Scott Boras on Manny: Of Pasadena vs. Cleveland suburbs
Scott Boras, the uber-agent of Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez, answered 20 questions for the June issue of Playboy magazine. Boras has talked about some of this before but it's always fun to revisit. There was one question he deflected: whether he knew Alex Rodriguez was using steroids. Ask the player, he replied.
Otherwise, here are some nuggets from the Q&A:
PLAYBOY: [Manny Ramirez] wanted out because Boston isn’t like Cleveland?
BORAS: [Nodding] For Manny, environment is important. He had liked living in the Cleveland suburbs. I said, “Manny, I want you to play in L.A. They’ve got some really good young hitters, but they need a slugger, and Pasadena’s a lot like those Cleveland suburbs.” He had been to L.A. only three times in his life, but once we got him there he said, “This is the spot for me.”
PLAYBOY: Fans say you’re greedy. Are they right?
BORAS: The last time I looked, fan was short for fanatic. Fans are fanatical about their favorite team. But athletes have choices. They don’t want to be 50 years old, saying, “I turned down $70 million. I could have done more for my family, my community, my church.” A player’s life span in the game is short; his agent is there to help him. In the end it’s not about the fans. I’m not here to win a popularity contest.
PLAYBOY: What will happen on the field in 2009?
BORAS: The Yankees should win 95 games and make the playoffs. [Mark] Teixeira, with his .400 on-base percentage and Gold Glove defense, was a huge signing for them. The National League races could be very different this year. The Mets probably would have won in 2008 with the bullpen they have now. The Marlins have an up-and-coming superstar in Hanley Ramirez. Manny’s in shape for a great season with the Dodgers, and I won’t be surprised if the Cubs have a great year.
PLAYBOY: You’ve been heckled at ballparks. Does it hurt?
BORAS: Yeah, people come up to me and say, “You’re wrecking the game.” All I say is “I’m glad you’re a baseball fan.” Because the fans care. They love the game, and so do I. The difference is that my appreciation for the players’ skills is much higher than a fan’s because I know how hard the game is. I never wanted anything more than to play pro ball. Even the job I have, as much as I enjoy it, there’s no comparison. There is just nothing like waking up and thinking, I’m playin’ ball today.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Scott Boras. Credit: Kirby Lee / Image of Sport-US Presswire