This time Sheff is gunning for uberagent Scott Boras, and Boras is gunning for Sheff right back. There are some people who would view this as two trains full of rabid opossums racing towards one another at full speed on the same track.
Because of all the website shenanigans I’m a bit late getting to this story, so I assume you guys already know the general plot, but just in case you don’t:
Boras represented Sheffield at the time of his January 2002 trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Atlanta Braves. Sheffield was due $9.5 million in 2002 and $11 million in 2003 in the final two guaranteed seasons of the $61 million, six-year extension he originally had signed with Florida in April 1997, and Boras negotiated the elimination of an $11 million option for 2004.
Associated Press story via ESPN
So the Braves had an $11 million option on Sheffield, as a holdover from the contract he had signed with Florida (which had been passed on to the Dodgers, and then to the Braves). Sheff wanted this option gone, presumably so that he could hurl himself into the murky waters of free agency unencumbered by any fishing hooks, and Boras, being Scott Boras, got it done.
Sheffield then fired Boras and represented himself in negotiating a $39 million, three-year contract with the New York Yankees covering 2004-6.
[Arbitrator Joshua] Javits ruled that Boras was entitled to five per cent of the $11 million option that Boras was able to eliminate. Boras had sought to be paid based on the entire Yankees’ deal.
Associated Press story via ESPN
I assume the contention here was that Sheffield would not have been able to sign that deal with the Yankees if the $11 million option had still been in place for the Braves to exercise, and so Boras’ crucial role in the elimination of the option entitled him to at least a cut of the subsequent Yankee deal, even though Sheff negotiated that one himself. I think. Maybe. I’m not entirely clear on this, but it’s probably something along those lines.
In any event, the arbitrator clearly did not quite agree with Boras (since he didn’t end up with a big cut of the Yankee salary) and did not quite agree with Sheff (since Boras did end up with SOME money, acknowledging his role in the signing of that Yankee contract, even if it was in absentia).
Five percent of $11 million, by the way, is $550,000. That’s not absurdly huge money by baseball standards, but over half a mil is definitely nothing to sneeze at.
This is where it gets fun, though. The case is being settled right now. Sheffield made the following comments about the case and Boras in FEBRUARY of this year.
“I shouldn’t have ever introduced myself to him [Boras]. Period. Bad person,” Sheffield said then.
Sheffield promised to say a lot of “ugly things” about various topics when the case is resolved.
“It ain’t going to be pretty,” he said then. “No fine is going to be big enough. No suspension is going to be long enough.”
Associated Press article via ESPN
Gary Sheffield LOVES promising to exact a painful and bloody revenge. It is one of his absolute favorite things to do. Why, he did it at the end of this very season! I eagerly wait to see if he makes good on any of his threats, because if he does, it is sure to be a veritable goldmine of comedy for all.
(Possibly excepting Sheff’s target at the time.)
And of course in this case, he’s entirely right. Scott Boras IS a bad person and a ween and is full of pomposity and smarminess and scrod vomit. He is the Stinky Cheese Man of baseball, in a suit and tie.
And although Sheff posturing threateningly at him is funny just on principle– I really do think that a Gary Sheffield making ever so delicately unhinged threats to other people in baseball is my favorite sort of Gary Sheffield– it is even more enjoyable because, this time, the target of the mighty Sheff Rage is so very, very deserving.
Comic book update!
So, obviously I have to finish up the inking and scan the sucker in so I can color it. I have vague hopes of getting it online by the weekend, but that may be horribly optimistic, as I really don’t have any idea how long the coloring is going to take. You shall have your terrible drawings in the eventuality of time, kids and kittens!