Scott Boras: MLB ‘Competitive Cancer’ leads to Braves win

By capturing their first World Series crown in 26 years with a 7-0 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, the Atlanta Braves also earned the accolade of being the champion. of MLB with the most time spent below .500 during the season, having been below that mark for 101 game days this year, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Under .500 at MLB’s trade deadline in late July, the Braves nevertheless reached deals to add Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler after trading for Joc Pederson. Thanks to the additions (and aided by lackluster competition from their NL East peers, the Mets, Nationals, Marlins and Phillies), the Braves have won 66.2% of their games – a pace of 107 of 162 wins – starting in August (including the playoffs).

Speaking at GM meetings this week, baseball superagent Scott Boras spoke out against the culture of tanking that allowed the Braves to acquire players like Rosario (who was named NLCS MVP) and Soler. (which earned World Series MVP honors) of teams looking to offload veterans to rack up prospects and higher draft picks. Boras, who always has his results in mind, said baseball is sick with the “competitive cancer” of tanking.

“We saw the championship in 60 days,” he said. “The rules allow them to be a sub-.500 team on August 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete and for very little cost change their entire team and their season. And we’ve seen that play out at the expense of teams that create at great expense, planning and intelligence and have won over 100 games. By doing all of this, we’ve now created an understanding that a fan wouldn’t know who the real team is until, frankly, the trading deadline.

Boras is right, but one of the reasons he chose to do this is that tanking and a focus on stockpiling young players and prospects means there will be less interest in players. high-priced (previously) veterans which make up a huge percentage. of its clientele.

“It’s the Easter Bunny delivering rotten eggs,” Boras said of tanking. “Every team says, ‘I have to do this because it’s my only option, knowing I can’t get to a division crest, I can’t make the playoffs.’ It created an incentive for the race to the bottom because now we have half the major league teams at some point in the season that aren’t competitive, trading their players, making the game and the season very different from this they were meant to be, and it was an incentive to win every game you play.

Boras isn’t wrong, but he’s also biased and probably the wrong person to deliver this message.

Neal T. Doss