By Mike Steffanos
The winter meetings have now begun. Even as you read these words Minaya and company are in a hotel room somewhere in Orlando, engaged in discussions that very likely will culminate in deals -- or lack thereof -- which will impact the Mets chances in 2007. Over the next few days (the meetings end Thursday) we will be under constant bombardment with a smattering of real news and a whole lotta rumors and speculation. It will be fun. As year-round baseball fans, this is what we live for.
I won't use this blog to try to keep you up to date on everything that is going on. That's the job of MetsBlog and Hot Foot, and they do it very well. As usual, I'm just here to voice one fan's opinion.
If you are really looking to capture the flavor of the meetings, I highly recommend beat reporter John Delcos' blog for The Journal News. In a post upon his arrival last night, Delcos made the following promise:
I plan on being a blogging machine over the next few days, so fire away with all your questions and comments.
He's kept that promise, posting 8 times since midnight as of the time this was posted.
The Post has a special blog dedicated to coverage of the winter meetings. Joel Sherman has a great post on how the meetings have changed over the years (Credit goes to Hot Foot for the link).
Sherman sees the big increase in people being sent to cover the meetings, including those nasty blogging types, as well as a big increase in job seekers, as the main reason GMs like Omar go underground for most of the next 4 days. It amazing how these meetings have grown over the years from an event that was barely covered to one that Sherman (probably rightly) feels is over-covered. It's all part of the changing landscape of how we obtain our information. I wonder if printed newspapers will even exist in 10 years, although I have no doubt that today's newspapers will still be around in some form or another.
As a blogger, I'm grateful to be on the outside looking in. I may get cranky with some of the reporters and columnists from time to time, but I respect the job they do. They provide guys like me with the news on which to state our opinions. If I had the opportunity to be credentialed and on-site, I wouldn't take it. I don't have the years of contacts necessary to do any real job there, and I would most definitely be just one of those guys hanging around in the way. Having said that, I'll bet you there are plenty of people there doing little more than taking up space with legitimate press credentials. In any case, I both understand and enjoy my role of commentator rather than reporter, and have respect for those who fill the other role.
Speaking of opinions ...
As most of you know, a week ago I began to publish the writings (and opinions) of others in this space. Some of their opinions are similar to mine, some are quite different. For instance, NostraDennis loves the possibility of the Mets signing Barry Zito, while I am much more lukewarm to that idea, especially if the contract runs longer than 5 years. Shari Forst has written a couple of pieces quite critical of the Mets hot stove moves so far, whereas I find myself with a generally positive view of what's happened this offseason. I am never shy about voicing my own views, but I really enjoy the fact that the web site now reflects a broader range of opinion of true Mets fans. I've always said that one of the few things we can all agree on it rooting for the Mets.
The local newspaper here in Waterbury, CT is the Republican-American. The politics of the owners of this paper is decidedly conservative. They've allowed their politics to absolutely permeate this rag to the point where it truly is absolutely useless as a source of news for any who would like to receive both sides of a story. I'd prefer that didn't happen here. Although I won't publish purely negative material here, there will always be room for the opinions of true Mets fans, even if they disagree with me.
By the way, if you are a reader who only checks in during the week, there were excellent posts over the weekend. Take a few minutes to check them out.