Randy Whitaker's 2017 Winter Meetings Journal

Day 1 - Sunday Travel Day

By Harrisburg Senators | December 11, 2017 8:47 AM

Note: Randy Whitaker is blogging each day for us from the Baseball Winter Meetings. We will posting articles each day this week. Follow along as Randy talks about the nuts and bolts of the meetings, nightly dinner and all of his baseball celebrity sightings.

Welcome to the return of my Baseball Winter Meetings blog.

The Baseball Winter Meetings is the gathering of all things in the business of baseball from all sides - the game and the business. Most people come into FNB Field and enjoy a nice day and a good game. The Baseball Winter Meetings is part of the process that puts all the many pieces together that make your experience possible.

I'm sorry it has been so long since I last shared my experiences here in the center of off-season baseball activities. Not so many years ago I was invited by my friends at the Patriot News/Penn Live to post my observations and experiences in a blog so that you might know what I have seen. After a couple of years, the Patriot stopped asking - but I contacted them and volunteered anyway. They were nice enough to facilitate the posts. With the demise of the Patriot News (I hear they still deliver thrice weekly now, but wouldn't know personally), they stopped asking and so did I.

But now, here we are and we don't need help getting the reports out to the Senators faithful. With the continued rise of social media and our website, there IS another way. Thanks for following my journey down here in frigid Orlando (it is under 50-degrees here right now!).

Sunday is travel day. The flight is only 2-hours in the air, which turns into an 8-hour journey when you add a drive to Baltimore, security, baggage claim and ground transport on the other end. Better then driving … but not much. I usually enjoy this trip partially because I can pick up some "sightings" at the airports. I got ZERO of those this year. I saw only a couple of familiar faces at baggage claim, but no big faces at either airport. Sorry.

We are stationed at the Swan Resort just off the Disney properties (I don't think they are officially Disney) on the Minor League side of the grounds. Upon check-in we took a walk around the grounds to see the layout for this year. I was able to see my first (and frankly only for today) significant baseball sighting in former Expos manager Felipe Alou.

The Senators staff (six of us this year) headed to our traditional opening night dinner on the boardwalk (how familiar!). A little Italian between friends. Then back to the Dolphin Resort - the epicenter all baseball activities.

Despite 10-years in this job now, I'm still a baseball fan at heart. This place puts my "fandom" on full alert for all I see. Here are a few of the "sighting" that I encountered at the Dolphin base: Ken Rosenthal (writer, reporter, omnipresent personality at least in his own mind), Jim Callis (long-time Baseball America writer, now with the MLB network), Jonathan Mayo (a leading baseball prospect analyst also with the MLB.net), Carlos Pena (former MLB star and now analyst with MLB.net, Craig Amsinger (one of the MLB-TV anchors) - do you think I spend too much time watching the MLB Channel? - and Dan O-Dowd (former GM of the Colorado Rockies and now - you got it) - analyst at MLB.net.

Tomorrow will be the busiest of all days, starting even earlier this year with a new charity 5K for the baseball folks. Senators AGM Jonathan Boles and I will be running at 6:30AM, then heading off to seminars and such for the rest of the day. Tune in tomorrow for more of what I see and do.

It's great to be back. Thanks for joining me!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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