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:

The MLB Network crew: Matt Vasgersian, Dan Plesac, Larry Bowa, Jon Heyman.

Seeing former players mingling with execs and managers in the lobby is common at the Winter Meetings. Recognize the guy on the left? It's former Astro Jose Vizcaino, now a special assistant with the Dodgers.

Former Major League player Kevin Millar is now with the MLB Network, and seeing his employer is front and center at the Winter Meetings, he's a common sight in the hotel lobby during breaks.

Astros manager Brad Mills (left) and Blue Jays manager John Farrell are close friends, having coached on Terry Francona's staff for several years with the Red Sox. Here they are catching up in the media workroom.

After his formal meeting with the beat writers, Mills joined MLB TV for a short interview.

The media workroom, home to hundreds of print/internet reporters during the Winter Meetings.

Astros are on Facebook

Follow Alyson Footer on Twitter

Check out our witticsms on AstrosOneLiners

Questions? Email afooter@astros.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: