A look at the Winter Meetings, from a media point of view.
The Winter Meetings can be an overwhelming experience, especially for the first-timers who have no idea how involved the process is or how many people — thousands, really — participate.
Even former players who had long and interesting Major League careers are somewhat bowled over by everything that goes into the four-day yearly baseball convention. As we explained earlier, it’s not just a time for Major League teams to make deals and sign free agents, although that is undoubtedly what garners the most attention. The Winter Meetings provide an opportunity quite literally for everyone involved in baseball to gather in one place for a short time to network, report, meet, greet, schmooze…and on and on and on.
That includes all 30 Major League front offices, hundreds of Minor League franchises, beat reporters and columnists, radio hosts, television stations, cable networks, scouts, agents and vendors. Throw in a hefty crop of job seekers and you’re talking about an overwhelming amount of people spending hours in one confined space. Even though the Hilton Anatole in Dallas is a gigantic hotel, it seems a lot smaller when you put everyone in baseball under one roof. The
surroundings seemingly shrink even more at the end of the traditional workday when the lobby, and the lobby bar, becomes everyone’s favorite late-night hangout.
The media, of course, are a huge part of the Winter Meetings. Reporters are everywhere. They scour the lobby for agents who might have a scoop. They hang out on the sidelines hoping to run into an executive or three. The national heavy-hitters are front and center, right in the thick of things, which is why you’ll see the ESPN and MLB Network sets parked in the lobby, the epicenter of the Winter Meetings.
Radio and television stations are set up throughout the hotel, right in a row, which makes it easier for media relations directors to provide media availability for their managers in one fell swoop. Each Major League manager is first scheduled for 30-minute sessions with reporters in the media workroom, and after that, he simply makes his way down radio/TV row, granting interviews to anyone who asks. That usually includes Sirius/XM, MLB.tv, MLB Network, ESPN, and more.
Here are a few images from the Winter Meetings on Tuesday in Dallas, from a media angle:
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