Wanted: A sports agent who isn't greedy
by, 12-06-2013 at 04:05 PM (1276 Views)
The biggest problem in pro sports, particularly the big 3 (baseball, football, basketball) isn't what's on the field of play, but off it. No, I don't mean the use of PED's and other drugs, or any of that other stuff. I refer to the bane of every average fan's existence as a consumer. The sports agent.
There are so few agents who can honestly say they've played the game. Former New England Patriot Randy Vataha comes to mind, as earned an agent's license a few years back. The most high profile ones, like Scott Boras (baseball) and Drew Rosenhaus (football) often ask for the moon & the stars for their clients, regardless of past performance if it's a veteran on the downside of his career, and fleece teams as a result. Boras did it again recently, as IIRC, he's the agent (mis) representing Jacoby Ellsbury, who got a 7 year deal from the Yankees for what amounts to $26.5 million a year ($153 million total). Ellsbury's been slowed by injuries the last couple of years, but that didn't deter Boras from his usual shell game.
It never will. Boras, ironically, is also a lawyer by trade, and you'd think he'd be the last guy to stoop so low as to play the con game. Here's the rub. As I've mentioned before, Boras was a minor league catcher in the Padres chain until a knee injury ruined any hope he'd have of making it to the bigs with his hometown team or anyone else. Bill Madden of the NY Daily News hung the tag "Avenging Agent" on Boras because of his habit of getting obscene amounts of money, not so much for his clients----and he has many---but to feather his own nest, as he lives vicariously through them, realizing the millions he never earned himself. Business must not be so brisk at the law office, otherwise we wouldn't be hearing so much from this clown.
Boras, until this year, also repped Robinson Cano, who ditched Boras for Jay Z and some idiot named Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency's baseball division, who just dropped the bird on the Yankees in favor of an A-Rod-size contract with Seattle. Cano claimed a few days ago he never asked for $300 million, which was the number Van Wagenen and Jay Z's posse were tossing around. Jay Z, of course, is better known as a rapper and business mogul who sold off his interest in the Brooklyn Nets to get into the agent business. He's losing respect in hometown, though, after this deal, coupled with the Barneys mess.
What they need to do, however, going forward, is to make sure Cano doesn't make the same mistakes others have, and try to take the PED shortcut that has virtually destroyed A-Rod's rep & career. With MLB taking a harder stance against PED's, agents need to make sure their clients are cleaner than the dishes after dinner. If there's one mistake they've made that the press hasn't held them accountable for, it's looking the other way while A-Rod and others have gone to the juice. That needs to change as part of the rehabilitative process to the perception of agents.
Right now, if I were about 30 years younger and in prime shape, I'd be looking to either represent myself or have a family member do so. I wouldn't trust these snake oil salesmen. Their gold cards would wind up where the sun doesn't want to shine if they came knockin' on my door. Otherwise, I'd put out an ad that read:
Wanted: A reputable businessman who can put personal interests aside in the name of good business for player and employer.
Let's see how many guys could answer that ad.