Inside the Baseball Winter Meetings
If you follow baseball closely, then you’ve probably heard of the annual baseball winter meetings. But, if you’ve never attended, do you actually know what’s going on?
The 109th annual Baseball Winter Meetings will be in Florida for the second time in five years. The annual gathering of baseball executives, player agents, managers, and occasionally players, will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort near Orlando starting next Monday, Dec. 6 through Thursday, Dec. 9. More than 200 Major League and Minor League Baseball clubs, leagues and organizations attend these meetings.
The meetings are four days to plan for the 2011 season and to honor the achievements of the past year, but the biggest attention around these meetings centers on trades and signings by the MLB general managers. For Major and Minor League Baseball, league meetings for clubs and executives occur throughout the day behind closed doors. There are also other organizations that are affiliated with MLB and MiLB that hold meetings, including the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) which holds its annual meeting to determine which applicants may or may not gain inclusion into the Association.
The organized events surrounding the industry include the baseball Trade Show, Awards Luncheon banquet and the main social event, the Gala. The trade show attracts nearly 300 exhibitors and includes a lot of different items pertaining to baseball. Companies such as Rawlings or New Era show off what’s new or what’s hot and try to get baseball teams to upgrade and make purchases.
The events are covered by the media who usually hang in the hotel lobby waiting to report on the signings and trades that go down. MLB Network, ESPN Radio and Sirus XM Radio are also there reporting any breaking news.
Officially, the Baseball Winter Meetings are not open to the general public. To gain access to the media workroom where press conferences and announcements take place, you’ll need a credential from MLB. You’ll also need a separate credential from Minor League Baseball to gain access to the Trade Show, or you have to register to attend the Job Fair.
Stay tuned as next week I’ll write another blog post with updates/photos from Orlando. And for all Giants developments, make sure to follow us on Twitter @SFGIANTS.