The Meetings
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Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
The Meetings
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on December 4, 2012
Posted Under: Johanna's View

I arrived at the hotel in Nashville for the Winter Meetings on Sunday evening, but while there were quite a few people in the lobby milling about that night, the actual event didn’t get going until yesterday.  This is my 10th year attending, and my third at this hotel, the hotel where it all started.

And though the hotel is the same, very little else is.  First, while teams used to bring legions of scouts and front office folks most have scaled back.  Many of the faces I used to know are gone. The Colorado Rockies have come to the conclusion that most of the business they need to conduct they can do like they do the rest of the year- by cell phone and laptop.  Of course, there are a few folks from the Rockies here, as someone has to take the affiliates to dinner and someone has to go to the MLB scheduled meetings for the media relations and travel secretaries etc.  Other teams may one day go to this model, but perhaps not.  MLB uses this to get some publicity, as do the teams, so the faces that folks recognize need to be available for all the media coverage- so most likely the GM’s will still head to where ever the meetings will held.

Meetings roster at the Gaylord

Meetings roster at the Gaylord

At left is the meetings board for what is happening today. Several of the meetings are related to minor league affiliates, but it gives you an idea of some of the things happening.  Meanwhile, job seekers are getting jobs.

But these aren’t the only meetings.  In suites all over this hotel, there are GM’s with their special assignment and special assistants looking at organizational depth and what holes they have to fill at all levels.  They are looking at possible trade partners and determining who might fill those holes.  They are also looking at personnel and seeing if they still need to do some hiring.

So there are some meetings going on.  But for big chunks of time there is a lot of standing around and visiting with old friends and making new friends as well.  Its a space that if you don’t know what you are doing it will be your downfall because all the unfamiliar faces that rarely are seen on TV fill the lobby.  Below is a shot of this crazy hotel and the lobby filled with baseball people and a few sight-seers.  Please note, this is inside the atrium in the Cascades Lobby.

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