Boros Bites Weaver

Baseball's mega agent Scott Boros bit his client Jeff Weaver and the Dodgers by, as he usually is, unrealistic about baseball values. So, in the end, as expected, Jeff Weaver is gone. Ned Colletti, who is proving by the minute he has a better idea about baseball values than Boros, would not cough up a $50 million contract for a pitcher who had a 4.22 ERA in his winningest year.

There are plenty of pariahs around the grand old game and our pick for leader of the pack has always been snarling, sneering Donald Fehr, who set a role model for Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean.

But more than any other single individual, the one person directly responsible for hiking the cost of taking your kid to a ball game way past the $100 mark (two tickets, parking, program, two beers, two cokes, four hot dogs)has been Scott Boros.

He is the after the fact reverse role model for Robin Hood -- taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

With the $50 million saved by not buckling under to the latest Boros stickup, the Dodgers can do any number of more worthwhile things. They could put another measly million into their Dominican program. Maybe then the next Miguel Cabrera will be in Dodgers Blue rather than in Florida/Las Vegas/Portland.

Throw another million into the tried and true Branch Rickey program of scouting and minor league player development. If Boros hasn't missed it, Jay Seo ain't gonna cost no $10 million this year or next or the one after that -- and he's likely to have just as many if not more wins than Jeff Weaver and with a lot lower ERA.

Now the Weaver door has been closed by the Boros hijack, Colletti will rather swiftly move on and add one more hurler to the mix.

Plan B was in the works all along as Colletti sanely knew the chances of Boros being reasonable were zilch and zero.

For all his formidable talent, Weaver reminded us more of .500 Stan Williams more than aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.

Heck, if the Dodgers wanted to start a pitcher who'd almost always give up three or four runs at the start of a game, they could have picked up a couple of more Rule 5 draftees -- without the Boros price tag.

Orel Hershiser would always justify today's runaway salaries by saying athletes are entertainers and only being paid like entertainers.

But more often than not, Jeff Weaver did NOT entertain, unless he was pitching before an audience of masochists.

Which is not to say Weaver was the only overpaid Dodgers player. Odalis Perez remains, among others.

For a whole lot less than Weaver will be paid by somebody else who Boros will sucker, the Colletti Dodgers will find somebody just as good for a whole lot less.

There is a top side to the Boros madness. Baseball greats and Hall of Fame candidates Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmiero are all home sitting waiting for a phone, any phone, to ring. Night has fallen, the lights are being turned off, the park is emptying, the ride is about over.

With all of the years the Dodgers have spent $100 million or more a year, here's a quick quiz to challenge even the most knowledgeable fan (without having to resort to a baseball encyclopedia):

Name the last Dodgers 20 game winner.

Name the last Dodgers player to lead the league in homers.

Name the last Dodgers player to win the league batting title.

Name the last Dodgers player to lead the league in ERA.

Name a dozen Dodgers players making more than $10 million a year who did none of the above.

So much for Orel's "entertainment."

The Scott Boros and Donald Fehrs of baseball are ruining the grand old game of baseball as surely as the unions have killed American auto makers.

In another lifetime, we were an aide to a US Senator who served on both the Senate Finance and Commerce Committees. We frequently had to escort then top "economists" to talking events.

What struck us then, as Boros and Fehr, do now, is that they did not have a sane view of what a dollar really is.

People don't go to the newspapers or the big networks for news now, they go to the internet. Google is worth a dozen New York Times. Walmart is worth more than GM, Ford and Chrysler put together. You do not see any Donald Fehrs and Scott Boros types around Google or Walmart.

The Weaver attempted stickup is just a minor footnote in the potential destruction of baseball.

Sadly, there is still a future for a Jeff Weaver in this crazy economics of sport and just as sadly, there is no future for a Peter O'Malley.