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Volume 24 No. 114

Labor and Agents

Roc Nation Sports Owner Jay-Z is hoping to add Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig "to the growing stable of athletes he represents," according to sources cited by Jeff Passan of YAHOO SPORTS. A source said that Puig during a mid-June trip to N.Y. was "invited to a party at a club Jay-Z owns after a Dodgers teammate passed along the rapper's contact information." Puig "left the meeting intrigued." Sources said that while Puig has "spoken with at least one more marketing agency in New York, the prospect of his joining Roc Nation as a client covering both baseball contracts and marketing remains a possibility." A source said that Jay-Z also is "known to be interested in signing another Cuban baseball player" in A's LF Yoenis Cespedes. Were Puig to "leave for Roc Nation, his current agent, Jaime Torres, would receive the full commission" on the seven-year, $42M deal signed in June '12 (, 7/10).

HOVA DEFENDS GETTING INTO THE BUSINESS: Jay-Z appeared on N.Y.'s WWPR-FM yesterday for an extended interview during which he discussed Roc Nation Sports, the notion that other agents want him to fail and the perception he does not have the expertise to succeed. Jay-Z said, "They have that belief that you can only do one thing. We don't have that. We're not afflicted with that disease. I can walk and chew gum. It's insane to even say that, 'What does he know about sports?'" He added, "As far as business, those guys have been sitting around just doing the typical thing. ... They get him and they knock on the same doors. They go to Nike, they do the contract and they sit back. They've been sitting around for 20, 30 years just not doing anything. So me coming is a problem for them because now they have to go to work, now they have to wake up, now they have to do things. So they don't want me around because now they have to do something for these athletes. My whole thing is for the most part, I'm going to do more for the athlete than they're going to do for me at the end of the day. I do this because it's an extension of the bigger goal. The bigger goal for all artists is to get their just due, not to get half-ass agents or people who rob them or people don't care about their finances. That's why those guys go broke in four years. It's like a shame ... because these guys don't care. They're just taking whatever's going to give them a check and they're not even worrying about all that. We're doing all of that" ("The Breakfast Club," WWPR-FM, 7/10).

FISH OUT OF WATER:'s Jason Whitlock wrote, "The marriage of Jay-Z to the sports world is idiotic." Selling "athletic competition and selling music are two distinctly different disciplines." Sports are "founded in traditional, mainstream American values." Music, "particularly rap and rock, is founded in rebellion and anti-establishment values." Jay-Z’s "sensibilities do not comfortably co-exist with the sensibilities that best promote athletic culture" (, 7/10).