Scott Boras Steals the World Series and Other Musings

1193680201Now that it is over and we don’t have to worry about Tim McCarver’s insipid blathering, or Fox’s rapid-fire cut-away montages of the ugliest fans in the universe for the rest of the winter, it’s time to take stock of what we just saw. Apart from the Red Sox winning the World Series for the second time in four years, of course, because what fun is that?

The story today in every major newspaper outside of Boston and Denver is the stunt that uber-agent and Friend of the Devil Scott Boras pulled last night.

The first instinct was horror that Fox would turn over its broadcast and let Boras wreck havoc. But put yourself in Ken Rosenthal’s shoes. The longtime baseball reporter gets handed a big juicy scoop that Alex Rodriguez would opt out of his contract and become a free agent. With the entire hardball world tuned in, he had to run it out there.

Only Rosenthal didn’t have the goods. Boras gave it to his water boy, Jon Heyman at SI.com, and by the time Fox went with it in the eighth inning of a World Series clinching game, it was fifth-hand news.

That Fox would allow Boras to steal the spotlight when he didn’t even have the decency to give them the scoop is bad enough, but it is also an indictment of the way baseball runs its own house. Would the NFL allow the Super Bowl to be so similarly co-opted?

There is, allegedly, a moratorium on making announcements during the World Series, not that it has stopped the Yankees from declaring they were close to, closing in, or about to name a manager every single day. And it certainly didn’t stop Boras.

It’s not just the broadcasts either. Baseball has a serious problem that is about to explode in the next few months; namely the Mitchell Investigation into steroid use. If you believe Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball will have no idea what is in the report until it is released. That is unfathomable.

But baseball can’t control itself. It can’t make A-Rod show up to win the Hank Aaron Award, and it can’t make Fox show World Series games in under four hours.

And this was with the Red Sox in the World Series. Imagine if it had been Cleveland and Colorado. Fox might not have shown any of the games.

Other Musings

It’s time to put McCarver out to pasture. He doesn’t bother me as much as some, and I still remember when he was an almost daring analyst for the 1980′s Mets, but the man is clearly done. His stories are long, boring, and ill-timed, and he is so far removed from understanding even an iota of what sites like Baseball Prospectus have been saying for years that it’s comical. These are not radical ideas, and it’s telling that the only people who dismiss them are aging baseball writers and TV analysts.

One more Fox thing, could Jeanne Zelasko ask questions that were any dumber? She makes Tina Cervasio seem hard-hitting.

The Red Sox on-field celebration was restrained, especially the dancing genius that is Jonathan Papelbon. That was a good thing… Do you think the Rockies’ owner still wants a piece of the Red Sox… Terry Francona mentioned it in passing after the game, but what exactly would the Red Sox have done tonight if it had gone five games? Hideki Okajima was clearly on fumes, Manny Delcarmen hasn’t hit his spots since the Angels series and Papelbon would have been out for a fourth time in five days. That would have been an amazing test for Josh Beckett… Was this the end of Curt Schilling in a Boston uniform? One would have to assume that it was. Same for MVP Mike Lowell, who will almost certainly get a three-year deal, and maybe even a four-year deal from some desperate team.

The World Series rally is tomorrow. More details coming on Boston Daily shortly.