I wrote recently about the persistent thinking among some old-school baseball folks that amateur baseball players shouldn’t use agents or care about money, but I wasn’t expecting to find a concrete example so quickly. A Baseball America article on the recent meeting between some college coaches and MLB scouting directors featured this anachronistic beauty from American Baseball Coaches Association executive director Dave Keilitz:
“This has kind of become a phenomenon in the last 15 years or soâ€”every kid seems to have his advisor, not just advising him on pro issues but on where to go to college and what position to play and all of that stuff, and that has really come into being in the last few years,” Keilitz said. “It’s a total frustration to many baseball programs and coaches, and it certainly is with the pro people. It’s almost a shame when you call a kid that you think you’re interested in and he refers you to his advisorâ€”some 16- or 17-year-old kid and he has an advisor.”
It’s a shame? A shame that what – these kids are actually seeing their interests represented properly at the negotiating table? That they’re getting advice from a professional with (usually) previous experience in the draft? The typical first-round pick out of high school and his family are engaging in the biggest financial negotiation of their lives. God forbid they get some help.
Oh, I get it. It’s a shame that colleges and MLB teams can’t bend these kids and their parents over like they used to. No, wait, that’s not a shame. That’s fantastic. The shame is that Keilitz is openly wishing it was still 1965.