By now you all should be organizing your fantasy baseball prospects for the upcoming season. Anyone have any sleepers or rookies that they believe will step up big for them this year?
I'm going to let you all in on a secret about minor league baseball players. Can you keep it a secret? We do not make much money during the season, so most of us have to work in the off-season. This off-season instead of bartending or selling off my shoe collection on Ebay, I went job hunting. Most guys do pitching or hitting lessons, but I wanted to try something different.
While at Tennessee I studied Sport Management with a double minor in business and psychology. Although I haven't finished school yet, I wanted to start learning the behind the scenes of the sports world. (Mom: if you are reading this, I do plan to finish school, so do not worry).
My job interview with Floyd Sports Marketing was unlike any other interview I had ever been apart of. After all the normal questions about why I wanted to work for them, Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown entered the room. I was in shock as he started talking to me about Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. Mr. Brown was very educated about baseball history and told me about the color barrier that he dealt with in sports throughout his life.
Mr. Brown was hosting a celebrity golf tournament during the Super Bowl weekend for charity through Floyd Sports Marketing and now I was a part of the marketing team for the event. The golf tournament included football greats such as Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson and more.
The Winter Meetings took place in December in Orlando, Florida, this year and thanks to the Stockton Ports front office, who vouched for me as a representative of the organization, I was able to attend. Everyone from big league managers, team physicians, shrinks, trainers, scouts and agents were all in attendance.
The Winter Meetings job fair also brings in about 400 people looking for jobs, mostly in the minor league market. As a player, of course, I wasn't looking for a job. I was able to attend special seminars that covered financial and business strategies for teams and the newest equipment from New Era. There was an awards banquet that recognized the top GMs in the minor leagues and a special award was given to Peter Gammons for all of his work in the baseball world.
The final event at the meetings is the baseball trade show. From the bats and balls to stadium seats, Zooperstars (my favorite attraction) and fireworks to food and beverages, everything is sold and booked for the upcoming season through the team officials who attend the trade show. All of the newest upcoming products are out for display to play with.
I encourage you if you ever have the chance to check out the Winter Meetings to do so. I had a wonderful time and got to meet and network with some great people. One of the big misconceptions is that big leaguers work meeting to negotiate contracts or trades. They really aren't there. Instead, all of that negotiation is up to front office heads and agents who talk in public in the lobby of the hotel.
This week Oakland A's minor league camp started. Good luck to all my friends and teammates out there. I will see you guys soon. To all the fans out there thanks for the emails, please feel free to ask some questions and I will do my best to answer them in the next entry.
The answer to last weeks riddle was a "drawbridge". This week's riddle from the bullpen "You leave home, make three left hand turns, come back home and see two masked men. Who are the masked men?"
Have a question for Scot or want to drop him a line, send your email here.