Oh, the Winter Meetings.
Yes, I’m attending (hopefully writing something for Basebll America). Indianapolis is only a few hours from St. Louis, so I’m riding over with my agent (Nick Brockmeyer). Since I’ve never been to the Winter Meetings, I’m not sure what to expect, but here are a few thoughts:
Everyone tells me that the Winter Meetings are a circus. Since people are generally honest, I take them at their word. So instead of a hotel convention center, I’m expecting a giant tent for the entire event. (Probably the same tent used for the State Dinner Party, only this time I will be the one crashing it.) Mr. Selig will arrive riding an Indian elephant—perhaps sporting a flowing robe and giant turban, riding atop the elephant with back straight and arms crossed. Scantily clad, masked dancers will accompany him, and bongo drums and rhythmic chants will scream in the background. He’ll slide down the elephant’s tail, be fed grapes from the hand of a dancer, and pronounce the beginning of the games. All the while I’ll be eating a corndog.
Mr. Boras will play the part of a lion tamer. Journalists will watch his every move as he grapples with one GM after another (the lions). They’ll emote “oohs” and “aahs” as he lures the cats closer. They’ll wait for that inevitable false move, where the cats will pounce upon him and eat his intestines like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. Yet the mistake will never come. He’ll defeat every one of them, step on their heads, and then gloatingly answer questions while the cats purr in the background.
After I exit the main event, I’ll dodge knife throwers, sword swallowers, unicyclists, jugglers, and fire-breathers. These will be ex-players mixed with people who have never touched a baseball, all of whom will attempt to parlay their circus tricks into jobs. Some will be dressed like accountants; others will be dressed like people who spent the last 10 years on a baseball field. All will be looking for that “glamorous” job that pays little and asks for 70 hours a week—the much sought after “foot in the door” that allows them to pass around a business card with a baseball on it. All the while I’ll be eating a funnel cake.
I’ll step outside of the job fair and will immediately find people hawking beads and lotions, which they claim will heal every pain that I have never had. They will be made of titanium or tellurium or some other magical metal or metalloid, and I will be told that if I don’t immediately pay $20, I’ll probably break a leg while dodging a unicyclist. This will be the trade show, and I will find twelve lords leaping, eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming, eight maids milking, seven swans swimming, six geese laying, FIVE GOLDEN RINGS…sorry got off track (listening to too much Christmas music already). Anyways, I’ll be talked into buying some sort of magic oil and will throw down my funnel cake and drink the entire bottle at once. I will immediately transform into some version of the Incredible Hulk (the Lou Ferrigno version, not Edward Norton version), pick up a baseball, and hurl it approximately 332 miles per hour. Two seconds later I will die with said funnel cake at my side.
And that is how my trip to the circus will end.