One night down…
The first day of the meetings came and went relatively quietly, not just for us but for all of the teams. Ned met with all our media members late last night (during the finish of the Patriots game) and I think the most interesting thing that we learned was that a few years ago, he and Brian Sabean signed Tom Brady to a contract for $1 when he came out to take batting practice with the Giants.
Otherwise, he reiterated that starting pitching remains a top priority and that we’ve made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda, the Japanese starting pitcher who has been most highly sought. He said that while we do have an interest in Andruw Jones and/or Aaron Rowand, right now we’re very far apart in both years and dollars for both players. The Miguel Cabrera situation does not appear to have changed at all, with demands simply too high for it to fit right now. And finally, he said that there are still a few of our own free agents who we are considering re-signing, including Mike Lieberthal, Mark Sweeney and Rudy Seanez, among others.
The rest of the day was filled with the previously mentioned great news that Walter O’Malley will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, as will former Brooklyn outfielder **** Williams. We also signed an amateur Japanese pitcher named Robert Boothe.
Joe Jareck and I spent the day in PR meetings with the other 30 teams which were both informative and fascinating at times. After James Carville and Mary Matalin spoke to the entire MLB contingent at the Fall Business Meetings two weeks ago, Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary, gave us a glimpse at presidential PR and how it relates to the things that we do. It’s not every day you get to hear stories like his and it was very interesting stuff.
Finally, we attended a reception in which Rich Levin of Major League Baseball was given the annual Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence and we also got the chance to attend a dinner with about 50 employees from our minor league affiliates across the country.
Day two starts early (heading out now)…hope to have something interesting to post later.