Scott Boras, you're fired! No, not really.
Bob Nightengale broke the story that Alex Rodriguez has shifted agent responsibilities from Scott Boras to Pittsburgh sports attorney Jay Resinger and Washington attorney Jim Sharp. The decision reflects both Rodriguez' comfort with the work that Resigner and Sharp have done as the superstar's legal representation needs have shifted from contracts to the more complex world of dealing with the federal government as part of their on-going investigations into the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. In addition, Rodriguez sought Resinger's advice as he admitted his past use of PEDs.
With the two most lucrative contracts in the history of professional baseball bearing his name, Rodriguez is unlikely to ever need another contract negotiated for his services as a baseball player, reducing the utility that Scott Boras would provide. As one of the creditors in the recent Texas Rangers bankruptcy proceedings, Rodriguez has far more diverse requirements in his representation. By transitioning to someone who has been approved by the MLBPA and who can more expertly navigate these potential minefields Rodriguez is ensuring that he has the best possible advocate for the job at hand.
As baseball players find themselves contending with legal hassles that fall outside the bounds of traditional agent representation, they will invariably follow this pattern. As we see with the Roger Clemens indictment, Clemens is relying on his personal attorney rather than his agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks. It may have benefited Clemens had he retained a specialist like Resinger to handle the hearings that have now mired him in a much higher stakes legal battle.
Players such as Curt Schilling eschewed representation when negotiating their final contracts, because they were more cognizant of their goals in negotiations. That same spirit informs Rodriguez's choice. As the environment grows more complex, players will invariable follw Rodriguez' lead and find specialists who better understand their unique legal concerns. The day of the super agent is not dead. It will never be dead. But the potential for greater competition and more specialization in the marketplace will benefit players greatly.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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