Results tagged ‘ Bob Freitas Business Seminar ’

Winter Meetings 2011: In the Beginning

What am I doing with my life?

The answer to this query, at least for today, is this: Writing about the Baseball Winter Meetings, live and direct from the Big D.

Or, as people who aren’t insufferable call it: Dallas.

The location, specifically, is the Hilton Anatole seen above. For reasons I have not yet ascertained, a statue of American orating legend Will Rogers graces the outside of this quite magnificent facility.

But this is a location best seen from the indoors, especially since the climate in Dallas hasn’t exactly been hospitable (40 degrees and raining).

A triumvirate of sideways-glancing goddesses project a welcoming aura, whilst elephantine sentries stand guard for the media elite.

My day started at the Bob Freitas Business seminar, an annual cavalcade of idea-sharing. And you know what this means, don’t you? Poorly-composed photos of people sitting in conference rooms!

This is the sort of Winter Meetings coverage you just can’t find anywhere else.

From there I headed to the Stemmons Ballroom, to check out the Opening Session speeches (more on all of this can be found on that old internet stalwart MiLB.com. My coverage there has actual substance).

Even more people in an even bigger room!

I skipped the annual Awards Luncheon, because no one ever gives me awards. But before heading back to my hotel room, I met up with Lake County Captains announcer Craig Deas so that he could give me this wonderful piece of Herman’s Head-related memorabilia:

The story behind this signed artifact is explained within this blog post on last season’s visit to Lake County, and further elucidated in this interview with pitcher Cole Cook.

But such issues cannot be explored on an empty stomach. Due to time and transportation constraints, lunch options at the Winter Meetings are severely limited. Fortunately, a short walk brought me to Buck’s Prime, who specialize in “mesquite-grilled burgers.”

Buckin' Good!

The meal was more than acceptable, considering the circumstances:

After lunch it was to the biggest room yet, this time to engage in the rapid-fire “roundtable” portion of the Bob Freitas Seminar. MiLB.com jack-of-all trades Danny Wild took the following photo, which illustrates just how much effective a high-quality camera can be.

Serious Business

From there I joined the innumerable media hordes, in order to bring my words to you.

As for what the evening will bring — who knows? But there’s a good chance that instead of sitting in a room with a bunch of people, I will instead be standing in a room with a bunch of people. This “room”, most likely.

But only one thing’s for certain: I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.

What does it all mean?

See you tomorrow — live and direct from the Trade Show!

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Greetings From the Meetings, Day One

Greetings from Orlando, FL, home of the 109th Annual Baseball Winter Meetings!

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And helloooooo industry!

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To the extent that the Winter Meetings exist in the popular imagination, they are viewed as a simmering cauldron of Major League hot stove activity. And while the lobby of the Disney Swan resort is admittedly teeming with agents, scouts, managers, and big-name sports media personalities, the bulk of the attendees are associated with good ol’ Minor League Baseball.

But the assembled media cares not about such individuals. And why should they? Minor League business news doesn’t sell. Right guys?

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They all just said “right” in unison, before rudely telling me to hastily return to my not-at-all nearby room at the Coronado (“Welcome, Winter Meetings Detritus” reads the sign in the lobby).

But who needs them? I’ve got you, whoever you may be. And what I’d like to tell you about is my time in Orlando thus far.

Upon arriving on Sunday evening, I was whisked away in a Party Bus and driven to Disney property. Anyone have any idea who these people were and how this happened?

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But all that’s in the past now. My day started bright and early at the Bob Freitas Business Seminar, designed to “bring together the best minds in the industry…and making their thoughts available to the industry as a whole.”

Last year I was able to present at the Seminar. But my mind isn’t the best these days, so this year I simply existed as audience member. Then, I wrote about it.

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One of the highlights of the morning was courtesy of Jim Jarecki and Steve McCarthy of the West Michigan Whitecaps. They gave an informative and highly detailed presentation on specialty theme jerseys which I found to be very interesting (the team does 10 each year, five for a cause and five for fun).

Here’s McCarthy and Jarecki in action, modeling their wares (Led Zeppelin and ’70s Night, respectively).

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Some much better shots of the Seminar, courtesy of MiLB.com’s photography wunderkind Danny Wild.

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This is Brooklyn Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen, detailing “Promotions That Pop.”

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And here’s Brad Dudash of the Clearwater Threshers, speaking on “Choosing the Right Food and Beverage Promotions and Making Them Work For You.”

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In between the morning and afternoon portions of the Seminar was the Opening Session, featuring league by league executive of the year awards and speeches by Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner, vice president/COO Tim Purpura, and vice president Stan Brand. More on this can be found in my article on MiLB.com, which will go live any minute now. Go check it out, as some interesting stuff was said.

But save for the feverish typing (and even more feverish cursing of the internet connection) of the assembled media hordes, Day One has largely come to a close. We’ve now arrived at the portion of the evening in which attendees enjoy expense account steak dinners at Shula’s and then adjourn to the hotel lobby for alcohol-fueled conversation within the clamorous din of the Swan Lobby.

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Check back in Tuesday afternoon for more, as I’ll have lots of info from the Trade Show and beyond. In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out in the Coronado, listening to THIS.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
twitter.com/bensbiz

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