Tal Smith (President – Houston Astros) . . . one of the most highly regarded Major League Baseball assessors of on-field talent and a long-time salary arbitration preparation expert , Smith also knew how to communicate a team building philosophy that the media and fans accepted when the team was in a re-building mode on the field. His “strong arms/tight defense” served the Astros well during my work with the club, my first MLB client, an engagement which at Smith’s request included helping convert a recently retired successful pitcher into an effective ticket sales manager . . . Larry Dierker, later a color broadcaster and Manager of the Astros.