Anyone who attended the Baseball Winter Meetings this week, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland, there to work in the media will tell the same story. One of disappointment and frustration. The massive convention center, was a buzz of people parading around with their heads down as they worked their cell phones.
Fabulous restaurants where you could buy lunch for $40. A hotel coffee section where you could get a cup for $5. Beautiful fountains and trees in the atrium that looked out on to the Patomic river. Parking was a mere $42 a day. Cab rides were $12 dollars in the morning and $25 at night, for a two-mile mile trip to a Holiday Inn Express where the rates were $250 per night.
Yes there were plenty of famous people to meet and greet, but none of the deal makers from the front offices of clubs. Enough TV setups to watch, with the usual panels of experts, analysts and hosts. And enough bright lights on those sets, to grow tomatoes in a cave.
Ah, the Caves. Need to mention those Caves. High atop the 20 some story hotel, we could see the balconies from the rooms that overlooked the convention center below. Those mysterious suites, where the deal makers were secretly working their magic and what became known as “The Bat Caves”
No one knows who was in the caves or how to get to them. We were told the heart of the baseball world, lived somewhere up there. We all waited and waited, day after day for someone to come down from the caves.
How were they surviving up there? We were all concerned about their well being, praying they would survive the ordeal of being cloistered above all of us for so long. But thank goodness we had the MLB network here to give us updates of reported deals and sightings of some of the brain trusts from a club or two.
Once in a while they would bring one down to interview them. Or hold a press conference, to explain a deal that was done that day.
Thanks to the MLB network, we could listen to them ask questions, back in our hotel rooms on the other side of the Patomic. Watching those interviews on TV, over and over and over again, into the wee hours of the night, just to make sure we got it right.
The showcasing of a baseball TV network was a big success. Congratulations. The sharing of information with the working media, was at best, just ok.
Maybe next time Batman and his Robins will come out of the Bat Cave and mingle with the citizens of Gotham.
Editor’s Note: William Coppola just completed his 40th year in the game of baseball. He has been a coach, instructor and advanced scout for numerous teams in Major League Baseball