These have always been important topics when it comes to sports. There's almost no way of not touching on them.
Almost everya lot of stereotypical little boy aspire to be in the same shoes as a major athlete. Part of the allure is no doubt the compensation, at least in recent years. While the aspect of being that star player on the field who teammates count on, opposing players and teams fear, and fans discuss is enticing... part of the attraction in that ideal is definitely some of the ancillary benefits. The girls, the money, the fast cars, the attention, recognition, and the popularity.
Often times sports are so idealized by fans and younger athletes and players that they forget that in this day an age it is a full fledged business. Advertising, Marketing, Law, Public Relations, Journalism, Computers, the internet, Statistics... You name it. Anything covered in a business school curriculum applies here. It's often a harsh reality check for those parties who are not well versed in the reality of the business side.
Ethics and money are two areas that a lot of times are often intertwined when it comes to sports. Plenty of times we vilify the under performing superstar, the new addition who failed to live up to his contract, the athlete that went back on his "word," the super talented one who was ruined by fame. It's almost as if we all think that we can read intentions and motives from our armchairs and that we know all the factors that go into a players decision.
In baseball there is one notorious lawyer who is well known in the industry for his tactics and lust for that top contract, Scott Boras, many clients at the top of the game are represented by him. As well as rookies. From Manny Ramirez (recent hire), to Alex Rodriguez, J.D Drew, Derek Lowe, Mark Teixiera, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Prince Fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury. The list goes on and on.
One of the biggest things we as a fan see in this discussion is in Negotiations. A Boras specialty, he is a master of using every factor he can to extract an excellent contract for his clients. These negotiations often lead to a long drawn out excruciating public affair that leads to a number of sports media outlets talking about whether it's right to engage in these tactics. Or whether it's right for a player to make the career decisions he does. If he's a hometown boy or a mercenary.
The truth about Scott Boras -- The Hardball TimesNegotiating to accomplish the client’s objectives, however, is Boras’ domain, and here he has a lot of latitude. Again, a client could order him not to use especially obnoxious or aggressive bargaining methods on his behalf, and perhaps some have done that—if they did, Boras would be bound to comply. But even without such orders, Boras must stay within certain ethical lines, fuzzy though they may be, or be regarded as an unethical negotiator. If he crossed those lines with any regularity, Boras would be jeopardizing his clients’ welfare and his own career, so we must presume that he does not habitually cross them. Tough negotiation is effective negotiation. But unethical negotiation is neither acceptable nor effective.
Whatever that is. Despite scores of seminars, treatises, court cases and books, negotiation remains securely in an ethical gray area, where even professionals who have spent their careers making careful distinctions cannot agree what is and what is not ethical negotiation technique. Many of Boras’ signature tactics, however, are well within bounds. When he argues that Varitek, a .220 hitter in 2008, is a "premium catcher" who is worth a multi-year contract in excess of $10 million a season, or when he compares pitcher Oliver Perez—he of the 55-60 lifetime record with a 4.20 ERA—to Sandy Koufax, Boras is engaging in the time-honored negotiation practice of "puffing."
Although puffing often feels like lying, it isn’t; it is part of the negotiation ritual. Puffing is the exaggeration, hyperbole and bluffing endemic to the marketplace. In general, when a statement in negotiation involves a party’s future intentions, current desires, the negotiator’s opinion (even when stated as fact) or the negotiator’s characterization of the quality of the product being sold or what a "fair" price is, it is probably puffing. When a statement involves materially misrepresenting other facts material to the transaction, it is likely to be lying, and thus unethical negotiation.