Boras says lack of competition caused attendance drop
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
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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