December 5th, 2016

#MetsPlus360: Winter Meetings (Day Two)

Day Two of the Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings is closing up, and it was probably the best day I’ve had in the last two years of being at the Meetings.

I started the day with an “express” breakfast at The Cocoa Bean, which is basically Starbucks with a different name and increased prices.

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After my hot tea and croissant, I proceeded to check the pulse of the atrium, and immediately noticed that there were several guys and girls with credentials titled “job seeker”. I knew what they were here for, the PBEO Job Fair, but I knew next to nothing about what happens at said Job Fair, and I wanted to find out more.

So, I decided to ask some of these attendees about their nerves, hopes and thoughts on the Job Fair, and decided to write a separate post about it here.

After that, I decided to get out of the Gaylord and look around National Harbor, which is actually really beautiful. The Capital Wheel, which is shown every two minutes on MLB Network, is the crown jewel of the Harbor. However, I quickly received word of something going on in the hotel, so after a quick soup, we returned to the Gaylord, only to figure out that nothing was going on after all. Instead, these two, huge (and important) guys were following me around the Gaylord. Here is a picture of them, they might look familiar:

I then checked out the situation at the MLB Trade Show, which I will be looking at tomorrow, but I had to do some checking-in of sorts. I did take a picture of myself in front of one the signs, and I’ll be sure to share my experiences tomorrow.

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During the entire day, like yesterday, I walked back and forth throughout the tv sets where networks like MLB Network set-up. I watched some of my favorite shows do live tapings throughout the day, although I couldn’t speak to any of the hosts as they were roped off.

After a busy day at the meetings, my family took me to a nice dinner for St.Nicholas Day, which is tomorrow, at the “Old Hickory Steakhouse”.  I enjoyed a Flat Iron Steak, that was very dry, but once again, I’m a baseball blogger, not a food critic.

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Tomorrow is my last full day at the Meetings and I have three posts lined up for another action-packed day.

What is the PBEO Job Fair?

Everyone knows that the Winter Meetings are being held this week in National Harbor, Maryland, but what people don’t know is that among the media, owner and representatives are job seekers from the Baseball PBEO Job Fair, an amazing opportunity for people to get a position with a major or minor league ball club.

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Naturally, with all of the signs posted and a lack of information online, I was anxious to learn more about the Job Fair, and the best way to learn more is from the people that are attending themselves.

Some people had been there for years, and some people were attending the Trade Show for the first time. One of those so-called “newbies” was Mr.Zach McCraw, who was very excited to have the ability to actually “put your resume in front of people who have a real opportunity of giving you a job [as opposed to] sending an email or blindly sending in an resume”. In fact, Mr.McCraw confirmed to me that he had over 100 resumes printed ready in a moments notice.

Additionally, while there is an actual area where the Job Fair takes place, sometimes that’s not where one gets the ability to prove themselves worthy of a job opportunity. “Having an elevator pitch [is important.] You never know when you’re going to find yourself in an elevator with someone like a Joe Maddon…” said Mr.McCraw. And once Zach said that, I could immediately relate. In the 26 hours that I’ve been at the Gaylord National, I’ve tried to do all I can to make sure I make an impression on the professional columnists and national beat writers that I’ve seen in random places like the restroom, the Concierge Desk, or an elevator.

Not everyone gets a job or an instant offer, though, which was he case for one of the more experienced Job Fair attendees, Ken Gaffney, who had attended three events at the Gaylord National and attended two Job Fairs. He too looked very sharp with a nice suit and a tie. He explained to me that the Job Fair is the “first stepping stone” for people that want to get into any industry, “ranging from stadium operations to ticket sales, media relations, social media, exc.”

However, Mr.Gaffney did warn me that attendees “should not get their hopes up.” “You might have to start off out in the Rookie League or Short-Season A level” which often play from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and are often labeled as part-time positions. In fact Mr.Gaffney didn’t get a call until late January/early February, when he got a position with a  team in the Appalachian League.

One thing is for sure, there is a lot of nervous, but exciting energy in this massive hotel, and there is way more happening here than just some owners dealing players.