boras had which is the MLB is Gathering intel on contract offers which gives the appearance of co-ordination
2. It will almost certainly lead to an MLBPA request to have the MLB explain how they know this information
3. Ignores the fan and does not make a strong argument as to why fans should be uninterested in the terrible result of millionaires making a bit less money
4. Needlessly poisons the water with the players by impugning their agents

When the other side is losing the argument just be quiet and let them torch themselves - it reads almost as a declaration of war on the players which seems odd since the owners are the ones who stand to lose much more in a work stoppage.

Unless the owners specifically voted to issue a statement to antagonize the players I would fire that guy
   19. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:48 PM (#5621559)
A fair point, but if the league is referring to offers that don't exist, they aren't getting those numbers from a centralized database.


I think they do exist. Unless a team thinks that it can build up a bunch of goodwill with the fanbase by saying over and over "well we really tried, but we didn't bring in any good players because they're so darn expensive", the benefit to leaking your offer is that you get to skip over that centralized database part, and let everyone know they don't have to bid higher than what you just put out. It's not a secret collusion, it's price-fixing right out in the open.
   20. McCoy Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:48 PM (#5621560)
Boras can solve this rather easily. He can simply let the world know how much and for how long his clients want to sign for. That he didn't speaks volumes.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5621562)
None of us are baseball labor lawyers so whether the MLB general counsel said something that would imply collusion is up to the mlbpa to assess but the statement is stupid in so many ways.

I agree that the statement was dumb in that it gave people like Boras a straw at which to grasp, but it doesn't take a baseball labor lawyer to realize that MLB repeating what has widely been reported, but failing to add an "according to reports" clause, does not suffice to imply collusion to any reasonable observer.
   22. Stevey Posted: February 07, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5621590)
He can simply let the world know how much and for how long his clients want to sign for. That he didn't speaks volumes.


Nightengale was told that Martinez wants 7/$210M. That's obviously Boras.
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:54 PM (#5621616)
If any of these were Boras leaks they would be reported by Heyman. Boras gains nothing from floating his demands in the media since he is free to tell teams directly.
   24. ptodd Posted: February 08, 2018 at 02:55 AM (#5621656)
Anyone who does not have a reasonable suspicion that collusion is at work here is a member of the cult of neoliberalism or simply a dope. Its extremely difficult to prove collusion yet somehow MLB has paid out 4 times for it and likely learned how to do it better. Obviously players and agents have to be careful in what they say since they hope to salvage a relationship that's worked for all . However, it seems MLB has crossed a line, call it collusion or simply gettibg smarter at the same time. If its the latter then in the best interests of baseball they should offer to reopen the CBA to negotiations.

Unfortunately its likely the former. Perhaps the tax cuts have made profit much more attractive and owners want to make more of it rather than being content with a 30 billion increase in asset appreciation over the last decade.


   25. McCoy Posted: February 08, 2018 at 07:52 AM (#5621670)
Wait, so if teams are getting smarter they should reopen the CBA so that mediocre and worse free agents can get a big payday? Why?
   26. eddieot Posted: February 08, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5621697)
Boras can solve this rather easily. He can simply let the world know how much and for how long his clients want to sign for. That he didn't speaks volumes.

No, he can't. That would be a violation of the boilerplate agent/player agreement that one must adhere to to maintain certification by the MLBPA. Boras can tell the teams what his clients want (of course) but if he tells the press directly or is quoted as doing such he can be decertified.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5621767)
Oh, I think it's way too late for Boras to be anything short of certifiable.
   28. villageidiom Posted: February 08, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5621827)
Boras can solve this rather easily. He can simply let the world know how much and for how long his clients want to sign for. That he didn't speaks volumes.
He can't. Agents doing this is also a violation of the new CBA.

ATTACHMENT 49
Rick Shapiro, Esq.
Senior Advisor
Major League Baseball
Players Association
12 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
Re: Use of Media

Dear Rick:

This letter is to confirm our agreement regarding certain prohibited conduct by the Office of the Commissioner, the Players Association, Clubs, players, and player representatives (collectively, the “Covered Parties”) with respect to public comments about free agents, which is as follows:

(1) The Covered Parties may not (i) disclose to the media the substance of contract discussions between a player and a Club (including but not limited to the facts of offers, the substance of offers, or decisions not to make offers or to withdraw offers) until after terms on the contract have been confirmed by the Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association; or (ii) announce an agreement on a contract that is contingent on the player passing a Club-administered physical examination until after the player has passed that physical examination.

(2) Similarly, none of the Covered Parties may make comments to the media about the value of an unsigned free agent, or about possible or contemplated terms for an unsigned free agent, regardless of whether discussions have occurred. The prohibitions apply equally to comments that are on and off the record, as well as to comments that are provided on the condition of anonymity or published without identifying the source (e.g., “an industry source”).

The following is a non-exhaustive list of prohibited comments:
• “Player X won’t receive anything longer than a one-year deal.”
• “Player X is seeking more than Player Y received.”
• “We are out on Player X.”
• “Player X is worth at least $Y million.”
• “Player X has contract offers from multiple Clubs.”
• “We are unwilling to forfeit a draft selection to sign Player X.”
• “We have concerns about Player X’s physical condition.”
• “Player X is not worth more than $Y million, nor should he receive a contract greater than Z years.”

(3) Notwithstanding the prohibition in paragraphs 1 and 2 above, a player (or a representative of a player) or a Club may respond to a Media Report of the existence or terms of a Contract Offer, but only as described below. For purposes of this provision, a “Media Report” is either a published report or a pre-publication inquiry from a media member to verify accuracy. For these purposes, a report of a “Contract Offer” is a report of the existence and/or terms of a contract offer purportedly made by or to a Club. In response to a Media Report of a Contract Offer, a player (or a representative of a player) or a Club may offer one of the following responses:

(a) state that the player or Club declines to comment about any negotiations between the player and the Club;
(b) confirm or deny that the player and Club are engaged in discussions, but (if discussions are ongoing) decline to comment about the substance of those negotiations;
(c) confirm or deny that an offer has been made, but (if confirming) state that the details provided in the story or in the inquiry are not accurate; or
(d) confirm that the offer has been made and that the details are accurate.

In providing the above responses, a Club or player (or representative of a player) may not volunteer any information regarding the Contract Offer. In addition, after providing one of the responses set forth above, a Club or player (or representative of a player) may not respond to follow up questions from the reporter regarding the Contract Offer or variance thereof other than by answering “no comment.”

(4) A violation of this agreement will be established only if the grieving party identifies the specific individual at the Club, Commissioner’s Office, Players Association, or the specific player agent or player who was the source of the comment.

(5) Each party shall send memos during the Quiet Period to its constituents on an annual basis explaining the media guidelines set forth above. Each party shall share its memo with the other.

(6) The Office of the Commissioner or the Players Association shall promptly investigate an alleged violation of this agreement upon receipt of a written complaint from the other bargaining party.

(7) Violations of the restrictions set forth in paragraphs 1 and 2 above are a violation of Article XX(E)(1), but the penalties provided for in Article XX(E)(2)-(9) shall not apply to such violations. Rather, the Panel may award appropriate relief to remedy the violation based on Panel precedent regarding relief in non-Article XX(E) cases.

Very truly yours,
Daniel R. Halem
Chief Legal Officer
Major League Baseball
Office of the Commissioner
   29. villageidiom Posted: February 08, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5621856)
In a brief bit of research, the first violation I saw under this CBA was Jake Arrieta saying back in March that he would probably be looking for a 6- or 7-year deal. More recently, Darvish and Hosmer receiving 9-figure deals were attributed to "sources close to the player" and JDM's deal was attributed by the Boston Herald to "a source", which really is code for "someone who actually read the CBA". To be precise, the Darvish article said he had received a 4-year offer for "overpay value", which merely implies 9 figures.

A plausible case could be made that the league learned about the Darvish / Hosmer / JDM offers the same way I did: through the media, via sources close to the player or otherwise.

What I would be interested in seeing is whether there have been similar leaks of contract offers for non-Boras clients. I'm thinking Boras is deflecting here, either in defense of his clients or in defense of himself.
   30. villageidiom Posted: February 08, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5621884)
Citations for above:

Arietta
Hosmer
JDM

I'll follow up with the Darvish one later; I'm having trouble finding it again.
   31. The Duke Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5621963)
Mlb did not qualify there knowledge by saying they heard it from newspaper reports. I will take them at their word that they have independent knowledge which as Boras says is inappropriate and now makes me believe collusion is more likely. I was willing to buy into supply and demand before the MLB basically encouraged me to believe there is collusion going on.

Maybe they know they can’t get caught and are taunting the agents but seems like a less than ideal strategy for an org that has previously been caught colluding.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5622003)
Maybe they know they can’t get caught and are taunting the agents but seems like a less than ideal strategy for an org that has previously been caught colluding.

You can always get caught. All you need is one disgruntled league or team employee with a thumb drive. Nothing known by more than one person is guranteed to remain a secret.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5622011)
Mlb did not qualify there knowledge by saying they heard it from newspaper reports. I will take them at their word that they have independent knowledge which as Boras says is inappropriate and now makes me believe collusion is more likely.

Really? It's more likely that MLB is gathering independent knowledge, in knowing violation of the CBA, and decided to reveal that fact in a public statement written by its lead counsel, that it is that MLB just forgot to put an explicit "it's been widely reported" qualifier in its statement?
   34. Stevey Posted: February 08, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5622165)
It's more likely that MLB is gathering independent knowledge, in knowing violation of the CBA, and decided to reveal that fact in a public statement written by its lead counsel, that it is that MLB just forgot to put an explicit "it's been widely reported" qualifier in its statement?


Well, they do have a history of quite a bit of stuff like the former. As for the latter, your top legal expert making an error that suggests what was a completely innocuous situation is one that that is in direct violation of the fundamental agreement that keeps the league together is pretty effing egregious, and worthy of some serious discipline. Let's see what kind of discipline MLB administers to rein in such a sloppy employee who is going to undoubtedly bring undeserved scrutiny upon the league office.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5622176)
It's only "pretty effing egregious" because (some) people are willfully ignoring the obvious, namely that the information MLB is citing is readily available to anyone with an internet connection. There's absolutely no substance to the error whatsoever.
   36. TomH Posted: February 08, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5622189)
When a story shows up inferring possible collusion form MLB teams, it deserves to be looked at, given the situation and the hisotry.

When the source of the story is Mr Boras, who has shown very plainly a clear hisotry of doing whatever he can, which often includes grabbing attention, to make money and fame for himself.... if Boras were a BTTFer, I would put him on Ignore and clamor to never post links to him.
   37. Stevey Posted: February 08, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5622277)
There's absolutely no substance to the error whatsoever.


Which would be easy to say if MLB came out after being called out on their error by saying "of course we are only referring to the reported rumors". Instead, they told Boras to screw off.

Side A, who is allegedly an expert in understanding the rules, puts out a statement that suggests he might be violating the rules.
Side B says that behavior is not allowed.
Side A responds by telling side A to get lost.

Is this evidence of a secret database and collusion? No, but I don't think anyone is saying "well, here's the smoking gun". But talking about such offers is in violation of the CBA, and MLB not only hasn't walked back those statements into a territory that isn't in violation of the CBA, they thumbed their noses at and completely ignored being told that it was. If this was just an honest mistake that needed clearing up, MLB could easily have done so. They didn't.







   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5622285)
Instead, they told Boras to screw off.

Come on. If I were MLB, I would never respond to him in any other way. Well, I might occasionally tell him to blow it out his ass, just for a little variety.

I don't think anyone is saying "well, here's the smoking gun".

I refer you to Boras' statement that this is the equivalent of the "infamous 'information bank.'"
   39. The Duke Posted: February 08, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5622341)
The process of any major organization issuing a press release usually involves 5-10 people and Multiple drafts before signoff ( sign off is decided depending upon the issue and could be ceo, cfo, coo or even a board member). But one thing for sure is that the general counsel is heavily involved. A decision not to protect your legal position is either gross negligence or was directed by someone above the GC’s position.

On most garden variety issues, precise wording issues wouldn’t normally cause much concern but on an issue like collusion, one has to think they would never want to inadvertently create a perception problem, or even worse, admit to a violation. What’s interesting here is that they failed in their rebuttal to walk back the issue.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5622343)
39 - I get it. I'm actually a lawyer by day, and I'm well aware that we generally go above and beyond in terms of anticipating every potential reaction to every word, and parsing accordingly. I've done it many, many times myself.

But we're not always perfectly vigilant, and I can see how something like this would slip past the goalie. On the one hand, yes, MLB's counsel knows that they're dealing with Boras. On the other hand, any reasonable person is going to understand that repeating widely reported information doesn't become illicit just because the obvious attribution is overlooked.
   41. The Duke Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:08 PM (#5622361)
Ok, so let’s assume the error got through on the first response. Boras then says “gotcha”! Don’t you fix it in the follow-up by saying you were referring to voluminous news reports

Why let it lay there ?
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5622365)
Honestly, I think someone at MLB probably decided to go with "f*** that guy" rather than a lawyerly addendum/clarification. As I said in 38, I can't blame them at all. I mean, even if they did have some sort of illicit database, they could very easily have lied and attributed the statement to media reports if they wanted to go the parsing route. I'm sure the option occurred to them. No one in the decision room would possibly have been saying, "No, we can't clarify that it came from media reports because we have an information bank!"
   43. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5622366)
Double post.
   44. Stevey Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5622367)
I'm actually a lawyer by day, and I'm well aware that we generally go above and beyond in terms of anticipating every potential reaction to every word, and parsing accordingly


Which is why I advocate legal counsel for a $10B business to say “eff that guy” when he calls out our mistakes instead of fixing them! Seriously, you know that MLB can’t be a random dude on a message board, and your detest for Boras has completely clouded your judgment at this point. No matter how much they detest Boras, and no matter how much it may be deserved, the can’t make this specific mistake, and then respond like a churlish 12 year old when called on their mistake.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 08, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5622368)
cmd - While your point is taken, other things lawyers are very good at are gamesmanship and bluffing. Most likely, Boras has no legal case and MLB counsel knows it (and knows that Boras knows it, which means he'll never do anything but bluster in the media). So taunting him a bit and giving him more rope with which to hang himself in the proverbial court of public opinion might well be an irresistible no-lose proposition.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this (you're right, I can't stand the guy), and if it turns out that collusion is actually happening, I will eat a bunch of crow.
   46. Rusty Priske Posted: February 09, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5622446)
It isn't collusion.

It is the natural, eventual effect of a salary system that overpays vets and underpays youth.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5622466)
It isn't collusion.

It is the natural, eventual effect of a salary system that overpays vets and underpays youth.


Why can't it be both?
   48. Stevey Posted: February 09, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5622697)
So taunting him a bit and giving him more rope with which to hang himself in the proverbial court of public opinion might well be an irresistible no-lose proposition.


And this is the point where we, purporting ourselves to be smarter than the average baseball fan, should realize he's being an ass at best, and might be colluding at worst, and should now be opening himself up to someone starting to investigate why he didn't walk this back, and not rooting him on.

Your position is pretty much that Boras is a jerk, and deserves all the bad things coming to him, and you'll twist everything to show how it fits that position. And, really, as you are a lawyer, this is kind of head-scratching to me. To you, MLB is in the right to bluff and play games, try to win the court of public opinion, and make personal attacks to boot against him, but when Boras, as a lawyer for the player, bluffs and plays games with teams and tries to win the court of public opinion, you say that he needs to shut his mouth. What's good for the goose is good for the gander here.
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 09, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5622720)
Your position is pretty much that Boras is a jerk, and deserves all the bad things coming to him,

Well yeah, that's true, but...

you'll twist everything to show how it fits that position. And, really, as you are a lawyer, this is kind of head-scratching to me. To you, MLB is in the right to bluff and play games, try to win the court of public opinion, and make personal attacks to boot against him, but when Boras, as a lawyer for the player, bluffs and plays games with teams and tries to win the court of public opinion, you say that he needs to shut his mouth.

...this, not so much. My position is that people are reading way too much into the simple lack of a clause in a statement that simply acknowledges the obvious. And this includes counting MLB's response as "evidence" that what Boras said is true.

My problem with Boras is not that he tries to win in the court of public opinion - it's the absolute shamelessness and lack of credibility with which he has done so for many years. He's the kind of ridiculous caricature lawyer that makes people hate lawyers.
   50. -- Posted: February 09, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5622787)
Boras said the issue isn’t the existence of offers or non-offers but MLB reporting the offers as fact when they shouldn’t even know about them. The league office doesn’t have the right to know of the offers, Boras said.


LOL.

As if teams aren't going to know reported offers of other teams in the Internet age.

“I am also curious how a public statement communicated to all teams about offers on the table and players demanding too much money, from a central office that oversees, coordinates with and represents the 30 teams, is any different than the infamous ‘information bank’ in the 1980s,” Boras said.


Umm -- because there was no such thing as the Internet in the 1980s? Any marginally interested fan can now keep an "information bank" of free agent offers, without even all that much effort.
   51. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 10, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5622957)
As if teams aren't going to know reported offers of other teams in the Internet age.


Right. So again, all they had to do was throw in that the offers have been widely reported. Not only would this defuse collusion arguments, it would also make Boras look even worse in the whole exchange. Pretty strange that they didn't do this.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5622966)
You're really doubling down on that?
   53. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 10, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5622983)
I'm not him, and I haven't said it before so I'm not doubling down on anything. I'm also not reading anything about collusion into it. I just really don't get why they wouldn't throw that in there as another dig at Boras.
   54. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 10, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5622986)

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