Boras says lack of competition caused attendance drop

Wed Nov 13 6:25pm ET
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer

Players: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Texas Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels speaks during a media availability at the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Sports agent Scott Boras speaks to the media after a session of the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander speaks at a media availability during the Major League Baseball general managers annual meetings, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Baseball’s most prominent agent criticized teams for a lack of competition, proclaiming “in many ways the industry is in a competitive hibernation” that has led to four straight years of attendance drops.

Scott Boras, who represents top free agents Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, said Wednesday many teams entered last season with the goal of rebuilding through high drafts picks and an attitude of “I don't want to win 82 games. I want to win 69 games. You know why? Because I get rewarded for it.”

Standing in a courtyard at the hotel where general managers are holding their annual meeting, Boras said the decision of some fans to stay away from ballparks was understandable. Major League Baseball’s average attendance has fallen from 30,169 in 2016 to 28,339 this year, its lowest since 2003.

“In the big world, when you go to the zoo and half the bears are asleep, you are not able to enjoy the zoo as it should be,” he said.

Boras also rebuked clubs at last year’s GM meetings, the start of a slow free-agent market in which only 25% of free agents signed before January. His top free agent, Bryce Harper, waited until spring training was underway to reach a record $330 million 13-year contract with Philadelphia.

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