Inside the Strike Zone
By Randal A. Hendricks
Randal Hendricks and his brother, Alan, have been sports agents since 1970. Baseball America calls them "perhaps the most respected agents ever. And that includes respect from ownership, not just their clients." Investor's Business Daily said they are "the most prolific and, arguably, the best" of all baseball agents. The Los Angeles Times said "only a few people have as much influence on and control of club rosters and economics as the Hendricks brothers... they are widely respected by club executives for their honesty, market analysis and thorough preparation."
The Toronto Star said "they put together the biggest contract in sport's history, then argued their way to the biggest arbitration (victory) in history. That's a pretty good exacta... It's oversimplifying to say the agents make all the difference between winning and losing, but the Hendricks carry a reputation of being the best prepared of agents... and Randy Hendricks could talk the hump off a camel if he had to."
"Inside the Strike Zone" is a first-hand account of baseball's labor wars, with practical recommendations for resolving the repetitive cycle of strikes and lock-outs which have gripped baseball. The book examines why there is no labor peace and explains why a strike is upcoming. Hendricks evaluates the polarized strategies of labor and management as another showdown approaches.
Hendricks offers insight into the reasons why baseball owners unceremoniously dumped former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent. The owners believed they could neither trust Vincent's judgments nor his decisions. With the game presently without a commissioner, Hendricks recommends that a new commissioner be elected by both the owners and the union. A new commissioner should represent owners, players and the public, and should protect the integrity of the game.
The reader is taken inside the Roger Clemens holdout of 1987- the first successful holdout since the joint holdout of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in 1966.The reader also is treated to an insider's view of baseball's most powerful offices during disciplinary hearings following Clemens' ejection from the 1990 American League playoffs.
The biggest scandal since the 1919 Black Sox scandal - Collusion - is meticulously reported. Operated under the guise of "fiscal responsibility," the owners colluded to violate sacred rights held by players. The details of the collusion scheme are reported from the time the owners instituted controls over player movement at an Appalachian-style meeting.
The most misunderstood and controversial area of baseball is salary arbitration. Hendricks has flourished in this arena and takes the reader inside the strategy, preparation and presentation of actual cases. Hendricks also offers recommendations on how to improve salary arbitration and make it less controversial.
The reader is taken inside the free agent market to see how negotiating strategies are implemented and actual deals are made.
The reader is offered rare insights into the personalities of many baseball insiders. The brilliance of the Major League Baseball Players Association is explored. The book explains how miscalculations by management led to ever-increasing player salaries during the past fifteen years.
Hendricks shows how a baseball club should assemble a winning team. He offers the Pirates as a case study in how to disassemble a winner.
Hendricks critiques the report of the Economic Study Committee on Baseball and states that the future of baseball must include a true partnership between the owners and the players, rather than the salary cap system presently proposed by the owners.
RANDAL HENDRICKS was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised across the state line in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. An accomplished little league baseball player and baseball card collector, Hendricks says the genesis of his career in sports negotiations started at Old Mission junior High School, fifteen minutes before the first bell each spring morning, in front of his locker, where Hendricks bought, sold and traded cards with fellow baseball card collectors.
In high school at Shawnee Mission North, Hendricks was sports editor of the school yearbook, and won top national honors for his work. He covered high school football and basketball for the Kansas City Kansan, and was to be its nominee for a Grantland Rice scholarship. Hendricks declined the honor, stating he intended to become a lawyer.
Hendricks attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City and graduated with honors from the University of Houston. A top student throughout his academic career, Hendricks graduated with honors from the University of Houston Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review. His published work in law school gained national recognition, and he joined a major Houston law firm in January 1970.
In late 1970 he represented his first professional athlete. A year later, he joined his brother Alan to establish a firm to represent professional athletes. A resident of Houston, Hendricks and his wife, Jill, are the parents of three children, all in their 20s.
"After you read Inside the Strike Zone, you will know why Randy Hendricks is the Cy Young of baseball agents."
Cy Young Award Winner 1986, 1987, 1991
"Drabek was represented by the redoubtable Randy Hendricks... Drabek won the case. It was 70 percent higher than Mattingly's old salary-arbitration record... All across baseball, the Lords screamed bloody murder... nobody denied Randy Hendricks' formidable powers in a hearing room - he hadn't lost a case in six years."
Lords of the Realm, The Real History of Baseball
"As probably the first sports attorney to use sabermetrics to analyze baseball players' performances, Randy Hendricks takes the thinking fan behind the scenes and shows how he uses winning strategies to benefit his clients."
Houston Post columnist and noted author
"Anyone associated with the baseball business knows that Randy Hendricks has long been one of the most powerful and respected brokers. Inside the Strike Zone takes us into his back rooms for a heretofore unpublished view of how Hendricks, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and union head Don Fehr helped craft the solution that settled the 1990 lockout, how Roger (Swordfish) Clemens' walkout was a major victory in the players' war against collusion and how miscalculation damaged the Pittsburgh franchise. It is an anecdotal, historical and theoretical study of baseball through the eyes of one of the most powerful - and, fortunately, opinionated - men in the business. If someone asks, "how'd baseball get this way?" tell them to read this book.
ESPN Baseball analyst and Boston Globe columnist
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Inside the Strike Zone
400 Randal Way Ste 106
Spring, TX 77388