When the Winter Meetings were set for the Washington, D.C. area, it was a must-attend event. The Gaylord complex at all times is nice place to attend events. The Nationals have held their WinterFest there, and even their Nationals’ Dream Foundation Gala.
You knew it was going to look great in the hotel with all the holiday decorating. The real spectacle was the crowds. The masses of foot traffic and people who just stood out. You cannot believe the jam-up of people in the front desk area where they had the MLB Network set-up to the right-hand side of the front desk area which sort of clogged up the walking lanes for hours.
The noise level in that enclosed area reverberated, and it was trying at times to talk and listen. Upon arriving, I had a meet-up with Chad Cordero. We were both in the lobby, and still could not see each other. We decided to walk towards the front doors where it was quieter. The ‘Chief’ was there in search of a job in some sort of front office capacity like scouting, and his good fortune was running into Mark Lerner just by happenstance. They are set to meet today, and we hope good things happen as hundreds of former Major League players were at the Winter Meetings looking for jobs in baseball. It was no surprise running into former Nats like Todd Coffey, Joel Hanrahan, and Jamey Carroll who were there taking it all in, and as Todd Coffey said, “I’m here to be seen” as quoted by Jeff Passan.
Three of the best original Nats! The Chief and Jamey C and Joel Hanrahan. pic.twitter.com/ZdoJWIUkmX
— Andrew L. (@Allstars_S2) December 7, 2016
Part of the discussion with the original Nats was what ever happened to the 10 year reunion of the original Nationals squad that featured Chad Cordero, Livan Hernandez, Brian Schneider, Ryan Zimmerman, Jose Vidro, Ryan Church, Nick Johnson, Cristian Guzman, Jose Guillen, John Patterson, Brad Wilkerson, Preston Wilson, and Frank Robinson!
Cordero told me, as he did back in 2015, that he was contacted by the Nats’ entertainment people about a 10 year reunion of the 2015 team, but never got a call back after the initial call to finalize. The former players really wanted to do a reunion. That 2005 team had a special year in bringing baseball back to Washington, D.C., and they want to celebrate it while they are still young enough.
Todd Coffey is at the Winter Meetings. "I'm here to be seen," he says. He is not lying. pic.twitter.com/lp52rWuQri
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2016
After meeting some former players, I headed to the lobby bar directly across from the front desk that overlooks the entire cavernous center of the Gaylord hotel. We had a great table where I was able to be in the ‘agents’ area, and talk and observe and take it all in.
People worked the room like politicians. There was team front office personnel, agents and their entourages, a group of Korean baseball players, and Ken Rosenthal was doing his thing. While we were there the Carlos Gomez deal, and the Wilson Ramos deal was finalized.
People were talking also in the periphery of the business of baseball. The hours flew by as did the rumors. It was enlightening to see how the agents, and front office people operate at these Winter Meetings.