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The Art of the Deal

This article is more than 16 years old.

The best-known and most successful agents representing professional athletes negotiate deals for their many clients which make those clients so wealthy that the agents themselves become very wealthy with their percentages of the take.

The worst agents representing professional athletes cheat their clients and wind up in court or on the lam.

Between the two extremes is Matt Sosnick, the agent with whom Jerry Crasnick is most concerned in "License To Deal: A Season On The Run With A Maverick Baseball Agent." Sosnick and his partners have a few blue chip clients,among them Florida Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis, but they are still scrambling. Their strategy is to contact young players before the bigger agencies have noticed them. Then Sosnick has to hope those young players won't jump to the bigger agencies as soon as they start making big league money. Much of the time his hopes are in vain. Disappointment comes with the agent's territory, as does treachery. At one point one of Sosnick's partners learns that a client has changed agencies because he's been offered a free cellphone to do so.

Somebody reading "License To Deal" may come away from the book yearning to become an agent for professional baseball players. My guess is that many more readers will wonder why anyone would want to enter a business where one's livelihood is dependent on the whims of teenagers, most of them accustomed to flattery and indulgence. If it's a case of desperately wanting to be close to baseball, a position on the grounds crew would seem to be a more attractive proposition.

This program aired on July 15, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.