Baseball Wiseguys

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Let the Games Begin

Superagent Scott Boras has already started the spin doctoring in the media with regards to Carlos Beltran. It's no secret that he wants the biggest deal possible for young Carlos, and that the team with the most resources to give such deal is the New York Yankees. One small problem. Seems that the incumbent Yankee CF is also a Boras client, and still playing under a huge contract that Boras himself negotiated in 1999. Boras claims in the NY Times today that Bernie has acknowledged that he will be a graceful vet and pass the baton to Beltran, while Williams maintains that no such conversation has been had...

Scott Boras, Beltran's agent, is also the agent for Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams. When Boras was asked about the delicate position of having one client take another client's position, he intimated that any potential problem had been remedied.

"That's something that's between Carlos and Bernie, and that's something that they've talked about and dealt with," Boras said Tuesday while attending the general managers meetings here. "And I'm going to leave their conversation among them private and confidential."

Beltran told Houston reporters during the season that Williams had told him he would step aside.

But when Williams was asked last month if he had told Beltran that he would surrender center field, he shook his head and said, "I don't even know about that."

Boras continued trying to minimize the potential for a controversy by reiterating that Williams and Beltran had discussed the situation.

"They talked during the season about this," Boras said. "More than likely, knowing Bernie Williams, and I don't know this for a fact, I would estimate that Bernie Williams initiated that conversation because he's always been kind of a mentor to Carlos."

Now I know and everyone else knows that Beltran is way better than Bernie at this point in time, and that Bernie is probably enough of a 'real Yankee' to step back and accept a DH position for the final year of his contract. I just wonder a little bit about how players' perception of Boras may change if they start to realize that once he negotiates your one big contract, all bets are off down the road; if one of his younger studs is gunning for your job, the concept of morality and any conflict of interest is quickly jettisoned from the agent's mind. Boras is probably rich enough to retire at some point soon anyway, so maybe he just says damn the consequences and will ride off laughing into the sunset.

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