Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baseball at Your Finger Tips

I am 28 years old, born as a member of Red Sox Nation but have since transplanted to the Midwest. I am presently an Assistant High School Baseball Coach for Brebeuf Jesuit Prep in Indianapolis, IN and also serve as an Assistant Coach for the Lafayette White Sox, an 18u travel team out of Lafayette, IN.

In the short time I have had the honor to serve as an Assistant Coach under some great baseball minds, I have seen 6 individuals since sign commitments to play D1 Baseball at (Ball State, Butler, Wright State, Xavier, Valparaiso) respectively. That has been a very humbling experience, and an experience that only provides me with greater energy to continue to pursue a career in professional baseball.
As the annual Baseball Winter Meetings are underway here in Indianapolis the first bit of exciting news was Rafael Soriano accepting arbitration from the Atlanta Braves in a move that came across as a surprise to many people. The move further enhances the backend of the Braves bullpen giving them 3 closers on the roster (after the free agent signings of Wagner & Saito). The activity of the winter meetings has since picked up including:

• The BBWW awarded Bill Madden of the Daily News in New York with the Spink Award and he will be inducted in the writer’s wing at the Hall of Fame.

• Chone Figgins signs with the Seattle Mariners; 4years @ $36 million

• 3 Team Trade between Arizona Diamondback, Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees
o New York Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson
o Arizona Diamondbacks acquire Edwin Jackson & Ian Kennedy
o Detroit Tigers acquire Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phi Coke and Daniel Schlereth

Yet the biggest news of the Winter Meetings has come from none other than Peter Gammons. Gammons will be leaving ESPN after the Winter Meetings and will be joining forces with both the MLB Network and NESN.

The Monday of the Winter Meetings began with the annual job fair. To date more than 330 jobs have been posted at the Job Fair ranging from Internships, to entry level positions to the posting of a GM position in Australia. Monday also served as the day Sports Management World Wide held their Baseball Career Conference. The career conference offered networking opportunities and a discussion panel that included a wide array of top names involved in the baseball industry.

The panel of speakers included:
• Ned Colletti - Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
• Will Carroll – Baseball Prospectus
• Maury Brown – Biz of Baseball
• John Manual - Baseball America; Editor in Chief
• Jeff Idelson – President of National Baseball Hall of Fame
• Manny Colon – Florida Marlins; Manager of Player Development & International Scouting
• Chaim Bloom – Tampa Bay Rays; Assistant Director of Minor League Operations
• Ronnie Richardson – Atlanta Braves; Assistant Director of Player Development
• Jonathan Story – former scout
• Jerry Crasnick – ESPN
• Oscar Suarez – MLB Agent
• And many more

The Winter Meetings will always remain as the center of the baseball universe, Dr. Lynn Lashbrook and his staff at Sports Management Worldwide put together a fabulous conference that provided job seekers and students ample networking opportunities.

While the chance to speak with others aspiring to work in baseball is fun, the Winter Meetings has served as a tremendous opportunity. I was able to have a ½ hour discussion with Ari Kaplan of AriBall about baseball and the scouting involved in today’s game and also had the opportunity to meet with former New York Mets General Manager – Jim Duquette who is very excited about his opportunity to work with pitching guru Rick Peterson of 3P Sports.

Two days are remain before the Winter Meetings conclude, the Job Fair and the Trade Show will conclude tomorrow at 5 pm but the place to be will continue to be the Marriott for more ground breaking news. With the cold, snowy and rainy weather here in Indianapolis we can be sure that many are already looking forward to the sunshine of Orlando come next December!

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