Winter Meetings Update from Indianapolis – 12/9

Notes from NatsTown has a handful of correspondents working the lobby and covering the happenings from the Nationals’ Baseball Operations suite at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis this week. Here’s an update from Indy:

082009-205 rizzo p c .JPGRelationships play a big part in baseball, and the Winter Meetings are a great spot for touching base and fostering those relationships that you rely on over the course of the year. Whether it’s scouts talking to other scouts, GMs discussing players or even managers breaking bread with media, this game is all about relationships.

Today was a great example of why the Winter Meetings are about so much more than just signing, trading and drafting players.

Amid the meetings and media sessions on Wednesday, two events took place that afforded the Nationals the opportunity to show their appreciation of those who often don’t get enough praise… the media who cover the team’s beat and the affiliates who work diligently to provide environments conducive to developing the Club’s Minor Leaguers.

The skipper, Jim Riggleman, was one of the hosts of the Winter Meetings’ annual manager/media luncheon at noon. All 30 MLB managers hosted their local beat media for the event in the Marriott’s ballroom. Several national media members also attended the event, but tables were broken down by team, giving the managers a chance to better know their media members away from the ballpark and talk about things other than baseball. The average fan doesn’t truly grasp how much time media members work to tell their stories. They often spend more time at the ballpark than with their families. And, while that may sound like a dream job to some, it takes a toll over the course of an eight-month season, beginning at Spring Training. They work very hard chasing details, sometimes working days to pull the pieces together for a story that may be told over a matter of minutes (or column inches).

Later in the evening, the Club hosted its Minor League affiliates for a reception at a local restaurant in Indy. Team President Stan Kasten along with GM Mike Rizzo and his Baseball Ops staff met with the top officials from Syracuse, Harrisburg, Potomac, Hagerstown and Vermont in what was a great event. Most people don’t understand how many hard-working, passionate people it takes to run a baseball organization. The Nationals are very fortunate to have a great roster of affiliates, all of which have outstanding people at the helm.



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