Generic answer to your question. The best agent is born from the advisor who takes his time to explain the process and listens and answers all of your questions. He educates you so that you could help your son to make a decision between pro ball and college. He gives you a copy of the player's union contract and goes over every section. He is there on the other end of the line whenever you call, not his secretary. He has never told you he is the best, but you know from his personal track record his clients like him as a person. He wins your trust and your confidence. He isn't a sleaze because he won't take any part of your son's bonus money, only the extra he negotiates after your son agrees to go pro. He is smart because he knows that being honest with you and your son will someday payoff when your son signs a contract worth more than $800 month. He also is smart not to get into public arguments that might make all other advisors/agents look bad.
IMHO that is who is the best agent.
Is this a trick question?

This term comes to mind:

ox·y·mo·ron ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ks-môrn, -mr-)
n. pl. ox·y·mo·ra (-môr, -mr) or ox·y·mo·rons
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

"God knows I gave my best in baseball at all times and no man on earth can truthfully judge me otherwise."...Joe Jackson
quote:
Originally posted by pops:
And why?


There is no one best Agent. Everyone has different needs so what works for one player may not work for another.

The best Agent will be the one who meets the criteria you & your family have decided are most important to them.

First, do your homework to determine what you want in terms of approach & aservices offered i.e. do you want someone real aggresive who will push for the very last dime? Do you want a big firm with a "one stop shopping" type of service and all the plusses and minuses of being a "small fish in a big pond" or do you want a smaller firm where you can independently pick & choose what services you desire with the trade-offs that result.

Second, conduct interviews with prospective agents rather than have meetings where you listen to a sales "pitch". You need to control the agenda & seek information from credible, experienced sources based on what is right for you.

Finally, get references. Not just the superstar players an Agent represents. Get the phone numbers for some of his clients who are career Minor Leaguers & find out how they have been taken care of. Talk to people they've dealt with from MLB. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
quote:
Originally posted by sorearm:
I thought that most agents take about 4% of the signing bonus. Isn't that standard?


There is no standard fee. Some people charge 5% some charge 2%. Rickie Weeks' agent charged him $500/hour.

IMHO hourly rates only give the Agent the incentive to bill for more hours. Also, the lower a commission rate, the more clients an Agent must have to make a living. An Agents' worth should be determined by what he brings to the table in terms of experience, ability & how much of his time you'll be getting.

Notice I said HIS TIME. Not his Secretary, or Assistant or Interns or Go-fers in his office, I mean the guy at the top of the chain of command.
quote:
Originally posted by Glove Man:
Is this a trick question?

This term comes to mind:

ox·y·mo·ron ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ks-môrn, -mr-)
n. pl. ox·y·mo·ra (-môr, -mr) or ox·y·mo·rons
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

"God knows I gave my best in baseball at all times and no man on earth can truthfully judge me otherwise."...Joe Jackson


If Agents are such unnecessary, overpaid, evil people then why do 99% of players have one?
quote:
Originally posted by voodoochile:
quote:
Originally posted by sorearm:
I thought that most agents take about 4% of the signing bonus. Isn't that standard?


There is no standard fee. Some people charge 5% some charge 2%. Rickie Weeks' agent charged him $500/hour.

IMHO hourly rates only give the Agent the incentive to bill for more hours. Also, the lower a commission rate, the more clients an Agent must have to make a living. An Agents' worth should be determined by what he brings to the table in terms of experience, ability & how much of his time you'll be getting.

Notice I said HIS TIME. Not his Secretary, or Assistant or Interns or Go-fers in his office, I mean the guy at the top of the chain of command.


How about 4% of everything over the first offer for a drafted player?
How about 4% of everything over the first offer for a drafted player?[/QUOTE]

How about whatever the Player & Agent agree is a reasonable fee? If the Player thinks it's fair, why do you have a problem with it? The Player gets a better contract at a rate he AGREED was fair as well as a tax deduction in the amount of the commission. The Agent is paid at a rate he AGREED was fair for his services & he gets a happy client around which to build his practice.

Why do you have such a problem with how much Agents are paid? Do you begrudge your doctor or lawyer what you pay them & try to chisel them down to a lower fee?

What do you do for a living? Is there a message board where I can go complain about how much you make?
quote:
Originally posted by M I 6:
naw just each agent they all will tell you how great they are, none are lacking in the ego department


Can't disagree with you on that one. However, just as it takes a big ego to think you can step on the mound & throw a fastball by Barry Bonds, it takes a big ego to think you can hold your own against Brian Sabean(GM of the Giants) or go into the living room of the Giants #1 pick & explain why you are the best choice to represent him.

BTW, I spent more time in school preparing to do my job than most Players spent in the minors learning how to do theirs. I also have been "in the Majors" longer than they have. To quote "Dandy" Don Meredith "If you can do it, it ain't bragging ".

"Cause I'm a VooDoo Chile, Lord knows I'm a VooDoo Chile"
at the risk of setting off another round of reply's munseysports seems to do a nice job for the kid's. i know him to be a really good person, allways looking out for the kids best interest(ASTHEY ALL SHOULD),he had saltamacia in the sup. first round and some others over te years ,but a really good person first and formost .just one mans opinion
My opinion is that the best agent depends on what stage a player is in. Obviously, the best agent for a player just coming in to the pros won't necessarily be the one with the highest profile client list. In fact, my experience is quite the contrary.

My advice would be to listen to ALL proposals with an open mind. However, if we're dealing with a player about to be drafted/signed into the professional ranks, the "best agent" is the one who has a plan which seeks to DEVELOPE a player's potential.

What I mean by that is that an agent should do his most arduous work when a player is still developing. Training and media coverage should be paramount so as to get the most out of the athlete on the field, as well as managing his image from its infancy.

These services (trainer and media exposure), while seemingly basic and simple, are offered by relatively few agents.

Look for an agent who is looking at the big picture, and who understands his role, as the player's employee, in the athletes road to the Bigs.

FM
crunching numbers - "smart" seems around 20% of the diff over the 1rst offer (or slot) & sounds fair to me -

I mean, a player doesn't need any help at all fielding that first offer - right??? and to negotiate a 4% deal of the "diff over" sounds like a low-ball for someone you want working his butt off for ya in the future Eek

and how many minor leaguers giving up a %%% actualy ever get to the show where it would pay off for the agent???


ps- I am not an agent, nor do I wish to become one



Smile

lefties? - - - they just aint right!

[QUOTE]Originally posted by fmarq7901:
"My opinion is that the best agent depends on what stage a player is in."

Are you saying that Players need different Agents for different stages of their careers?

"Obviously, the best agent for a player just coming in to the pros won't necessarily be the one with the highest profile client list."

Why? if you have a firm committment from an Agent with a "high profile client list" whoa has a track record of giving good service to ALL his clients, why not go with a "high profile client list" type of Agent? Isn't he more likely to have the experience necessary to do a good job?


"Training and media coverage should be paramount so as to get the most out of the athlete on the field, as well as managing his image from its infancy."

Training? You're going to train Players? So you know more than MLB teams?
Media coverage? For a (hypothetical) 3rd round draft choice? Are you nuts? Once a kid signs the less scrutiny he's working under, the better. the last thing the average 18-21 Y.O. Player needs is even bigger expectations because you have "managed" his image.

"These services (trainer and media exposure), while seemingly basic and simple, are offered by relatively few agents."

Yeah & there's good reasons most Agents don't do it. There are people who have degrees in training let them coordinate a program with the Players' team trainer to get him at his peak & media exposure will come when a Player accomplishes something to justify it.
voodoo, you really need some love in your life. Really, calm down.

Ok, since you jump to conclusions and start putting words in my mouth, I'll explain what I meant...and this is the last reply I post for any of your comments.

1.) Some agents are much better developing a young player than others. Agree? Hence, I would recommend this type of agent to a kid just signing. Ideally, the athlete would stick with him, given that the agent's services progress along with the Kid's career.

2.) In my opinion, a kid needs an agent who will give him as much personal attention as possible. He needs to have an agent who is willing to assure a smooth transition from high/school/college to the pros, and who will watch out for his development in the early stages of their career. In addition, I think personal contact from between the agent and the kid's family should be paramount.

We have to remember that an 18 year old kid is just that, a kid. He'll be leaving home for the first time, leaving his family behind. They will be emotionally affected (generally) as much as the ballplayer. I personally believe the agent should stay in touch, personally not through a representative, with the family in order to make sure their transition also goes as smooth as possible.

While some big name agents may do so, others will not. Consequently, the "best agent" is not necessarily the one with the most recognizable name, or with the most experience. Other factors must come into play. Wouldn't you agree?

3.) I disagree with you on the training. In today's ballgame, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a ballplayer, at any level, who doesn't try and work his but off during the offseason. I have all my players under the supervision of a duly certified/lescensed strength and conditioning coach.

In my view, it is much safer and more efficient than leaving the kid to train on his own. It also allows them to arrive at spring training in optimal shape. By the way, ask any Major League GM, and they'll agree that they appreciate a kid who puts forth the extra effort in the offseason.

4.) As far as media coverage, I disagree with you again. Don't get me wrong, I understand your worry. I definetly do not want to swarm any kid with reporters. However, I devise a marketing strategy for all my players that includes their initial foray in the local newspapers. Initially it is mostly small briefs and notes in the local paper; eventually graduating, in a couple of years, to television and nationwide outlets.

I do, however, talk to all my kids before-hand to gauge their view of the press. It is always their choice. If they wan't no media coverage whatsoever, then "their wish is my command."

Generally, though, I find that the coverage motivates them to work harder at their goals. Just my experience.

The media exposure can be helpful as well. For instance, one of my players was just named the Rookie of the Year of one of the big Winter Leagues. Two-Three weeks prior to teh voting, I set up a couple of interviews to promote his candidacy because it was a tight race. I have no doubt that said pieces directly impacted the voters by letting them know who he was and what he had done.

5.) Lastly, I think you mistakenly though I would be doing the personal training. As I said, I hire a duly certified/liscensed strength and conditioning coach to work with the kids' need, which I derive from communicating with the different organizations' Player Development Depts.

By the way, I am a certified strength and conditioning coach, as well as having been a U.S.A. Boxing certified trainer for six years (I've been a boxer for the past ten years), having led some of my fighters to a berth on Team USA. If it was me, which it is not, I think they'd be in good hands.

FM
Fmarq,

quote:
voodoo, you really need some love in your life. Really, calm down.



Though Voodoo Chile is argumentative, (everyone knows that I am not) I will say that he makes good points.

Leading off with those kind of persoanl remarks do not make you look great either.

I rather appreicate the debate. It would be great if we could keep it off of the persoanl side.

I want a smart, experienced mercenary representing me. I am not looking for a nice guy or a trainer.

"I love the HSBBW"
We went throgh this last year. There are many factors that should be in your decision. Also the question as to when to agree with one.Some are intrested in only taking the 4 % and give you not much in return and others will hold your hand to the show.
For us we talked with several , 1) you and more importantly the player has to be comfortable with that person.
2) Again this was for us your reasons may be different : Does the agent provide local off season training both weight and throwing/hitting. 3) Does the agent provide financial help with taxes ,investing etc. 4) Do the agent provide you with gear such as shoes ,spikes,gloves,under armor etc.
And most important dont take his word get phone numbers from other clients and call them I know I wont mind a call to tell you if they are good or not.
Remember getting a bonus is just the start!!!

mike
"3) Does the agent provide financial help with taxes ,investing etc."

Harmon Killebrew, Rick Wise, Alan Bannister, Bill Madlock, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett. What does this list of great athletes have in common? They all lost a fortune because the Agent who represented them also handled their investing, taxes etc.

If nobody on this site believes a single word I ever say believe this: THE ABSOLUTE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE IS TO PUT TOO MUCH POWER IN ONE SET OF HANDS!!!! Do not go with an Agent who also does your investing and/or taxes. These are highly specialized areas of expertise & you need objective, independent input as to how to best handle these aspects of your career.

Virtually EVERY horror story you have heard about a Player getting ripped off was because they put too much power in one set of hands. SEPARATION OF POWERS best if you want to keep your money. Michael Jordan, a fairly decent Player in his day said "No one will ever take as good a care of your money as you will"
While me and voodoo do not agree on many things, here we have the same view. While many agents offer such a service, I would advice that you seek tax help with a third party who is detached from the agent/client relationship.

Too many things can go wrong to entrust ALL your life, both on and off the field, to one person. Let the agent handle all professional matters, which is what he knows best.

FM
I also agree with you on that point to a degree. Just for the record our sons agent does not do the taxes, they have a CPA on staff who handles athletes so he is familer with them and all there write offs. I will say that you should always know what is going on with YOUR money and if you are not it may dissaper.Also never give any agent, CPA , or anyone the power of attorney to handle your money. For a lot of draft picks these is the only real money they may ever see and you need to make it last.
Another point is I feel very strongly that the parents should take a active role in the draft process with out getting in the way.The thing to remember is you have a ADVISOR before the draft not a agent. We have a friend who lost millions due to having to much trust in a advisor, I feel it is your /sons life and you need to be involved and when something does not seem right speak up. Good luck to all and enjoy the ride as it is never as much fun as it should be.

Mike
quote:
Originally posted by 20dad:
at the risk of setting off another round of reply's munseysports seems to do a nice job for the kid's. i know him to be a really good person, allways looking out for the kids best interest(ASTHEY ALL SHOULD),he had saltamacia in the sup. first round and some others over te years ,but a really good person first and formost .just one mans opinion


With all the negative replies on Agent/Advisors its nice to hear some positives. Munsey Sports Management does an excellent job with his clients. He does represent Saltalamacchia as well as Mike Mordecai, Doug Jennings, Enrique Cruz, Sean Burnett, Matt Whitney, Justin Pope, and Eric Duncan to name a few. The fact that speaks volumes is that he still represents ALL his original clients. That should tell you that they ALL must be very satisfied with the work he is doing for them. When you call Munsey Sports Management for assistance, information or simply to talk, its Munsey whom you will speak to directly, not an assistant, secretary or "go-fer". I can personally attest to his hard work, integrity and loyalty to his clients as well as his being a good person first and formost. He also has a good working relationship with Financial Advisors and CPA's who are specialists in there fields and handle all his clients. (VERY IMPORTANT)Munsey Sports has a significant client list but has vowed NEVER to reach the point where its size compromises his services.
Bottom line for anyone in need of an Advisor/Agent I cannot emphasize enough, to interview as many as you can (with your son) and ask to check with present clients for their opinions. In the end you will get a good feeling on who your son is comfortable with to handle his future.
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions you have that I may be able to help you with.

03DAD

In 1962 I was named "Minor League" Player of the Year. It was my second season in the "Bigs". - Bob Ueker
[QUOTE]Originally posted by 03DAD:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by 20dad:
at the risk of setting off another round of reply's munseysports seems to do a nice job for the kid's.

Couple of comments:

1) I was told Bobby Bradley had left or was leaving Munsey. Could be wrong but that's what I had heard.

2) Munsey has never handled either an arbitration case or negotiated any significant multi-year deals. When an Agent is learning on his time, that lesson can be VERY expensive for a player. Just ask AJ Burnett. His agent messed up his negotiations with the Marlins last year because of his lack of experience & now it's Burnett who has paid the price of losing twice... once in arbitration & again this year because after being injured last year, his salary for '04 was based on his salary for '03.

Other than those two items, what I've heard about Munsey has been ok.
I agree with your last comment, however, what you heard on items #1 and #2 are incorrect. Munsey never had Bradley for a client and since I don't know the FACTS obout the A.J.Burnett comment, I will humbly remain opinionless.
Facts are facts and rumors are... just that!

You seem to put a lot of emphesis on arbitrations and multi-year deals or rather a persons "lack of". Impressive lawyer talk but I think a young potential draftee and his parents would much rather trust their sons future with a competent, loyal, hard working person with integrity beyond reproach that they feel comfortable with and especially one that has the respect of EVERY MLB organization and every player that he ever represented.
Remember, everybody's your friend when things are going great, but will they be there for your son when he hits bumps in the road (and he will)?

Just my opinion...I could be wrong.
Take care.

In 1962 I was named "Minor League" Player of the Year. It was my second season in the "Bigs". - Bob Ueker
[QUOTE]Originally posted by 03DAD:
I agree with your last comment, however, what you heard on items #1 and #2 are incorrect.

RE #1 I said in my post "Could be wrong but that's what I had heard.". Could have sworn I read it in the Palm Beach paper @ some point that Burnett & Bradley pitched for same HS & had same Agent.

RE #2 If Munsey's handled arbitration/big $$ multi year deals who were they for? The answer is he hasn't. Not a knock, just a fact.

"I don't know the FACTS obout the A.J.Burnett comment"

I do & what I said was 100% correct.

"You seem to put a lot of emphesis on arbitrations and multi-year deals or rather a persons "lack of".

I put a lot of emphasis on them because they're "life *& death" important. Mistakes in either area can cost a player millions of dollars &/or his relationship with his team.

"Impressive lawyer talk but I think a young potential draftee and his parents would much rather trust their sons future with a competent, loyal, hard working person with integrity beyond reproach that they feel comfortable with and especially one that has the respect of EVERY MLB organization and every player that he ever represented."

Why isn't it possible to find these qualities in an Agent who ALSO has experience in the important areas I mention above? It is possible because that's exactly what I give my clients & I know I'm not the only one in the biz who can say that.

"Remember, everybody's your friend when things are going great, but will they be there for your son when he hits bumps in the road (and he will)?

Just my opinion...I could be wrong.

I agree with on that 100%.
Why? Because he has clients like J.D. Drew not play until he can wring enough $ out of somebody? There is different criteria for every player. If all you are interested in is $, then Boras MAY be the best. All I know is I wouldn't have wanted Tank Black.

"Give 'im the stinky cheese"
quote:
Originally posted by voodoochile:
quote:
Originally posted by pops:
And why?


There is no one best Agent. Everyone has different needs so what works for one player may not work for another.

The best Agent will be the one who meets the criteria you & your family have decided are most important to them.

First, do your homework to determine what you want in terms of approach & aservices offered i.e. do you want someone real aggresive who will push for the very last dime? Do you want a big firm with a "one stop shopping" type of service and all the plusses and minuses of being a "small fish in a big pond" or do you want a smaller firm where you can independently pick & choose what services you desire with the trade-offs that result.

Second, conduct interviews with prospective agents rather than have meetings where you listen to a sales "pitch". You need to control the agenda & seek information from credible, experienced sources based on what is right for you.

Finally, get references. Not just the superstar players an Agent represents. Get the phone numbers for some of his clients who are career Minor Leaguers & find out how they have been taken care of. Talk to people they've dealt with from MLB. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.


I'm sure this is a first, but I agree 100%! Best advice you could get. Smile

"Give 'im the stinky cheese"
He has clients like Maddux, Kevin Brown, Ivan Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez and many others like Drew who get top dollar. He also gets top dollar for the drafted players unlike many others who just get slot money and collect their 5 percent.
quote:
Originally posted by voodoochile:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by 03DAD:

"You seem to put a lot of emphesis on arbitrations and multi-year deals or rather a persons "lack of".

I put a lot of emphasis on them because they're "life *& death" important. Mistakes in either area can cost a player millions of dollars &/or his relationship with his team.

"Impressive lawyer talk but I think a young potential draftee and his parents would much rather trust their sons future with a competent, loyal, hard working person with integrity beyond reproach that they feel comfortable with and especially one that has the respect of EVERY MLB organization and every player that he ever represented."

Why isn't it possible to find these qualities in an Agent who ALSO has experience in the important areas I mention above? It is possible because that's exactly what I give my clients & I know I'm not the only one in the biz who can say that.

.



ok - twice in one thread. Voodoo is absolutely bang-on here. Arbitration and multi-year deals are absolutely the most important negotiations of a players career. And, if you didn't trust your son's future with an agent, obiously you wouldn't sign with him. Trusting his future also means that he knows what he is doing in these critical areas - as Voodoo says, players can easily lose millions if these aren't negotiated well.

"Give 'im the stinky cheese"

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