Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Inside the Baseball Winter Meetings

Up until about a year ago, I really had no idea what the Baseball Winter Meetings actually were.  In my imagination, I figured there was a big room with representatives from each team sitting around discussing available players.  That was half of it.  The other half would be different meeting rooms where free agents and their agents could meet with various interested teams.  I know neither of those scenarios are very realistic, but at a very basic level, that's what I thought the Winter Meetings were.  Then I went there to see for myself.

I went to the Baseball Winter Meetings last year in Las Vegas primarily to attend the PBEO Job Fair, where hundreds (if not a thousand) people interested in a job in baseball would go to try to get one.  While I was there, I made sure to head over to the Bellagio to see if I could recognize anyone.  I saw Charlie Manuel, fresh off his World Series victory, introduce his step-son to someone.  Tommy LaSorda was holding court all over the casino.  Torii Hunter was gambling at a table.  All your favorite ESPN personalities were running around trying to get some breaking news.  It was cool stuff for any baseball fan.  Unfortunately for me, I didn't see my idea of a big room with executives sitting around the table come to fruition, but I did come to realize that any discussion involving players takes place in a small room out of the public eye or maybe at a lunch or a drink that looks like casual conversation.  There are actually meetings, too.  There are league meetings and GM meetings, but of course I couldn't go into any of those. 

Since the Job Fair was my main concern, let me tell you how chaotic it was.  There's a room with several boards littered with job internship postings in a tiny font.  In fact, there were very few job postings, much to the disappointment of people in attendance.  The boards were crammed together creating narrow aisles where job seekers would bunch up, push and shove, to try to get information about various jobs.  Once the job seeker wrote down the information, he/she would retreat to a table to write the posting number on a resume and submit it to a big box.  Later in the day or week, teams would post names of job seekers they wanted to interview.  The cycle continued for about four days as postings slowed down and interviews wrapped up.  

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Chris said...

Interesting stuff. I was going to go this year in Indy for the Job Fair but pulled out last minute after hearing the same thing from most people that it was mainly all internships. Glad to see I made the right decision.

Rob Burckhard said...

Yeah, you definitely did. I was really disappointed when I got there and noticed that most of the "jobs" were internships or seasonal, low-paying positions.