Winter Meetings Time
Golly, it is December 1 already.
On the baseball calendar, early December means it is winter meetings time. Ruben heads an entourage that heads to Dallas on Sunday. They return following the Rule 5 draft that takes place on December 8.
A large media mass will be there, reporting facts and rumors. Social media has replaced tomorrow’s newspaper. Where should you go to get the latest? Start with MLB.com. For TV: MLB Network.
The meetings are taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. In Texas, everything is big and the hotel fits that bill (some 30 stories high). It is a massive square with a big atrium lobby that includes a couple of bars and a restaurant.
General managers get large suites. Club meetings take place their daily as they map out trade talks, free agency talks. Once, the friendly hotel phone was the method of reaching out to other clubs. Plus, sending someone from your club to the lobby to look for somebody from another club. The latter still is in place but cell phones, texting and laptops have replaced the hotel phone.
A snoopy reporter can just park himself in the lobby and watch. “Look, their goes Ruben into the Yankees’ suite.” Later……”Now, the Reds are going in the Phillies suite.” Only difficulty, the higher floors are difficult to scout unless you have a telescope.
Agents will parade through the lobby and the media will follow like a pied piper. What better setup for an agent: all 30 clubs under one roof. Agents can drop a tip to a reporter and the chain reaction follows. Rumors, rumors.
The Baseball Hall of Fame will have announcements on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On the first day, the Hall will announce the winner of the Golden Era ballot, which consists of eight former players and two executives. Phillies Alumni Jim Kaat is on the ballot. The next day, the Taylor Spink Award for baseball writers and Paul Hagen, long-time Philadelphia Daily News writer is one of three on that ballot. Then, the Ford C. Frick award to a broadcaster on Wednesday. Tim McCarver is a candidate.
Football has a similar industry post-season meeting but coverage for baseball blows away the NFL. It isn’t even a contest.
Someone once said the two best sports are baseball and talking baseball. Well, we’re headed for a week of talking baseball.