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Next Stop: New York or Siberia

Shari ForstWednesday, December 6, 2006
By Shari Forst

Omar Minaya is setting up shop at the winter meetings and making it clear that pitching is his number one priority.

He is set to meet with Scott Boras, Barry Zito's agent - or as I like to call him the Satan of Baseball.

There is talk that along with the Mets, Boras is also talking to the Texas Rangers. The Mets do have one thing going for them in the Zito auction - and that's pitching coach Rick Peterson.

I would think Zito would love the idea of being reunited with his old pitching coach from his most successful era in Oakland.

What I can't understand is why Boras' clients allow him to make deals placing them ion teams that do nothing for their careers. One would think that a guy like Zito would rather go to a contending team-no less in the National League where pitchers get to hit. it's much better for their ERA.

Texas is the virtual Siberia of baseball- just ask A-Rod. How many millions is enough for these guys anyway? So what if Texas is offering a few million more? Why would you want to toil away on a last place team?

I am hoping that the lure of pitching under Peterson's tutelage is a big factor in the decision Boras & Zito make.

Now that Glavine has resigned, I can only dream about a starting pitching staff that would include Zito. Balanced out with El Duque, John Maine and Oliver Perez.

About Shari: Hi, I'm Shari Forst-my friends and family call me "Shaz", I am a musician who plays the drums and bass guitar, and life long sports nut. I have been a fan of the New York Mets since 1977 when I was 10 years old, and a a fan of the Jets and Giants and NY Rangers since then too. One of my dreams was to become a rock star, but since that hasn't happened yet I'm living my second dream of being a sports writer for MVN where I cover the NY Mets, NY Jets and the NY Rangers. I am also a frequent commentator on the High Heat Radio Show with Jay Hardin, and Life's A Pitch on sportstalkcleveland.com.

Comments (4)

Shari-- I'd have to agree with you here. As fulfilling as it is to be paid all those millions (it's not the actual money, it's the representation that a team desires you more and values you higher than everyone else), I'm sure it's equally as demoralizing that Zito will be committing career suicide if he goes to Texas. If he signs a five-year deal with the Mets, that'll give him an out just in time to sign another megadeal before he retires. At Shea (and then CitiField), Zito will encounter a number of benefits that will end up making him more money when that moment comes.

1) AmeriQuest Field is a hitter's ballpark-- small dimensions, warm weather, and not much foul territory. I was there in July, and I saw the Blue Jays and Rangers slug it out to the tune of 6 home runs. Due to Zito's propensity to serve up the occasional gopher ball, this does not bode well for him.
2) The Rangers, due to their capricious spending habits, do not have the shrewd management to accompany their budget. Mark my words when I tell you that they are nowhere near a ring as long as they are in the same division as Billy Beane. The Mets, on the other hand, are much closer to winning, and Zito is likely one of the final pieces to the puzzle.
3) The fans in Texas are not as zealous or knowledgeable as the fans in Queens. Zito will be embraced here and will make up the difference in the contract values probably through merchandising and advertising potential alone.
4) As you mentioned, Zito will reunite with Rick Peterson, who kept his ERA under 3 while they were together in Oakland.
5) Zito will switch to the weaker-hitting National League, where he will have the ability to perhaps post another Cy Young season.

You'd figure with all this out there, and the recent news that Jon Daniels doesn't plan on spending wildly to obtain Zito, that we'll land him at somewhere in the vicinity of 4-5 years at $15-18 million each.

HI Matt- It would mae more sense to me for Zito to avoid Texas like the plague, but I guess that depends on Boras.
You made some great points in your comment, I wish you could email them to Boras and Zito!

Scott Boras amazes me.

This is a player's agent, that's all he is, remember, who has an Grand Plan, that of moving the market value of ballplayers ever higher, and who employs his clients in gaining that agenda, seemingly even at the individual player's detriment. The best example was J. D. Drew sitting out a year of his career to free him of his obligation to deal with Philadelphia. How many of us would take a chance like that? But Boras sold the idea to Drew. And please tell me that Alex Rodriguez had some second thoughts about relocating to Texas; yet he did it.

I don't hate the guy, you know. He represents various pitchers and position players -- but there's a lot of people who play baseball; maybe your team can do without Kevin Brown or Alex Rodriguez, and find a better use for all that money. He must be the consumate salesman, to convince supposedly smart general managers that they need his guy and no one else, damn the expense and the lousy terms of the contract. Who was it, who had language added to his last contract that his team would not offer his arbitration, thus guaranteeing that they would lose him with NO compensation, not even a draft choice? Was it J. D. Drew, again? Think so.

You've got to be good, to convince people of something that is not so. I wish somebody would run a study of all the Boras signings, their cost relative to existing market conditions and how the deals worked out for the various teams, 'cause my impression is that he hasn't given good value, at all. It's something that can't go on forever; and such a study might hasten the day when the world wises up to Mr. Boras.

Hi DD- All good points you made and I love the idea of doing that study you mentioned. One would think that even though he places his players with teams that aren't in contention but pay lots of cash in the end would catch up to him and things would be a wash finacially because players wouldn't want to sign with a agent that sells them out so to speak but it never seems to happen. Now with even guys who are medicore at best commanding millons in salary it will be even tougher to tighten the reigns on guys like Boras.

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