During the GM Meetings, agent Scott Boras, one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes individuals involved in professional baseball, made some odd comments to the press.
‘Odd’ is a bit of an understatement. Boras’ comments seem to suggest he was in a fever dream. His descriptions of his free agents leaped over standard baseball metaphor and jargon into pure absurdism.
“For any franchise,” Boras said, “whether you’re a ‘now’ team, you’re a ‘two-year’ team, or you’re a ‘three-year’ team as far as when you hope to arrive to Playoffville, he’s been ‘Playoffville Federal Express.’ He can be overnight delivery — one-day, two-day, whatever. He fits every franchise.”
I guess that sort of makes sense? That wasn’t even the weirdest thing he said.
Scott Boras on free agent starter Jake Arrieta: He's a big squirrel with lots of nuts in his trees— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 15, 2017
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does he have balls/cajones? Does this mean he has lots of pitches? Does this mean he’s a secret arborist? Does he live in the green expanse of the pacific northwest in order to cosplay as a tiny mammal in the offseason?
So what if Boras was hyping other former Royals who are free agents? Maybe it would look something like this?
“You know, Mike Moustakas is like ‘Jack’ from the great novel The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Jack. Mike. Strong, manly names. Homey. Like Moose: he hits home runs. Lots of them. I ran a little when I was younger. Don’t anymore. Hurts my knees. Now I play golf. You know who plays golf? Moustakas. That’s a greek name you know. Like yogurt; Moose’s home runs are smooth, creamy scoring buckets. Get the Moose, get the cream, get the wins. that’s what memaw always said.”
“Have you ever seen a Turkish prison? That’s nothing like Cain.
Have you ever seen a gazelle leap into a Ferrari’s open doors as it zipped down the road? In Italy? By the cool, cool grass? Yeah, that’s nothing like Cain.
Have you ever watched a spaceship take off, tears streaming down your face as you wonder about the brave astronauts launching into the wild frontier, the Last Great Adventure, the cold nothingness of outer space, the lingering flap into the iris of god? No? Well, that’s nothing like Cain.
So what is Cain like? Cain’s, like, a really great ballplayer.”
“Look, he’s got an on base percentage of .286 over the last three years and is 30. What do you want me to say? It’s not like he’s young or good anymore. Somebody just sign him, ok?
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Scott Boras looks intently at everyone in the room, then holds up a dinged up, outdated iPad Mini with a faded sticker of a wizard on the back. He turns it on, then continues to stare at everyone even more intensely as a Youtube video plays.
Did you know Vargas is a stamp collector? Well, that’s not accurate. He creates custom stamps, each one with a picture of the left elbow of every batter he’s ever faced. Vargas studies each left elbow in order to more accurately use his own left elbow. It’s brilliant, really. He once took a picture of my left elbow, then examined and gently twisted the flabby flesh covering the bone. It’s part of his craft, you know. If your team signs Vargas, you are guaranteed to get the most intensive elbow researcher out there.
He can pitch, too.