MLB stands for Major League Baseball, of course, but the acronym could also mean something else these days.
Like, maybe, Must Loathe Boras?
The White Sox are a charter member of publicly hating baseball's super agent. The Red Sox just joined up. A-Rod's playing, too. Out in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are thinking about turning boorish toward Boras.
Michael Silverman's column in Sunday's Boston Herald says the Olde Towne Teame, still feeling the sting of Mark Teixeira going to the Yankees, won't negotiate with agent Scott Boras again unless the club "can be guaranteed that talks are being conducted honestly." Ouch.
It's one thing to grumble under one's breath about Boras, but it's another to come out and say (even without attributable quotes) that Boras clients are taboo. But that group is growing.
The White Sox started the trend in recent seasons, and the owner Jerry Reinsdorf-mandated policy reaches from free agency to trades to the draft.
This past season, general manager Ken Williams rejoiced when John Danks and his brother Jordan Danks, a seventh-round pick in the June draft, fled Boras' formidable stable.
In 2005, ex-personnel director Duane Shaffer was quoted in the Tribune saying the Sox "haven't had much success with Scott Boras" in the 15 years he had been drafting players.
The White Sox-Boras enmity goes back to at least 2000, when Boras was shopping A-Rod for his first free-agent deal. Here's part of a terrific article from the Hardball Times in 2007:
"I read with amusement that Scott Boras said he's only going to talk to teams that are willing to pay at least $200 million," Reinsdorf said in an interview with Baseball Weekly. "If those are the conditions, we are not a player. We are not going to be used."
Even some of Boras' wealthiest clients don't seem to like him. In 2007, A-Rod ripped his own agent, calling a second-look at free agency Boras got him "a huge debacle" — albeit with $275 million in hand.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Boras have been going back and forth, albeit slowly, over Manny Ramirez. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti is trying to not get burned again, like he did a couple of years ago when another Boras client, J.D. Drew, opted out of his Dodgers deal.
Colletti still chooses his words about Boras carefully, but this offseason ain't over yet.