At Inside the League, we solely focus on the business of football. Still, the Major League Baseball Players Association will have its agent exam next week, and we have a practice exam for those people headed to New York City Tuesday and Wednesday. If you’d like more details about it, here’s a piece I wrote two years ago when we launched it.
In the meantime, here are a few odd thoughts about baseball, agents, exams, and whatever else I can think of.
- We often get asked why we’ve never branched into baseball before, other than the practice exam, of course. There are a few reasons — I like baseball plenty, so it’s nothing personal — but the main reason is because the gestation period from signing someone to being paid can be so lengthy on the diamond. I mean, by the time you sign a kid, he gets drafted, winds his way through the minors, makes a 40-man roster, makes an active roster, then gets to arbitration, it could be 5-6 years. In football, it’s closer to 5-6 months, if all goes well.
- At the same time, baseball seems to be a lot less volatile, and it will be interesting to see how the MLB’s certification process develops (it was just introduced a couple years ago). A lot of football agents are also certified in baseball, and they say it’s a good news/bad news proposition. On one hand, there’s a lot of hand-holding that can last years with no recompense. On the other hand, the players seem to be more appreciative and even-keeled. I guess it’s a reflection of the game’s more relaxed pace vs. the action-packed combat that makes up football.
- Whether it’s because the exam intimidates agent prospects, or whether it’s because baseball is less popular than football, only about a fourth as many people took the MLB exam last year as regularly take the NFL exam. My theory (and I’m only half-joking): the biggest movie about being an NFL agent was pretty good, while movies about the business of baseball, except maybe Moneyball, are mostly about scouts and mostly stink.
Whether you’re into sports business generally, or you’re mostly focused on the off-the-field game related to the NFL, don’t forget to register for our weekly Friday Wrap. It comes out every Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. CT, and it’s read by about 5,000 movers and shakers in the game. You can register for it here, and you can check out last week’s edition here. And if you’re taking the MLB exam next week, good luck!