Tuesday, November 25, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;56.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-11-25 16:55:56
pic1
pic2
pic3
pic4
pic5
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Using players' statistics, Marc Rubin of Greenville is able to determine the value of professional sports players for their agents. Rubin teaches statistics at Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Using players' statistics, Marc Rubin of Greenville is able to determine the value of professional sports players for their agents. Rubin teaches statistics at Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Using players' statistics, Marc Rubin of Greenville is able to determine the value of professional sports players for their agents. Rubin teaches statistics at Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Using players' statistics, Marc Rubin of Greenville is able to determine the value of professional sports players for their agents. Rubin teaches statistics at Southern New Hampshire University.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom

    Using players' statistics, Marc Rubin of Greenville is able to determine the value of professional sports players for their agents. Rubin teaches statistics at Southern New Hampshire University.
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Marc Rubin helps agents land big deals for clients

Chipper Jones doesn’t know Marc Rubin from Adam. But, even if his rumored retirement comes to pass, he might want to send the longtime Southern New Hampshire University statistics professor a Thank You card. Rubin probably earned Jones hundreds of thousands of dollars on the four-year extension he received a little over a year ago.

Rubin, you see, has a little side job going. The Greenville resident who is often seen on the SNHU’s Nashua campus on Amherst Street, provides several sports agents obscure statistics for ballplayers that can be the difference between getting the deal they want and what’s being offered. Baseball is his passion, but he also works with agents representing NHL and NBA players as well.

Not the big stars, mind you, or the big agents. He deals with those who are short-staffed.

“I once met Alan Nero,” Rubin said, “and he told me ‘Mr. Rubin, if you were a young man and willing to move to Chicago, I’d hire you full-time.’ So my specialty is the smaller agency who doesn’t have a heckuva lot of employees and is looking to hire somebody.

“It’s worked out well. There’s a host of agents who just don’t want to spend $100,000 to put somebody on staff and pay benefits and so forth. And those people embrace me.”

He’s worked for years for agent Joe Bick, who runs Prostar with his son, Brett, and who represents Red Sox standout Kevin Youkilis.

“He liked what he saw, and said ‘Tell you what, I’ll give you a shot, send me some reports.’ He continues to be my biggest fan.”

Indeed he is.

Bick cited Rubin’s work in a couple of instances, including an arbitration case involving Youkilis, and raved in an e-mail to The Telegraph about how attached Rubin would get to the players he was researching.

“He follows their every at-bat, or inning pitched, just as we do,” Bick wrote, “and is particularly good at highlighting the importance of their contributions to what their teams accomplish. His research is in-depth, accurate and often unique.”

What exactly does Rubin do? Basically, like every good statistician, make the numbers tell a story.

“I look at the history of what factors play the most significant role in influencing salary, or compensation,” he said. “Is OBP a significant factor? I’m working on (Cubs infielder) Ryan Theriot. He has in particular a bad OBP. But I’m looking for other factors. I rank order which factors have the most influence on salary. You’ve heard of run production? It’s RBIs plus runs scored minus home runs. Theriot’s percentage of run production relative to the Chicago Cubs team scoring, he ranks right up there with some of the great shortstops in the game.

“So I’m going to emphasize that statistic. So my exhibits will focus on that and present Ryan Theriot in the best light. And I give that to the agent.”

And Theriot’s agent isn’t a customer of Rubin’s, but the infielder’s numbers are part of the 61-year-old prof’s sales pitch.

“I tell them unless the preliminary report I submit to you is meaningfully significant to you, you don’t owe me a thing,” Rubin said. “No hard feelings whatsoever.”

He’s approached just about every agent in the three sports. He has one agent in hockey, who has several free agents on the market.

“I’ve got hockey (players) up the wazoo,” Rubin said. “But the agent insists in confidentiality. He’s the only guy who ever sent me a contract that I had to sign. But I can say he has some of the most famous Scandanavian players in the world. So the magnitude of money is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

When did all this click for Rubin, who has taught at SNHU for 30 years?

He’s always thought of the idea, but one day he saw a site on the internet where one could purchase the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of agents. And that did it, and now he claims to have about a dozen agents using his services.

“I’m not bashful,” Rubin said. “Once I had the e-mails, I sent out e-mails introducing myself.”

Of all the work he’s done, Rubin is proudest of his influence on the Jones contract, working for his agent, BB Abbott. What he did was look up former major leaguer Dave Winfield’s final contract, because he and Jones were relatively the same age.

“By citing the precident with Winfield, we were able to suggest to the Braves that Jones would be able to maintain his quality of play for years to come,” Rubin said. “By the time the contract is over, Jones will be 42. From ages 38 to 42, Winfield was quite productive.”

Indeed, during the seasons when he was 39 and 40, Winfield hit a combined 54 homers and drove in 194 runs.

He also helped Abbott win a unanimous arbitration decision for Angels catcher Jeff Mathis.

“His insight and innovative ideas provided me with several arguments that were crucial in the success of these deals and cases,” Abbott said via e-mail.

Baseball remains Rubin’s love.

“I have a good imagination for the game,” he says.

In fact, Rubin even invents his own statistic.

Working on the preparation for an arbitration case for Tampa Bay and Houston pitcher Dan Wheeler, Rubin was up against it. Wheeler was coming off a 1-9, 5.30 ERA season with no saves.

With those putrid stats, Rubin looked up the game log, and discovered that any games he was brought into with his team trailing, he would hold the fort.

“He would maintain the deficit and pitch a scoreless inning,” Rubin said. “But he wouldn’t get credit for anything. There was no statistic ... so I invented something called ‘Maintain,’ where a guy comes in, retires at least one batter, and exits having maintained the score he inherited.

“That won Wheeler a huge contract. Dan Wheeler was worried about getting cut; he instead signed a $2.15 million dollar contract and three weeks later signed a three-year, $10 million dollar deal.”

So when Rubin is representing a relief pitcher who has had a history with losing teams, he has a figure to turn to.

“I’m pretty creative in inventing my own statistics. I’m pretty good at maneuvering the numbers and coming up with ideas.”

“It’s terrific,” Bick wrote, “how the work he does compliments the hundreds of hours we put into every case ourselves.”

Sometimes he’ll dabble in agent work himself, but that’s rare. Rubin attended numerous Nashua Pride games and, with a former student, helped former Can-Am Player of the Year Olmo Rosario in his Double A deal with the Giants.

“He’s as close to the big time (as an agent) as I might have ever had a chance at getting,” Rubin said with a chuckle.

But, he doesn’t want to delve into that job. Too many headaches.

“I like what I’m doing now,” he said. “I haven’t got the time to babysit.”

How many hours a week does he spend on all this?

“More than my wife would like,” Rubin said with a chuckle. “It’s fun. You probably know how big an industry fantasy sports is.

“I’ve never understood. Why get involved in fantasy when I can do the real thing?”

The reputation Rubin has built for himself is most definitely the real thing.

“Marc will be involved with us as long as he wants to be,” Bick wrote. “He’s a brilliant, fun guy who loves our players, and we love him.”