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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Bumping into Boras

Like tens of thousands of other travelers, my only goal on Friday afternoon was to beat the odds and get in and out of DFW Airport as quickly as possible.

Despite all the rains and flooding in the area, my arrival went fairly smoothly. The flight was actually early, but of course, the gate was not ready.

Had my connecting flight been blessed with a full flight crew present, I would have at least had a shot for an on-time departure. As it turned out, it was fortunate I had to stay an hour longer.

After editing and posting a couple of articles, I was left to wait somewhat impatiently in the gate area. Much to my surprise, a few yards away stood Scott Boras and an associate, dressed in jeans and matching blue fleece pullovers adorned with a stylized baseball field and “B” logo, representing The Boras Corporation.

With my voice recorder always present in my briefcase, I quickly tried to mentally assemble a list of questions for the most famous player agent in sports. Ultimately, because of the logistics challenges, I decided to not request an interview.

After 15-20 minutes, I did, however, approach the two, who were standing close to the main concourse, bothered by no one. Siding up to Boras, I asked him quietly, “Are you often able to travel without being noticed?” Without even being startled, he turned and replied in a matter-of-fact way, “Baseball fans are the ones who recognize me.”

I introduced myself and learned his traveling associate is a Boras Corp. VP and another former minor leaguer, Mike Fiore. I had initially confused the 1988 Olympian with former Royal and Cardinal major leaguer Mike Fiore. As a result, I said to him, “Oh, I know who you are.”

Turns out both Boras Corporation employees reached Double-A in the Cardinals system. Fiore was the organization’s 15th round selection in 1988 while Boras signed with the Cardinals as a free agent.

I learned the two were not on my flight, but the next flight at the same gate. They were on their way to Oklahoma City for a client visit.

Among the subjects in our informal chat were Matt Holliday and Bill DeWitt, Jr. About the Cardinals left fielder, Boras asked and received confirmation from me that Holliday and St. Louis were a perfect match. Only half-jokingly, the agent said that he has told the outfielder that unless he plays until he is 42, he will have no more use for Boras’ services.

The respect that Boras holds for the chairman of the Cardinals seems deep and real – as the owner of a baseball team, a successful businessman and as a person.

I asked Boras his view on several other points but did not state they were on the record, so I will leave them out.

I will close by noting that the agent predicts rougher waters ahead for the game in the labor relations area exacerbated by the changing dynamics in MLB hierarchy and team ownership.

By that time, Group 4 boarding had been announced for my flight, so I quickly but reluctantly took leave of Boras and Fiore, joking with the latter that I think he still advanced farther than the former as a player. They seemed to take my poking fun at myself in stride.

As it turned out, my brief time in Dallas on Friday was most eventful, but not for the reason I expected.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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18 Responses to “Bumping into Boras”

  1. blingboy says:

    Sounds like a fun encounter. The only notable baseball related airport encounter I ever had was sitting at a gate waiting and discovering the guy sitting next to me was Bob Lemon. Had a chat for about 20 minutes.

  2. crdswmn says:

    Cool. That kind of thing never happens to me.

  3. Lou Schuler says:

    Brian, just out of curiosity, what do you mean by “changing dynamics”? The end of the Selig era? It seems to me that Manfred is emphasizing continuity as much as anything. In ownership, what has changed, other than Forbes’ valuation of franchises?

    I get that Boras wants more money for his clients. But from the outside it looks like everyone’s making out okay.

    I can think of lots of incremental changes that would be worth negotiating in the next CBA. (Universal DH, international draft, 7-day DL for fatigue, 26-man rosters …) It’s just hard to imagine any issue worth going to war over.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I was not referring to a war between players and owners as much as discord among the owners themselves. How many owners turned over in the last decade? They all owed their positions to Bud. That is a key factor in how he built consensus. It wasn’t because they all agreed. Though Manfred turned over the Executive Committee to make it his own, he will likely have a much more difficult time getting the owners to move in one direction. At least, that is my assessment.

      • Lou Schuler says:

        Ah! That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

        The owners are all adults; I sure hope they act that way. The 30 of them control a game that tens of millions of us are passionately devoted to. It’s in their interest to keep our interests in mind.

  4. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I just bet you’d like to know what Westie thinks of that????????

    • Brian Walton says:

      Glad to see you’re still out there lurking!

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        I rarely write about baseball anymore. Cards look good. I still get a newsletter. The foundation for Scotty’s “intuition” is based on local events. MLB owners must be vulnerable to let the Union gouge old money in LA. The Bush era is approaching again. That could balance the scales.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Its really Westie!

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            Jumbo, the gag order on the Lozano hearing and its results, make for a very interesting proof of speculations made here a time ago. Not only were Lozano’s two counter complaints successful, they put a serious spanking on BHSC, who cannot appeal, and must abide by the gag. One of the complaints was obviously accountability for the smear campaign. The other for the real issues in the case. BHSC must have been hugely confident to risk with their complaint, an opportunity to let Danny move any civil litigation into a Union controlled hearing. Owners are still wearing it, as the Union threatens other aggressive maneuvers. Will Lackey be offered more than the QO jumbo ?????

  5. blingboy says:

    What is to be made of this:

    “There are some medical concerns with Kyle Funkhouser and his advisor Scott Boras has advised him to refuse to release his medicals, . . . “

  6. blingboy says:

    Matheny now thinks it would be great if the Cards draft Tate. Hummel’s headline says Matheny “is OK” with it, but the quotes in the article reveal it is more than OK with it.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/matheny-now-says-he-s-ok-if-cards-draft-his/article_b17e7a3c-fc52-56aa-98d0-4956006b97ef.html

    The question I have is can the kid hit? I am not sure of the level of day in day out competition in the West Coast Conference.

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