Dateline Dana Point! GM Meeting Update!
Mariners execs Lee Pelekoudas, Jim Na and Bart Waldman are neck deep in a three-hour meeting on arbitration. New GM Jack Zduriencik - and his right-hand men, Tony Blengino and Tom McNamara – are in a suite working the telephones.
Who are they calling?
Throw a dart – they could be calling managerial candidates or talking to the 2008 coaches. They might be talking to Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd, who insisted he will be 'aggressive' in trying to move players like Matt Holiday and Garrett Atkins for what he needs.
They could be talking to Scott Boras, who represents most of the prime real estates on the free agent market – Manny Ramirez, Mark Teixiera and Derek Lowe, for instance.
Except the Mariners aren't likely to drop millions on a free agent this week.
Zduriencik might be talking to his old team, the Brewers, who figure to lose C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets to free agency, leaving gaping holes in their rotation.
Jarrod Washburn, anyone? How about a nice Carlos Silva?
It's almost a certainty nothing will happen here over the next few days. Baltimore GM Lee MacPhail reminded everyone that one year ago at these meetings, the Mariners and Orioles "sewed the seeds" of a trade that later made Erik Bedard a Mariner and George Sherrill, Adam Jones and three top prospects Orioles.
Oh, and Bill Bavasi is here with the Cincinnati contingent.
As for rumors, there's only one floating through the lobbies here that involves Seattle – and it doesn't even involve a player.
The Red Sox lost their public relations man when John Blake left to take the job in Texas, and Boston is now looking for his successor. Among the PR directors they want to talk to his Seattle's Tim Hevly.
And here's a financial update: Parking at the St. Regis is $24 for a day or $5 an hour – with no in-and-out privledges. That means you can park here at 8 a.m., pay $20 to leave for lunch, return and by 5 p.m. owe another $20 to get out of the parking garage.
Hey, one Minnesota writer complained he'd spent his per diem on two cups of coffee this morning ….