When I interviewed Victor Rojas from MLB Network a couple of weeks ago, we had a “like minded” moment. I’ve said this for years, but here’s what he said:
And I think that’s the beauty of our game and our industry, and that is where our Network is at an advantage, when you compare it to the NFL Network or the NHL and NBA’s efforts because baseball is a year-round sport. Let’s say that the World Series didn’t go into November, we would still have free agent filings, non-tender deadline, 6 year minor league free agents, you’ve got the baseball Winter Meetings, free agent signings, arbitration cases and 15 days to pitchers and catchers report and all the sudden, you’re into Spring Training, and it starts all over again. That’s why I don’t think you have to expand baseball on the field, for as long as possible on the calendar so that we keep it in the social consciousness…
While I cover the NFL, NHL, and NBA, I pay closer attention to MLB in the off-season than any other time (and this after I consulted for an NBA franchise for this year’s draft).
So, here’s the calendar leading up to when pitchers and catchers can voluntarily report on Feb. 18:
- Through Nov. 19 — Free agent filing period.
See The Biz of Baseball’s Free Agency, Trades, and Signings for details on the first three days
- Nov. 9-11 — General managers meetings, Chicago.
One wonders if the topic of expanded instant replay will be on the agenda. You can bet, the economy will be.
- Nov. 18-19 — Owners meeting, Chicago.
Originally, many thought (me included) that this would be when the ownership transfer of the Cubs from Tribune to the Rickettses would happen. Was so important, they did the vote via conference call. So, what will this meeting be about? Economy, economy, economy. If Bob DuPuy or somehow, Bud Selig makes it to the Winter Meetings, I plan on asking about the blackout situation with MLB Extra Innings. Fat chance that gets resolved any time soon.
- Nov. 30-Dec. 4 — Major League Baseball Players Association executive board meeting, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Michael Wiener will be officially voted in as the next Executive Director of the MLBPA
- Dec. 1 — Last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents.
On your mark…
- Dec. 7 — Last day for free agents offered salary arbitration to accept the offers.
- Dec. 7-10 — Winter meetings, Indianapolis.
Request for media credentials are in, booking flight shortly thereafter. Looking to attend Sunday evening to Weds. morning. I will, most likely be part of Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball Career Conference (see details here). Here’s who’s tentative to speak (besides me): Jay Miller, President, Round Rock Express Baseball Club (AAA-Astros), Bruce Baldwin, General Manager, Gwinnett Braves (AAA-Braves), Benjamin Hill, Baseball Writer, MiLB.com, Jeff Idelson, President, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Mark Galuska, Director of Marketing & Sales, Columbus Clippers (AAA-Indians), Oscar Suarez, MLB Agent, Suarez & Associates,my good friend, Will Carroll, Senior Writer for Baseball Prospectus, Ryan Latham, Boston Red Sox Fenway Ambassador, Bobby Brett, Brett Sports & Entertainment & Spokane Indians Managing Partner, Bob Masewicz, Total Sports Entertainment Owner, John Manuel, Baseball America Editor in Chief, and Dr. Lynn Lashbrook and Joe Bonahoom of Sports Management Worldwide.
If you are going to the Winter Meetings, leave note in the comments.
- Dec. 12 — Last day for teams to offer 2010 contracts to unsigned players.
- Jan 5-15 — Salary arbitration filing.
GO!… As it is every year, I will be doing comprehensive reporting on salary arbitration on The Biz of Baseball. This year will provide even more data than last year. Here are filings for the last few years.
- Jan. 6 — Hall of Fame BBWAA voting announced.
- Jan. 19 — Exchange of salary arbitration figures.
Same as every other year, including last year (here they are)
- Feb. 1-21 — Salary arbitration hearings, St. Petersburg, Fla.
If anyone gets to hearing, I track the outcome, including which arbitors are on the panels, and the outcomes (see complete historical reference)
Lots, and lots to do. That’s why, baseball season never ends.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter