Nashville,TN- It's the third day of the Winter Meetings, and I just waited in line for coffee behind Yankees manager Joe Girardi. He took his coffee over to the condiment station and spoke to a reporter while he prepared his beverage and whined about the fact that the Opryland hotel is hard to navigate and he's never in the right place.
I know the feeling, Joe.
It doesn't matter where you are in this 600,000 square foot monstrosity, it seems that you're always in somebody's way. In the morning I can't even leave my room without running into Pete Abraham from the Boston Globe making his way to the gym or getting pinned near a wall from one of the many housekeeping carts. Despite the fact that there are a dozen restaurants, they all have long waits at lunchtime because there aren't enough options open. And in the bars in the evening, they are so crowded that even when you turn sideways you're still bumping and touching and accidentally groping everyone around you.
It has been nice to get off campus during the week in the evenings. Last night a group of sabermetrically inclined folks checked out The Pharmacy, a local burger parlor and beer garden, where we dined on crispy tater tots and burgers with eggs on them. Another group headed to the Ryman Theatre for a show, so hopefully they'll have a lot of stories about that today. I'm secretly hoping Rob Neyer arrives this morning wearing a nudie suit.
This is a long-winded way of saying that there's still not much happening here in Nashville, aside from press conferences, trade rumors, trade show exhibits, and the occasional spotting of Kevin Millar and Andre Dawson. Also today in poor media-room etiquette, someone's cellphone makes a bell-dinging noise frequently, but this one isn't so bothersome because I'm just envisioning that Hector Salamanca from Breaking Bad is just a few rows behind me.
The biggest contract of the day award yesterday went to Shane Victorino, who signed a three-year deal, $39 million deal with the Red Sox. There's a fantastic piece on Over the Monster written by Ben Buchanan that explains even though Victorino isn't the flashiest or sexiest option, he fits the Red Sox plan of finding speed and defense for the outfield.
The craziest contract of the day award went to Marco Scutaro, who signed quite the lucrative contract (three year, $20 million) for someone who has been largely viewed as a low-producing hitter with decent defensive skills for the majority of his career. Grant Brisbee over at McCovey Chronicles seems more okay with the deal than I would have expected, but reminds us that Scutaro is, "a competent fielder at second who can turn a mean double player and put up an OBP of .340 or so." Three years is a long time, though.
Hopefully today will have a bit more excitement. There's certainly plenty of top-tier free agents like Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Anibal Sanchez, and Michael Bourn looking for homes, and for everyone's sake hopefully something happens, because the rumors are starting to get a little ridiculous.
Until something important happens, please entertain yourself by watching this video: