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Why does MLB need winter meetings, anyway?

Dec 11, 2009, 12:55 PM EDT

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette asks why baseball even bothered having winter meetings:

One wonders what the purpose of these winter meetings really is at this point. As Neal Huntington and other executives acknowledged, the timing of the non-tender deadline Saturday works very much against teams making moves. Who wants to trade for somebody who might be a free agent in a couple days?

Moreover, the number of teams genuinely motivated to make some big media splash at this event is exactly equal to the number of teams with a $200 million-plus payroll. So, the Yankees ended up with someone else’s great player when that someone else no longer could pay him. This is news? And, really, how much publicity does baseball get in mid-December no matter what happens in a hotel somewhere?

I’m gonna be honest here for just a second, because we’re all friends and it’s Friday: Kovacevic raises an interesting point, but the winter meetings were absolutely crucial this year because Craig’s family was getting pretty sick of him being home all the time after one whole week as a full-time blogger.
Covering everything from Indianapolis, doing impromptu photo shoots with Manny Acta, and even breaking the news of Rich Harden signing were all secondary to simply getting him out of the house. His wife has actually requested that MLB hold another winter meetings next month, perhaps in Dubuque.

  1. Lawrence From Plattekill - Dec 11, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    I’ve been a baseball fan for more than 35 years, and I was never thrilled much by the winter meetings–until this year. The blog coverage, but CTB and others, made it a lot of fun. It wasn’t just two paragraphs in the paper after you’ve already heard the headline on the radio. It was following the action (and rumors), withinstant analysis of the possibilities and the players, a whole bunch of times a day. I almost broke my F5 key.
    I love the winter meetings. Can’t wait for next year’s.

  2. kanonen80 - Dec 11, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Nice; I like how this is the only post with the tag of “wife jokes”

  3. JasonC23 - Dec 11, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    The addition of Craig full-time continues to pay off. Nicely done, Aaron.

  4. Bobby Townsend - Dec 11, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    I think next years winter meetings will be held in International Falls, Minnesota. My question is why do they call them THE WINTER MEETINGS when it is not even officially winter yet.
    I have been to several of these and basically it is just a big waste of time with people gawking at other in a huge hotel lobby. But realize it isn’t all big league executives but all minor league GMs meet at these and actually things get settled. All 20 plus leagues have their meetings plus the overseer of all minor leagues (don’t know who it is these days)
    Go into some of the function rooms where baseball team shirts, hats, etc etc are on display/sale.
    You will see many young people roaming the lobby looking to get that first job in professional baseball and show up with resumes the size of a book. Minor league GMs and marketing people spend lots of time with people conducting interviews. I know it was over 30 years ago I found myself doing this type of lobbying with a resume that consisted of two pages done with a royal typewriter but I found these minor league types to be very approachable and the job seminars were fun to go to.
    As for the major league execs, I don’t know why they even bother showing up except to be seen and heard from in a public setting attended by thousands. They roam the lobbies, shake a few hands, roam some more and then some media type will stick a mike in their face and start asking dumbass questions and the exec will go on taking 20 minutes to answer a question that requires just a yes or no answer.
    BTW, I got that summer intern job with the Jersey City A’s (then a AA team) working in a stadium that was over 100 years old (at that time)

  5. ecp - Dec 11, 2009 at 1:35 PM

    The winter meetings never were intended to be just for the purpose of making trades and signing free agents. They were supposed to be, well, meeting where the GMs could get together and hash out agreements on things that affect the business of baseball. As a side benefit, it’s a convenient time for face-to-face discussions of player transactions, but that is by far their secondary purpose. Those complaining about the lack of activity don’t know what the meetings are supposed to be about.

  6. smokehouse - Dec 11, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    Hey, it’s a paid holiday for the exec’s and other baseball hangers on. Treat it as that. Move on.

  7. Chris Simonds - Dec 11, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    Sounds like NBC has taken on a serious problem here. Will they be able to find the money to keep shuttling Craig back and forth between Florida and Arizona during spring training? How much does the mental health of Chez Calcaterra mean to Peacock Nation? Stay tuned.

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