But one thing never changes: the number of rumors you hear, some of them ridiculous. A few years ago at the winter meetings, my duty one day was to walk through the lobby and report back with the most outrageous rumor I heard. One team executive, not a GM, much lower on the chain, cupped his mouth like a pitcher talking to his catcher in a mound meeting, then warned me about an available free agent.Atlanta Braves Face Masks
Baseball Team Face Masks
Bradford Doolittle: The San Francisco Giants' signing of Barry Bonds during the 1992 winter meetings was seismic. It's not every day a franchise acquires a best-in-the-game player in the prime of his career. Love Bonds or hate Bonds, it was a watershed move in baseball annals.Colorado Rockies Face Masks
Otis Nixon, Twins, 1998: Nixon played for 10 teams over 17 years, including a one-season stopover in Minnesota, where he wore an unusual mask that was sort of football-based, but there was more to it than that. He is, to Uni Watch's knowledge, the last MLB player to wear anything approaching a football-style mask on the field.San Diego Padres Face Masks
Lee: The fact that the entire baseball world congregates in a hotel lobby and you have an opportunity to catch up with sources and friends from around the industry whom you see only a handful of times a year, often at the big baseball events like the All-Star Game or the World Series. It's a great annual reminder that the world is a lot smaller than it can sometimes seem.
In a normal year, baseball's winter meetings are a gathering of team executives of all stripes, player agents and journalists where the hot stove starts gaining steam and the trade and free-agent markets start buzzing. This, of course, is not a normal year.
"The first and foremost job of being a Philadelphia Eagle in to be a good teammate," Kelce said. "And that entails giving of yourself to others everything you can to help the person next to you succeed. So, obviously, it's a bad situation personally for the careers of some guys, but we have a good team here in terms of everybody wants everyone to do well. We have a good culture.
Well, in Orlando a couple of years ago, I found myself in line to get food behind Bill James. I'm not unlike many baseball writers and wanna-be analysts -- James has had and continues to have a profound impact on the way I think about the game. We also happen to have both been raised in the rural Midwest. I was introduced to him once years ago at a SABR event in Kansas City, but it was awkward and fleeting, so I knew he didn't recognize me. I followed him through the food line, which had to take at least 10 minutes. I encountered him again waiting for the elevator, then rode up the elevator with him for a few floors, just the two of us. I may have nodded at him at some point, but no words were exchanged.Los Angeles Angels Face Masks