What Does it Say About the State of Baseball Labor Relations When Scott Boras Looks Like the Good Guy?

What Does it Say About the State of Baseball Labor Relations When Scott Boras Looks Like the Good Guy?
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I find Scott Boras next to impossible to like. I see him before games at Dodger Stadium, hanging out in the stands behind home plate, holding court, always with this oh-so-self-satisfied look on his face. This exact look right here.

Sep 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sports agent Scott Boras reacts during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

And I want to slap that smug smile to the Loge level. Or throw a tomato at him. Being a peaceful man, however - and because it wouldn't be the wisest course of action while covering a baseball game - I don't. 

But the guy bugs me. And for the life of me I can't understand what it is that makes the entire baseball industry bow down before him, hanging on his every word. He's just a man - an extremely successful man, sure - but nothing more than ordinary protoplasm with a rather unfortunate hair-dye job on top. 

And you probably don't want to get me started on his binders full of men. Why a single baseball executive (let alone the whole lot of them) would consider the contents of those binders - essentially the pros and cons of this clients, minus the cons - during a free-agent negotiation, when they should have every piece of information about a player available to them without the agent's skewed interpretation being in the least bit of interest, is beyond me.

Well, fine. So we've established that I don't like Scott Boras. And that Boras is an obnoxious guy. But when the man is right he's right, and MLB, in its infinite wisdom, gave Boras the most obvious talking point imaginable this afternoon, with its latest proposal for a 2020 season, likely to be presented to the Major League Baseball Players Association tomorrow. It should come as no surprise that Boras urged the MLBPA to reject it.

Nobody's asking, but I'd urge the union to reject the proposal too. And so would you. Because it's an about face on the league's fair-minded proposal to prorate 2020 salaries based on the number of games played, which the players agreed to in March.

Boras this afternoon, said the obvious: "The players I represent are unified in that they reached an agreement and they sacrificed anywhere from 30 to 40% of their salaries so that the games could amicably continue...The owners represented during that negotiation that they could operate without fans in the ballpark. Based on that, we reached an agreement and there will not be a renegotiation of that agreement.”

Not that Boras cares, but the players he doesn't represent (i.e., most of them) made the same sacrifice, and should share the sentiment. Every last one of them. This is simply weirdness by the league.

So what is MLB doing? Ya got me. Well, unless management actually expects a cancelled season; one cancelled not because of labor strife, but because of the inherent difficulty in keeping some 900 players - and who knows how many support staff members - safe with no end to the COVID- 19 outbreak in sight, and just wants to get an early start on the next collective bargaining agreement. While playing hardball.

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman summed up Monday's developments with this savvy headline: "MLB 2020 season threatened by utter compensation nonsense."

Here's Sherman's lede: "They can’t do it. Right? There is no way - regardless of both the historic and current bad blood - that MLB and the Players Association are going to shut down the game this year over player compensation." He continues: "That would be so shoot-yourself-in-the-brain, assure-the-negative-first-line-in-your-obituary stupid that not even these two hostile sides can navigate there. Right?"

Wrong, oh Dodger Dog breath. Very wrong. Baseball absolutely can shoot itself, if not in the brain then in the cleat. MLB can make the 2020 season less palatable to the players than a plate of Swanson's Hungry Man Bat, which I understand is a thing now.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but Scott Boras is spot on this time. He's beyond spot on. He's 100 percent right and the league is completely off base. There simply is no reason for the players to cave to what is an unreasonable volley by Major League Baseball. Not at this point in time. No way.

And remember, glove conquers all. Rubber gloves, in this case, and a healthy dose of hand sanitizer. 

Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.