One of my fondest childhood memories is of hauling my shoebox full of baseball cards out onto the sidewalk so I could swap cards with my buddies, who came equipped with their own shoeboxes and their own notions of the value of a 1968 Jose Tartabull or a 1971 Ken Singleton.
It turns out that the 30 Major League General Managers who convened this week in Orlando went through a similar experience.
For the first time, the GMs got up individually and announced what their teams' needs are and what they might be willing to trade. Several felt this step could accelerate player movement in the coming weeks.Whether it accelerates player movement or not, this was unquestionably the most interesting thing I read this week about the GM meetings. The whole thing is kind of mind-blowing.
"Obviously, you don't lay all your cards out there, but at least you get the same kind of indication that people used to scurry around trying to ascertain from other emissaries of that club; I think that's helpful," Astros president of baseball operations Tal Smith said.
"My point is I think the process from the standpoint of potential trades is probably further along than what it normally is, because everybody's got pretty much an idea as to what the other clubs are looking for or what their competition may be."
Who went first?
Did each guy have to introduce himself and his team (lots of new faces in the GM ranks this year) before he addressed the group?
Were some of the GMs in the back of the room doodling on their notepads when they should have been paying attention to whomever was speaking? Or were they making faces at the guy in hopes of getting him to crack up?
Was there a facilitator in the room to keep things moving and admonish those GMs who were talking amongst themselves to hush and be respectful, as they'd want others to be when it was their turn to speak?
I just hope Jim Hendry took good notes. I guess we will find that out in the weeks ahead.