On April 25, 2007, we had the pleasure of interviewing one of baseball’s great agents, Matt Sosnick of Sosnick-Cobbe Sports. If the name rings a bell it is probably due to the book License to Deal, which is a book that was written by ESPN writer, Jerry Crasnick, and highlights much of Sosnick’s trials and tribulations on his path to success. Matt recently let another blog, It is about the money, stupid, conduct a similar interview. Much of the discussion is similar to the conversation that Sosnick had with SportsAgentBlog.com. Here are some of the interesting sections that were not discussed in his conversation with us (MS is Matt Sosnick):
IIATMS: What impact, if any, did Jerry Crasnick’s book “License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent” have on you, your firm?
MS: It helped with notoriety. Otherwise, it was largely neutral. Other agents have used it against us. One agent photocopied selected quotes from the book and sent them to every player in the Cape Cod League to make the Firm look bad.
Ironically, there was an agent in the book that I helped land a client, even though I had never met him before. Turns out he was the agent to Josh Hamilton left me for. It’s a rough business.
IIATMS: Which organizations are the best to work with? Why? What makes some organizations more difficult to work with?
MS: The difference in any organization is their levels of professionalism.
In terms of the best from ownership, to the GM, assistant GM, scouting director, etc., the best ones for us to deal with have been, in no particular order are: Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and the Cubs.
IIATMS: What’s an arbitration hearing look and feel like?
MS: It’s an uncomfortable thing. No one likes going, which is why these things tend to be settled prior to a hearing. Teams don’t want to offend their players and players don’t like hearing the bad things that a team might say. But it’s looked at as a big negative if the player does not show.
Again, it’s all about perception. Boras was 0-11 in arbitration hearings but was selling himself on his skill in that environment.
IIATMS: What sort of things do you and the guys at your firm read? Asked differently, do you guys dive down into bowels of the internet/blogosphere for ideas, insight, opinion?
MS: Well, my mom actually found your blog, not me. She’s got a Google Alert set up.
We don’t really read that much; we just don’t have the time.
Quick aside: Hi Mrs. Sosnick!
IIATMS: Can an agent drop a client as easily as a client dumping an agent? Why would this be done?
MS: Yes, you can. I think you have to be more established to do so. When I started, I was too insecure to consider doing that. But now we strive to represent a different kind of player. Better quality guys are less at risk.
We would drop a client for things like domestic abuse. We have no stomach for that.
All around, a great interview. I feel sorry for Sosnick that Josh Hamilton dropped him…especially when you read about the reasoning behind the decision. If players start migrating to Christian stables, then me and my Shabbat Shalom Friday Wrap-Ups are SOL!