Note: Randy Whitaker is blogging each day for us from the Baseball Winter Meetings. Today is his last post from the Winter Meetings. Please follow Randy on Twitter for more thoughts about baseball, and whatever else comes to his mind. You can follow Randy on Twitter @sensGM.
Winter Meetings blog day 4
We're coming in for a gentle landing here at the Baseball Winter Meetings. The seminars are over and the business meetings are done. Time to start packing up the stuff to prepare to hit the air tomorrow afternoon. Gotta get back for the Senators Christmas Open House!
Wednesday morning is always the Baseball Chapel breakfast. This is a time when the Baseball Chapel organization likes to thank all the teams that support them throughout the year by allow ready access to the players. Baseball Chapel is now 45-years old and works with all MLB and MiLB teams to help players with their faith lives despite lifestyles that don't really allow time for it. My relationship with Baseball Chapel goes back to even before I began working with the Senators.
Jess Moyer, recently promoted to Director of Group Sales, and I did the breakfast. The guest speaker for the breakfast was Reid Ryan, President of the World Champion Houston Astros and son of Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan. He told us about his career experiences, capped off by the events in Houston this past year - from a hurricane to a World Series trophy - and how his faith has helped him succeed and weather various trials.
Present at the breakfast were many executives from all levels of baseball as well as some former stars. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was there. Clint was the featured speaker several years ago. Twins manager Paul Molitor was also there. But the person I really got a kick out of seeing was one of the all-time favorite Senators - Jamey Carroll. I caught up with Jamey after the breakfast and walked and talked with him in the hall on the way back to my room. He still has fond memories of Harrisburg and is anxious to see the changes that have taken place to the stadium since he left. He says he hopes to be in the area at some point during the season and will try to get by. He remains good friends with Michael Barrett and wants to meet up with him there.
Following the breakfast, I shot over to the Dolphin again to look for Jayson Stark. But ended up finding someone better! Former Sens and EL All-star outfielder Michael Daniel was all smiles, as always, as we caught up since I last saw him a couple of years ago in Nashville. He is a youth baseball instructor in North Carolina and is building up a good reputation in the field.
I was able to squeeze in a short run around the lake and grounds before the Eastern League meetings. I followed most of the same trail from Monday's 5K with a little deviation. I extended the run to the entrance to Hollywood Studios - right up to the front gate where all the families were getting their pictures taken before entering. Everyone was bundled up in coats as it was a little chilly when the clouds went over. But they were excited for their day in Hollywood.
The Eastern League meeting is the league business meeting in preparation for the coming season. Many things were discussed. Trenton gave us all an overview of the All-star game they'll be hosting this summer. Sounds like a great plan, and certainly among the more convenient locales for Senators fans.
Following the meeting Jon Boles and I went to get a last walk around the Trade Show, but took a detour through the media portion of the hotel on the way. Broadcasting on MLB radio stage was former Senators star - and All-American Life-Size Bobblehead Hall of Famer - Cliff Floyd. To make it even better - he was wearing a HARRISBURG SENATORS POLO! I flashed the logo on my blue-quarter-zip and made eye contact with Cliff. He proudly patted his logo back with a big smile. Now if he will only come to Harrisburg as promised (twice) someday. We aren't asking again, but we will welcome him if he wants to come.
Gala time. This is the final party that caps off the Winter Meetings each year. It is in Florida, so let's have it at the pool. Oops, it's in the 40s. Eat, drink, leave. Food was great, but it didn't make up for a dropping thermometer. Now I know you all are REALLY COLD right now - but it's Central PA in December - it's supposed to be. Not so here.
One last trip over to the Dolphin on my Jayson Stark quest with no luck. But I did run into an old friend. Remember former abc27 weekend sports anchor Chuck Garfein? I ran into Chuck in the media lobby and we caught up after nearly two decades. Then I headed back to the Swan where I ran into MLB-TV's Harold Reynolds who threw me a wave. One big baseball family.
Time to pack up and hit the road. Tomorrow morning is the Rule 5 draft. I like to grab breakfast and sit in the back of the room to see this event each year. I'll tweet any Senators related news that may come out of it, so look for the update there.
It's was nice to be back on the blogosphere again. Thanks for coming along with me this year.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.