Winter Meetings Time
Opryland, here we come.
Nashville’s airport will be a landing spot for baseball executives from the majors and minors this weekend. It is the time of the year for Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, version number 106. The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center will be packed with baseball people and media.
Over 400 members of the media, the largest number ever, will fill the media center five days starting on Sunday.
Trade rumors and free agent signings will dominate the sports news for days, a phenomenon other pro sports can’t come close to matching.
Starting on Monday, major league managers will be brought to the media center. One from a team in each league will be interviewed for 30 minutes. Then, two more will follow. Charlie Manuel and Terry Francona are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. These sessions are designed to provide copy for newspapers, sound bits for radio and video for TV.
The Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee has announcements on Monday and Tuesday, which is great. It will help take the spotlight away from agents peddling their clients. The winter draft, Rule 5 to be specific, will take place at 9 o’clock Thursday morning.
Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle will head the Phillies delegation. Priorities remain pitching, a starter and a reliever. Another outfielder is on the radar, but pitching commands the most attention.
A lot of talk has already taken place. Next week is the time the talks intensify. But, keep in mind, improving the team isn’t something that has to be done next week. That is an on-going process that continues through spring training.
Also, keep in mind the Phillies were very proactive earlier in acquiring Brad Lidge and re-signing R. C. Romero. A veteran scout told me, the Lidge deal was “a steal. Bruntlett can play, too.”
Beat reporter Ken Mandel will provide daily overage on this site. I’ll mix in some behind the scenes goodies and Scott Palmer will be filing video reports for four days starting Monday. So, visit this site often.
A reader felt the new alternate, cream-color uniforms the Phillies will wear for home day games, were ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. The person felt they looked like pajamas.
Receiving reactions is great. I have no problem with that. I may not always agree but feedback is welcomed.
Perhaps our promotion team can whip up a sleep over at Citizens Bank Park. Everyone, including the players, could wear their PJs.