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Mark Teixeira on the amateur draft


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#1 David Laurila


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 02:58 PM

Alan Schwarz interviewed Mark Teixeira about the amateur draft, for Baseball America, and I found many of his responses fascinating. As a matter of fact, a few bordered on head scratching and jaw dropping. The attitude and expectations he had when he didn't sign with us in 1998 are definitely worthy of debate.

http://www.baseballa...res/261292.html

#2 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:34 PM

Wow- great stuff. Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell was certainly candid and held nothing back there, and raised a ton of good points that I never really thought about. The Sox don't come out looking too well but there's no reason to think what they did was out of the ordinary. Seems like the players often times get the bad press when these things happen, too.

#3 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:40 PM

What I found interesting about that interview is Teixeira's admission that he realized he didn't want to sign at all when he was first drafted, that he preferred to go to college instead. It certainly puts the old "Sox were too cheap to sign their draft picks" adage in a false light.

#4 David Laurila


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:43 PM

Frankly, I don't see the Sox looking bad in insisting they know if he'd sign at a certain figure. Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell taking an attitude of, "Hey, draft me and then I'll sign if my agent is able to extort enough money out of you" is worse.

Also, "So they spoiled me for everyone else--the only one that would draft me was them," is a bunch of horseshit.

#5 JimD

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:17 PM

What I found interesting about that interview is Teixeira's admission that he realized he didn't want to sign at all when he was first drafted, that he preferred to go to college instead. It certainly puts the old "Sox were too cheap to sign their draft picks" adage in a false light.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


He admitted as much in a Baseball America article back then, as some of us have pointed out on numerous occasons, but that didn't stop those with an anti-Duquette (or anti-Red Sox) agenda.

Jim

#6 Ryo Sen

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:18 PM

Frankly, I don't see the Sox looking bad in insisting they know if he'd sign at a certain figure.  Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell taking an attitude of, "Hey, draft me and then I'll sign if my agent is able to extort enough money out of you" is worse.


Yeah, I'm not an expert on this by any means, but isn't pre-draft back-and-forth like that pretty common? If he says yes to the $1.5M figure and then gets picked at #1, what does it matter that he "limited" his ceiling -- he only limited it if he fell to the Sox and they picked him (and then both sides honored the handshake agreement). Whatever.

#7 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:32 PM

I think the issue here is that Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell says he declined the Sox offer because he didn't want to lock himself into that amount without knowing what other offer he might get. When he did that- the Sox let everyone else know that he wasn't willing to sign, which he says isn't true. The whole thing is kind of weird though.

#8 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:34 PM

MT: They said take it or leave it. It was a decent bonus, but it wasn't what we were looking for, and we didn't want to cap our negotiation before the draft even happened. It's unfair and illegal to go to a kid and say, "We haven't drafted you yet, we may or may not draft you, but if you don't take 1.5 we're not going to draft you." What would you say? There's 29 other teams out there--why would I ever cap myself before the draft even happens? It doesn't make any sense. It's unfair to those kids. Say, "Draft me and I'll let you know."

I have a very cynical approach toward the draft. I was naive. It was my first realization to the business in baseball. The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn't sign, and when it got to a late enough round, they said, "Let's take a flier on him." So they spoiled me for everyone else--the only one that would draft me was them.


I only wish he had added - My agent Scott Boras tells me that teams really manipulate the draft to their own advantage.

He thinks he was naive, but is now cynical? That's pretty funny.

Interesting interview though.

#9 CarboCopy


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:35 PM

I think the issue here is that Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell says he declined the Sox offer because he didn't want to lock himself into that amount without knowing what other offer he might get. When he did that- the Sox let everyone else know that he wasn't willing to sign, which he says isn't true. The whole thing is kind of weird though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That really doesn't pass the smell test. Why would other teams trust the Sox if they said he didn't want to sign? At the very least, they would've followed Reagan's advice about nuclear weapons deals (trust but verify).

#10 Monster Dick Radatz

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:37 PM

I think the issue here is that Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell says he declined the Sox offer because he didn't want to lock himself into that amount without knowing what other offer he might get. When he did that- the Sox let everyone else know that he wasn't willing to sign, which he says isn't true. The whole thing is kind of weird though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's what I didn't understand. While his comment about using a buffer was good advice, the draft negotiation take was definitely a bit weird. On the one hand he says the Sox submarined his chances with other teams, but on the other says he wanted to go to college. I mean, you can't have it both ways.

#11 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:40 PM

Good points for sure....a guy who really wants to go to college and doesn't want to maximize his earnings certainly doesn't sign with Boras. I'm sure he's still bitter about Wayne Britton squeezing his calves. :lol:

#12 Otis Foster


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:41 PM

This puzzles me. Since when would any other team take this story at face value, even if the RS did say he was unsignable? They surely know enough to verify it themselves, if he was an attractive option for them.

As for determining what his price point was: sounds smart to me. High draft choices aren't commodities. Unless its somehow an ethical violation to even ask, why shouldn't they? And if he had agreed to their number, why would they let anyone else know, in case Tex was drafted elsewhere, say by the MFYs? Why is it in the interests of the RS to make it easier for someone else to sign him, by publicizing the pre-draft discussion?

Sounds to me like he's built this into a real beef. Does he tell his agent to play patty-cake when negotiating his next contract?

#13 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:37 PM

This sounds like so much BS from somebody with an ax to grind.

Baseball is a business? A team is offering some teenager $1.5 million and he thinks its just a lark? And if he didn't realize baseball was a business until the mean ol' Sox starting abusing him, what was Scott Boras doing there?

Furthermore, things seem to have worked out pretty well for him despite the best effort of the forces of darkness. What's he bitching about this for now?

#14 Steve Dillard


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:54 PM

Thoughts and prayers. I'm holding my breath waiting for the sequel where he explains how pissed he was that Texas signed him for $9.5 million, when 29 other teams might have paid him $20 million.

#15 MrSnuffleupagus

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:25 PM

If I was Teixeira I would have done the same thing. If a club wanted to bind me to a number before the draft, I'd have said what he said:

There's 29 other teams out there--why would I ever cap myself before the draft even happens? It doesn't make any sense. It's unfair to those kids. Say, "Draft me and I'll let you know."



Absolutely. "Draft me and I'll let you know". What possible desire would he have to agree to a number? The clubs are trying to push down salaries as much as possible, and the players have an adversarial role to push them up. And Tex turned out to be right and did well with his first contract.

There are very few instances of position players getting hurt to the point where they can never play again--especially a power hitter.


This is was new to me. Still if I was Boras I'd be trying to get some insurance on him during college.

#16 MrSnuffleupagus

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 10:32 PM

AS: But you're the shining example of how well it can turn out. What if it doesn't?

MT: Well, that's the thing--if it doesn't work out, wouldn't you rather have a college education than have nothing? That money, I don't care how much you sign for, it's going to be gone eventually. I'd rather be happy with a college education and not have a bonus than be unhappy without a college education and saying, "What did I do with the last eight or nine years of my life?"


and this is about as level-headed as you get. Word.

(yes, you can always go to college later if you sign, but how many failed pro baseball players are going to apply to colleges when they're 35 and have to pay for it themselves?)

#17 Paradigm


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 11:56 PM

He spits the company line about college.

I like how Schwartz came right at him:

AS: But you're the shining example of how well it can turn out. What if it doesn't?


I'm also finishing The Last Best League which is a tale of a Cape League season, and it has an insightful chapter on Scott Hindman, a Princeton pitcher who was drafted late by the Angels but given earlier round money because of his talent and prospects. He fizzled out.

MT: Definitely. The minor leagues is no fun--it is absolutely no fun. Three years in the minors would have been torture for me. When I decided not to sign out of high school, there was almost a plan set out--go to college, have the three best years of your life, which I did, be a high first-round pick, get a huge bonus, which I did, play one year in the minors, get yourself honed with a wood bat and professional baseball, which I did, and go to the big leagues and everything


I wonder how much of that is retrospect and how much was foresight.

Still, this was a really enlightening read.

#18 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:04 AM

(yes, you can always go to college later if you sign, but how many failed pro baseball players are going to apply to colleges when they're 35 and have to pay for it themselves?)

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Not that I was ever faced with such a decision, but it seems to me that spending several years playing minor league baseball would be pretty f'ing cool. I have a friend who played baseball for a living for more than 20 years (much of them overseas), never came close to the majors, never went to college, and I have never met a happier person in my life.

I might have chosen college too, but I don't begrudge anyone a life of playing baseball for a living.

#19 Steve Dillard


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:06 AM

There's 29 other teams out there--why would I ever cap myself before the draft even happens? It doesn't make any sense. It's unfair to those kids. Say, "Draft me and I'll let you know."

........

ely. "Draft me and I'll let you know". What possible desire would he have to agree to a number?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Because a draft is not an auction, so having another team willing to pay more for you is irrelevant if you are drafted by a third team that might only pay you $1 million. Missing in Mark's comprehension is that it is a team picking him, not him picking a team. If he thinks the Sox's $1.5 million would cap him, great. But if they don't draft him and Cinci takes a flier on him with the next pick, and only offers him $1 million, then he hasn't maximized him value. Agreeing with the Sox wouldn't "Cap" his offers, but "floor" them. He also controls the team he is going to, rather than casting his lot to be with a team that doesn't compensate well in later contracts (seeing as he believed he'd command greater value later.)

#20 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:26 AM

and this is about as level-headed as you get.  Word.

(yes, you can always go to college later if you sign, but how many failed pro baseball players are going to apply to colleges when they're 35 and have to pay for it themselves?)

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I believe Mark Malaska is doing this right now after leaving TB's camp earlier this year.

Strange interview. I agree with the previous comments that he's trying to have it both ways: he's saying he wanted to go to college and didn't want to play in the minors yet still thinks he was being screwed by the Sox in their take on his signability.

#21 smastroyin


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:30 AM

I can't believe anyone could read this and come to the conclusion that Teixeira really wanted to go to college.

Teixeira really wanted to maximize his value, and that's *it*

If the Red Sox had offered him $2.5+ MM he would have damned well signed no matter what his draft position was. You can even hear it in his quotes. "Well as the day went on I realized I wanted to go to college." Translation: Once it looked like I wasn't going to get a mega-bonus, I thought I would go to college and get a mega-bonus afterward.

He didn't agree to $1.5 MM because it wasn't enough money, plain and simple. Boras knows damn well (and I'm sure he tells his clients this too) that most players don't make it into high salary free agency and that their signing bonus is the best chance they have to cash in on their talent.

Edited by smastroyin, 19 May 2006 - 07:31 AM.


#22 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:41 AM

Yankees 1Bman whose name I can't spell wanted to maximize his value, while the Sox wanted to minimize it. Isn't that business? What apparently pissed Mark off was that the Sox weren't willing to negotiate (from what he says, which obviously has a bit of bias).

#23 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:48 AM

In a fascinating and vaguely related story, Byron Gettis, having washed out of the high minors at age 26 is returning to College--and walking on to the football team!

The most relevant point is that Gettis has mentioned (not sure if it's in this story or another I read but can't fnd in google) that his College is being paid for by MLB... Anyone heard of such a program before?

http://www.bellevill...ts/14439898.htm

#24 David Laurila


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:58 AM

The most relevant point is that Gettis has mentioned (not sure if it's in this story or another I read but can't fnd in google) that his College is being paid for by MLB... Anyone heard of such a program before?

http://www.bellevill...ts/14439898.htm

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I would have to believe it's the Royals paying for his education. He would have had that clause written in when he signed his contract.

#25 epraz


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:22 AM

I can't believe anyone could read this and come to the conclusion that Teixeira really wanted to go to college.

Teixeira really wanted to maximize his value, and that's *it*

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's not really fair. I'm sure maximizing his value was very important and perhaps/probably his main concern, but there's no reason to think his stated respect for a college education was disingenuous.

#26 WayneHousieHOF


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:29 AM

Interesting interview, to say the least. Here's an old Gammons column about that draft, and he mentions quite a bit of Big Tex and the Sox.

Gammons on draft

#27 ShaneTrot

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:33 AM

I would have to believe it's the Royals paying for his education.  He would have had that clause written in when he signed his contract.

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Its interesting that you say this because one of my wife's friends was telling us the other day that her husband had been drafted by the A's out of high school. He refused to sign and she went on and on about how education was so important to him. I immediately thought that he could have had the A's pay for his education but said nothing in the hope that she would just shut up. (I find her incredibly annoying.)

Is there a draft position cut off where the club won't pay for a high schoolers college tuition or is it a strictly on a case by case basis?

#28 Carroll Hardy


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:35 AM

I'm almost certain that the Teixeira family honestly struggled with the decision to sign or go to college. His father, John Teixeira, is USNA '74, and I would expect that he would have exerted the military discipline over the years to ensure young Mark would be viable to attend just about any place he wanted.

If I had to make a guess, I bet the old man "Tex" was probably used to being treated with perhaps a little more respect that was shown by the Red Sox contingent.

#29 Monster Dick Radatz

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:26 AM

If I had to make a guess, I bet the old man "Tex" was probably used to being treated with perhaps a little more respect that was shown by the Red Sox contingent.

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I was out-of-state and don't remember this episode clearly, but Gammo's article cited above says you're right:

Of course, the reason Teixeira is available this June is that the Red Sox tried to bully his father, John, when they drafted him in the ninth round in 1998. Teixeira wanted to sign and had a number ($1.85 million) less than what the Red Sox gave pitchers Sang Hoon Lee or Robinson (Crusoe) Checo, but the cursing and bully attempts so disgusted the family that they would not allow him to sign with Boston.

Cursing is fairly obvious, but I don't know when you cross the line between playing hardball (i.e. having a price) and bullying... Even if the Sox floated rumors that he wouldn't sign, wouldn't other teams contact Teixeira to be sure?

#30 JimD

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:42 AM

Something doesn't pass the smell test:

From the Gammons piece:

Of course, the reason Teixeira is available this June is that the Red Sox tried to bully his father, John, when they drafted him in the ninth round in 1998. Teixeira wanted to sign and had a number ($1.85 million) less than what the Red Sox gave pitchers Sang Hoon Lee or Robinson (Crusoe) Checo, but the cursing and bully attempts so disgusted the family that they would not allow him to sign with Boston.


First off, $1.85 million was chump change in 1998 - heck, the friggin Montreal Expos paid their 1997 first-round pick $1.7 million. Teixeira hired Boras, the guy who manuevered Rick Ankiel past the sucky teams to the Cardinals and a $2.5 million contract the year before. Teixeira was absolutely considered a premium talent when he came out of high school. Yet we're supposed to believe that Scott Boras would let him sign for less than $2 million after getting $2.5 mill for Ankiel? I'm not buying that.

And even if we take it at face value that $1.85 million would have made all of Mark Teixeira's dreams come true, let's look at what supposedly happened. The Red Sox draft him in the ninth round and offer $1.5 million, which was a high amount for that round at the time. If you really want $350,000 more, aren't you excited by this (understanding that the team is going to come in low)? And if the Teixeira family countered by saying, hey, $1.85 million will get the deal done, don't the Red Sox negotiating team recognize how close they are to getting this guy at a relative bargain and continue negotiating? Britton and Duquette had negotiated with many young draftees before, and I have to believe that if they sensed they were very close to signing a premium prospect like Teixeira, they are going to get it done.

Of course, all that being said, it kills me now to think that this guy was that close to being a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Jim

#31 Hatcher Steals Home

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:19 AM

I would have to believe it's the Royals paying for his education.  He would have had that clause written in when he signed his contract.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I had a college friend who was drafted and recieved something like 200,000 dollar signing bonus -- he then played short season A ball, for one season. He then decided to go to college. Once he got here (Univ. of Utah), it was determined that he could not play NCAA sports unless he repaid his signing bonus. Honestly, I don't know all the details, but he was pretty miserable for the year, and left to play football for a junior college. While he was here, he had a few arbitration hearings and what-not....I'm not sure what ever happened, but the point is, I can't reconcile his story, and seeing MLB, or a team, paying for someone's college education.

As for this relating to Unless you are referring to Kanekoa Texeira... you don't know how to spell his last name, as others have noted: the signing bonus is really the only payday most of these players will ever get.

(edit: I just realized I wasn't thinking clearly: it's fine for a college education to be paid for, but the player won't be able to participate in NCAA athletics.)

Edited by Hatcher Steals Home, 19 May 2006 - 10:26 AM.


#32 smastroyin


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:23 AM

That's not really fair. I'm sure maximizing his value was very important and perhaps/probably his main concern, but there's no reason to think his stated respect for a college education was disingenuous.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


In hindsight, sure.

do you honestly believe that on draft day he was saying, before the draft "hey you know what, I think I want to go to college?" Hell, he doesn't even say that. He says that as the day went on and he didn't get drafted he warmed to the idea of going to college, at least that's how I read it.

#33 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 11:14 AM

The story is somewhat, but not markedly, different than the story he has told in the past about the experience with Wayne Britton, which is summarized in this article.

My personal take is that Teixeira comes off as someone who is very enamored with himself. Not only are there a lot of inconsistincies--he's naive when it helps him, but he's very learned (set up a buffer; hired Boras; tuned out distractions) when it makes him look good. And when he says how much he would have hated the minors, I can only think that he thought the minors were beneath him. Good thing that ankle injury healed up; wonder what he would have thought about a college education versus the $1.5M if he was 21 and no longer able make it to the majors.

The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn't sign, and when it got to a late enough round, they said, "Let's take a flier on him." So they spoiled me for everyone else--the only one that would draft me was them.

And this had nothing to do with having Bora$ as an agent . . . . The Sox should try this with Andrew Miller; maybe all the other teams will listen and he'll drop to the Sox.

#34 Paradigm


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:51 PM

The most relevant point is that Gettis has mentioned (not sure if it's in this story or another I read but can't fnd in google) that his College is being paid for by MLB... Anyone heard of such a program before?

http://www.bellevill...ts/14439898.htm

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


College is paid for by the signing team. This is not mandated, but is common. If a mid-round pick receives a $175,000 signing bonus, that might equate to a $150,000 bonus and "$25,000 for school." The school bonus can expire -- I believe after 7 years. This is written about thoroughly by that book I mentioned on the last page, "The Last Best League." I'm eating lunch now but I'll find the section of the book and relay more information, but hte sum of it is that college draftees typically receive money for school if they wash out of the minors and want to continue their degree.

Edited by Paradigm, 19 May 2006 - 12:52 PM.


#35 Angel Santos in Red

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 02:03 PM

I think the truth is not only in the middle, but on the sides and far around the egdes ... heck, some of the truth has probably been so far supressed that it exists in no consciousness. My first point is, there's probably some stuff Tex isn't telling us -- we cannot believe he was this innocent, unknowing fawn and the Sox were evil hunters, and this is evidenced by his advice on what you talk to scouts about beforehand, having grown up under a military man and having hired Scott Boras. The Tex family seemed to have understood that negotiation is a two-way street and when you're not getting what you want (respect, money, drafted high) you take your "business" elsewhere.

At the same time, Duquette and Britton were notorious for their lack of people skills, hardball tactics, misallocation/misestimation of resources (at times). So, in essence, this situation is all one "interaction" or "dance" and both sides did what was necessary, and what would ordinarily occur. Didn't Beane in Moneyball say he was told he was going in the top 15 or so and that the Mets had a stiffie for him? And when they selected Strawberry over him, it sort of knocked everything down for him, until they came back later in the first round to select him.

The other thing I'll add is I sense the organization's handling is not only institutional and learned, but deliberate. You have this organization where $400K is chump change, but I feel like it's more rigidly structured with scouts (physical evaluators) playing parts in the financial end re: signability. You then have the FO reading numbers/stats, checking out game film and managing the budget, but relying heavily on the scouts, and particularly on the scouts' ability to gauge signability. My point - each of these individuals plays a part, and in its own "trickle-down" sort of way, there are flaws (the scout leaning into the kid and strong-arming them is the way to get the results the FO needs; the FO rarely goes out and visitis with the kid's family; agents are advising the family without any real feedback or interaction with the FO/scouts). These are asumptions based in the info, I don't know. It just all seems very deliberate - like this is how (more often than not) these decisions are made, even if they are poor business practices. Tex defies the rule, by taking the chance and succeeding anyway.

Also, I would have probably thought/felt the same way he did throughout the process and I'm not a primadonna, I wasn't raised by military parents and scrapping every day in the minors isn't my idea of a fun time at all.

#36 Doug Beerabelli


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 03:25 PM

The only guy I knew from HS drafted by a MLB club and signed had gotten into Dartmouth. The MFY drafted him in the 48th round. They offered to pay for college and let him play minor league ball in the summer, so while he was ineligible to play college ball, he practiced with the team, did a couple of trimesters, and played minor league ball in the summer.

Not a bad deal for a 48th round pick whether or not you make it to the big show.

#37 Steve Dillard


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 03:29 PM

College is paid for by the signing team.  This is not mandated, but is common.  If a mid-round pick receives a $175,000 signing bonus, that might equate to a $150,000 bonus and "$25,000 for school."  The school bonus can expire -- I believe after 7 years.  This is written about thoroughly by that book I mentioned on the last page, "The Last Best League."  I'm eating lunch now but I'll find the section of the book and relay more information, but hte sum of it is that college draftees typically receive money for school if they wash out of the minors and want to continue their degree.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


If I remember the passage in the book, it mentions how teams like to use this as a way of making an offer appear larger, when (1) the costs are deferred, and (2) in many cases, never used by players once they sign (presumably, mostly for the 3 year kids who never go back for their senior year.)

#38 Paradigm


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Posted 19 May 2006 - 04:44 PM

You are correct, Steve.