License to Deal – by Jerry Crasnick

If I asked you to name five players for the Mariners, you’d probably be able to do it. But could you name those same five guys’ agents? Or what they do for the players? Maybe not. That’s where License to Deal, the new book from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick’s comes in.

Now, it’s not a roster of all the players and their agents – rather, it’s a season with two young agents trying to grow their business and make a name for themselves in the cut-throat world of being a sports agent.

Meet Matt Sosnick and Paul Cobbe – boyhood friends who decide to leave their careers and delve into the world of sports agents. But not just the type of agents you read about in the paper, pitting teams against one another in a war to drive up the price of a free agent, but rather as two young guys who truly care about each and every one of their clients and do everything they can to provide honest service with integrity, becoming not just a player’s agent, but a player’s friend.

License to Deal takes you well beyond the movie Jerry Maguire or the TV show Arli$$, While the book isn’t as outrageous as either of those two examples – it provides an insider’s look into the nitty gritty side of the business – driving from city to city looking for talent, embattled negotiations with teams, or rushing to the aid of a client – such as when Matt’s star client, Florida Marlins’ ace Dontrelle Willis crashes his car on a California highway. It even deals with the most painful side of being a sports agent – losing a client to a bigger and more powerful agency.

If you want to learn more about the business of baseball, or if you want to see a side of sports agents you’ve probably never seen – then License to Deal by Jerry Crasnick is a great read. You’ll recognize a lot of the players in the book – including several current and former Mariners.

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