USSMariner Feed #2
Last winter, we held the first ever U.S.S. Mariner pizza feed, with about 50 of you showing up to hang out for several hours and talk about the M’s. So, back by popular demand, we’re going to host another pizza feed this year. Thanks to the pretty dramatic increase in readership we’ve experienced in the past twelve months, Piecora’s isn’t going to be large enough to handle us this time around. We’re looking into renting meeting halls capable of holding a couple hundred people. This feed may be a bit more like a conference than last years gathering, so before we get too far into the planning, I’d like to get some feedback from you guys on a few topics.
1. Tentative date is Saturday, December 18th. No real feedback on this necessary, as I doubt this date changes.
2. There is a moderate chance that we could get Bill Bavasi to attend, at least for a portion of the time, depending on his schedule. This is going to be the weekend after the winter meetings, so the big transactions of the offseason will likely be done by the feed. Obviously, having him (or any member of the front office) there presents a completely different dynamic than if he’s not. We had Chris Antonetti and Neil Huntington, assistant GMs for the Indians, come and speak to the 30 or so fans that attended the BP Cleveland feed last year, and they were remarkably candid and added a great deal to the feed. However, the entire atmosphere of the crowd changed when they arrived, and I’m not sure which you guys would prefer; a chance to have a Q&A with our GM or a chance to hang out with a few hundred fans and say whatever you want about the offseason moves. If Bavasi or another member of the front office does come, we’re going to demand that you treat them with respect and realize they’re giving up some valuable time to be there, and this would not be your opportunity to call Bill all the names in person that you’ve yelled at home for the past year. So, yay or nay to inviting a front office type to the feed?
3. Odds are we won’t be serving alcohol this year, so my theory was to hold the feed in the early afternoon (say, 2-6), which gives time for those of you that want to visit a nearby watering hole and drink the night away with fellow readers a chance to do so. Depending on how many special guests we get (right now, I’ve got two lined up, and am aiming for five), we might make the feed a bit longer, as well. So, what I’m wondering is what ratio of people talking at you vs you mingling with other readers you’d be happiest with. Should we cap the Q&A/us talking time to a couple hours so that you all can hang out with each other, or would you prefer more scheduled time given to people addressing the whole group?
4. On a similar vein, there’s a good chance that a friend of mine who is an area scout for a National League team is going to attend. I realize that not everyone is as big of a minor league geek as I am, and might not be as interested in talking scouting theory/mechanics breakdowns with a pro scout. Since his opinion on current minor leaguers is proprietary information to his club, he probably won’t be real forthcoming in his evaluation of guys in the M’s farm system, so the topic would center more on the role of scouting and what he looks for in general. Would you guys enjoy something like that?
5. Also, if you have any connections with meeting hall/conference centers that would give us a good deal and allow us to bring our own food, feel free to email us. One of our readers was willing to do a lot of the legwork for this feed (you rock, Conor), but if we have any inside connections, might as well use them. In a similar vein, if you’d like to help with the administrative side of planning this thing, let me know, and I’ll gladly put you to work.