Pertinence (or, maybe not)

From Today's Globe:

Boras said Ramírez, 36, wants to play at least six more years and expects to command a salary similar to Alex Rodriguez's. Boras negotiated a 10-year deal with the Yankees last year that guarantees Rodriguez an average of $27.5 million a season through 2017, when he will be 42.

Boras also struck a five-year, $90 million deal for Barry Bonds with the Giants in 2002 that ran until Bonds was 42.

"There is no question that Manny is in the same category of those extraordinary hitters," Boras said. "And Manny has done something those hitters have not done. He has won two World Series rings."

If Dave Roberts had been 1/5 of a step slower:

"And Manny has done something those hitters have not done. He has won a World Series ring."

If Josh Beckett had only been above-average and not otherworldly:

"And Manny, but for the slimmest of circumstances, would have won two World Series rings."

I'm not interested in demeaning Manny's contributions to the Sox' two championships, but there is something arbitrary in citing these rings as evidence of anything other than circumstance.  But for a bullpen implosion, Barry Bonds would have a ring.  But for an historic collapse (and several years playing for Seattle and then a greed-influenced interlude in the success-vacuum that is Arlington), Alex Rodriguez might have one too.  Citing Manny's rings isn't where I'd necessarily rest my laurels were I Manny's agent.  I'd just stick with the ungodly hitting ability.

8 comments… add one

  • Of course, it’s absurd to claim that one player won championships for his team, especially when we’re talking about baseball. I assume Boras understands this as do most, if not all, of the front offices he works with. But there are probably a few baseball decision-makers who think of players as winning-types and non-winning-types. I once had a discussion with a former classmate who worked in a certain team’s front office for a few years. I asked him why his team, which was in need of starting pitching, wasn’t pursuing a certain very talented pitcher who had very good peripherals and was on the trading block. His answer surprised me. His boss, the GM (and I think a decent one at that) thought the pitcher wasn’t a winner despite all his talent and his decent stats. In the end, he felt he couldn’t trust him in big post-season spots. So far, based on this pitcher’s post-season performances (one start occurred this year), the GM has been right. So as long as who make real decisions in front offices think like this, it makes a lot of sense for Boras to spout off about players who win championships and players who do not (at least when it’s convenient for him. He, of course, did not talk about A-Rod as a losingplayer when his contract was up).
    I know of a pitcher who will certainly be helped come contract time in two years by the notion that he wins championships. His regular season performances might or might not justify the money his agent will likely seek for him, but his post-season career and the label of “Greatest Post-Season Pitcher of his Generation” certainly will.

    Nick-YF October 26, 2008, 10:24 am
  • Starting pitchers might have as much of a claim as anyone, Nick, when citing postseason successes. I am not naive. I know why Boras says things like this. But a position player, conceptually, is in a tenuous position citing those rings.

    SF October 26, 2008, 10:58 am
  • “Starting pitchers might have as much of a claim as anyone, Nick, when citing postseason successes.”
    I think this idea has been overstated to a certain extent. Run prevention is certainly a big part of post-season success, but it involves a lot more than the pitcher. Pitching is defense, and defense involves every player in the field. When we conceptualize run prevention, however, we think largely of the pitcher’s influence on the result. When we think of positional players, we, for whatever reason, are better able to situate them in a team context, even though a positional player, between his defensive and offensive contribution, might actually have more of positive individual effect than the starting pitcher during a single post-season game, and certainly during a post-game series.

    Nick-YF October 26, 2008, 11:21 am
  • post-game=post-season. oops

    Nick-YF October 26, 2008, 11:21 am
  • If a hitter has a crappy series, the team can get by. The 2004 Sox got by when Damon went in the tank for the first six games of the ALCS, for example. But they nearly didn’t survive the injury to Curt Schilling.
    In a short series, one pitcher’s implosion can scuttle a series, but, yeah, Boras overstates the case a bit for a hitter, even one as extraordinary as Ramirez.

    Paul SF October 26, 2008, 11:39 am
  • Craig Counsell has as many rings as Manny. Should he be signed to a long term contract at premium because of this? I think not.

    Sam-YF October 26, 2008, 3:12 pm
  • Also, as far as trading Lowell is concerned. Doesnt he have a no-trade clause and why would he waive this? Im reading alot about this but dont see how he can be traded…

    Sam-YF October 26, 2008, 4:18 pm
  • David Eckstein has 2 rings. Surely that’s a strong enough statement to deter anyone from using the rings argument again.

    Atheose October 26, 2008, 5:35 pm

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