Veterans taking hands-on approach

Updated: December 5, 2003, 9:16 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
The New York Yankees envision Gary Sheffield as their right-field solution and an antidote to the perception that they've been out-Theoed in the American League East race. They're counting on him to hit 30-plus homers, drive in 120 runs and keep his hands off those always-pesky Fenway Park groundskeepers.

Gary Sheffield
Marvet Britto, who handles Sheffield's public relations, sees his impending three-year, $38 million deal as a serendipitous blend of star player and big city. It's a major step in her quest to advance "Sheff, the Brand."

Britto brings new meaning to the term "go-getter." Her New York agency represents Kim Cattrall of "Sex in the City" fame, Star Jones of "The View" fame and Judge Glenda Hatchett of "My Neighbor Won't Stop Blasting his Stereo" fame. Britto's firm even has a sports division that features Sheffield, football's Curtis Martin, basketball's Latrell Sprewell and Cuttino Mobley and boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Britto didn't advise Sheffield to negotiate his own contract this winter as a free agent. But when he proposed the idea, she was solidly behind it.

"I think the era of the Leigh Steinbergs and the big-wig agents has kind of passed," Britto said. "People are waking up and realizing, 'I can give that money to someone else or keep it myself, because that's $2-3 million for somebody who isn't really earning it.' "

Commission-free fever: Catch it.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer