MLB is Going to Love O-Town!

 

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The Major League Baseball 2010 Winter Meetings will setting up shop not more than 90 miles from my doorstep over the next three days (Dec, 6-9,2010). After the grueling daily grind of meetings, networking and the general business of doing MLB business, there will be a shark tank of prospective agents, players and shady characters laying in wait for the G M’s and decision makers trying to push their respective client’s “MLB Wish List” upon the assembled MLB head honcho.


This is a great time for the agent bloodhounds to get everyone in the decision making position within a confined region to try their closing arguments for that elusive deal, or possibly even pull off the proverbial “Steal of the Winter Meetings”. With the local Orlando weather only peaking out in the mid-50’s over the next several days, the rest of the Hot Stove season is expected to warm up considerably during the Winter Meetings.

The Winter Meetings have always been famous for the mixing of business with pleasure that sometimes progresses into a unexpected late night backroom session that gets a deal done. Since I was a Florida native and have spent more than a few wild night patrolling the adult sections of O-town, maybe I can help provide a bit of a primer of the places to be seen…or not seen over the next few days.

There are countless restaurants within a short cab ride of the Walt Disney Dolphin Resort where the main hub of the meetings are being held over the next three days. Just beyond pearly gates of the “House that the Mouse built”, outside the comfort of the Disney imposed happiness is the neighboring Universal Studio’s property known as City Walk that is a playground for adults, or those who become young at heart after dark.
From celebrity restaurants, themed bars to musical venues, this section of O-town definitely has consenting adults fun and relaxation at the core of their entertainment options.

This adult fun center has more than a few places to possibly get lost in the crowd and casually discuss things over an adult beverage or some exquisite cuisine. So let’s say after a hard day of listening to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speak on his (sometimes) monotone thoughts for the upcoming 2011 MLB season you get a unique craving for some great grub, then you can motor on over to City Walk and entice your taste buds.


With creations from the Emeril’s restaurant, or the Pastamore’ Ristorante or any of the other specialized and popular dining adventures outside the confines of the MLB resort location. Or possibly you just want to further unwind and let it all go a step or two while dining and pick the fun and relaxation of plopping yourself down in Florida icon Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville cantina or hit the nearby Hard Rock Café. Or maybe you have a hankering for some classic Florida seafood and can’t wait to visit the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company .

Maybe you have a musical song beating within you and want to partake in a eating experience at Bob Marley’s or the Latin Quarter complete with spontaneous entertainment and music that is as spicy as the food on your plate. There is a reason Orlando is a tourist hot spot, and it doesn’t always revolve around the Mouse or Harry Potter. For the next three days foods from all over the United States and the World are within a few miles of the MLB host hotel, and even include a two-story McDonalds where you can purge that urge for a late night McRib.

Even the local bars have something that will cater to every single one of the alphas to the omegas of MLB personalities to provide more than a few options for anyone visiting O-town. From authentic sports bars to iconic places like the NASCAR Café or NBA City, sports is always just a television away in Orlando. But maybe you want to revisit a place from your past like Pat O’Briens in New Orleans. Well, you can definitely get a authentic Hurricane here in the state known for winds, rains without the feeling of a Tropical depression. Or possibly you just want a more chill atmosphere with a chilly Martini and some tapas or apps, then the veranda seating at the Velvet room at the Hard Rock is just for you.

Maybe you have some closet envy as a hidden shower singer who has always dreamed of being the front man /woman of a band. Then Rising Stars is the place for you. Picture yourself on stage with a full band behind you as you hit the high and low belting out tunes from today, yesterday or possibly your own rendition of a classic. Suddenly on center stage all eyes will be on you and your vocal talents. I can only imagine uber agent Scott Boras and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo up there singing a duet of Peaches and Herbs classic “Reunited” after their recent “coming together” over the Jayson Werth mega deal.
 
 

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Maybe you just want to take in the famous Blue Man Group performance to have a few laughs and giggles at their notions before retiring and awaiting the next day’s agenda of meetings, networking and glad handshakes with new and old MLB “friends”. There is a reason that Orlando is considered the Entertainment Capital of the World with acts as diverse as a set of dueling pianos, live TNA wrestling, Reggae and rock music. Heck, you know Selig himself will probably have a backstage pass to the Mannheim Steamroller event held at the Music Plaza Stage where holiday tunes will fill the crisp Florida night air.

The Winter Meetings are primed and focused toward the plans, dreams and aspirations of those within the business of baseball to entice their fellow brethren with planning session and arranged symposiums on all sorts of interesting topics. It is also a time for the legions of baseball inspired people within the MLB conglomerate to let off some steam before the real work of the off season begins.

I really only mentioned a dewdrop into the pool of entertainment values and options surrounding the Walt Disney Dolphin Resort. From Luau’s poolside at the Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort to NBA Orlando Magic games at the new Amway Center, the Orlando region is only as limited as the imagination of each and every MLB employee attending the Winter Meetings.

First and foremost on the agenda is business, but after that, it is a time to truly connect and become a part of the whole MLB experience. Be it meetings with prospective players’ agents or doing intelligence gathering for future promotional items, the only thing that can put limitations on the entertainment expansion surrounding you is your own mind…..and maybe a low per diem amount.
 
 

14 Comments

I’m not a fan of Orlando (to me it’s like a mini-Vegas), but the GMs should read this post so they’ll know what to do with themselves after the meetings! Good travel guide.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
You know me by now.
I am a plethora of information whether it is useless or contructive. I just wanted to give a small glimpse of the great thiung besides Church Street Station downtown that can be experienced within a $ 4 cab ride in Orlando.
Never thought of it as a mini Las Vegas, but it did grow up quickly out of the swamps and orange groves in central FL kind of in a “vegas” fashion.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Never been to Orlando, but wow, we’re planning a trip in a few years. Sounds Amazing!

—Mark

http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

I’m all about Emeril’s grub. I want to go there!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Mark,
The places I mentioned are only a mile or so in or outside the gates of the Walt Disney Resort area. The entire town is one big playground of sorts, and the World famous Daytona Beach area is only a half hour away by rental car. It really is a area that has almost anything you want packaged within a 20 mile radius.
Guess I missed my calling as a rep for the Florida tourism board.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Shady characters laying in wait for the GMs? What like Scott Boras in a trench coat leaning out of a dark alley with a come over here whistle and a mafia movie accent? “Hey, you. Ya you. Come ovah ‘ere. Today, just for you, I got Magglio Ordonz, a real bargain. No, no. Ain’t nobody stealin’ nothin’. He fell off a truck in Detroit.” I like it!
Orlando sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I will have to remember that for when things even out a bit more over here and we get to travel rather than couch surf again. Although, I would be far more likely to go to St. Petersburg. Eventually, I intend to see a game in every ballpark, but I’m off to a pretty slow start.
http://blithescribe.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
Emeril’s place is fantastic, but I asm partial to the Margaritaville conch fritters with habenero mango salsa.. Hot,hot hot!
Seriously, the region has some awesome food options along with entertainment for all ages. Can allways hit the Arabian Nights complex or possibly Medival times and drink grog and mutton off the leg…..Now me just needs a fair maiden to wine and dine.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

http://raysrenegade

Congrats on being #2 on the leader’s list! As I wrote on my blog, I predict that 2011 will be your year to reign supreme. You’ll see.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
I do not even want to think two days ahead right now, but thank you for those kind words.
I know as of right now, the season is looking darker for me, but there is still time to shine a light bright.
Again, it is people like you throwing out those encouraging comments that keep writers like me aspiring to be something more than a bookmark in time.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Blithe,
I know a few agents that have slithered across the carpet. I know mine did!
Seriously, there was a player’s agent with the Rays who used to send text messages and emails comparing stats with a player on the team trying to get his arbitration eligible player a better deal before the Rays even offered him a chance or decline at arbitration.
It takes all kinds to make this game work, and sometimes they have to eat a little nasty crow.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cliff,
Love the logo and I LOVE this post! Is like you transported me there! Where were you when a few years back I went to a conerence in Orlando? I stayed at that Dolphin hotel. Now I want a martini or a margarita and that habanero salsa. conch fritters? YUM! Conch soup (with fresh coconut milk) is one of the dishes of Honduras. I loved E to Emerils restaurant in N.O. and also to the one where he started. I was there pre-Katrina. All that and to be among all those curmudgeon writers and baseball people! It sounds divine!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Emma,
There are more than just GM’s, writers and agents milling around the halls and lobby of the Swan and Dolphin Resort.
Seen in the shadows are young executives of the MLB clubs going to PR symposiums, promotional and marketing shindigs, and maybe even a few team-oriented adult activities after hours.
With the meetings ending today ( or tonight), their time is about to end to experience things non-Disney in Orlando.
Funny how this sleepy town set in the orange groves and swaps of central Florida is now got such a glow and elegance about it at times….even when MLB is in town.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cliff,
I know there are MLb execs there too. Our own Dodgers VP of communications, Josh Rawitch is also there. Wish I could be a fly there to hear all. I regret not going to Orange County when they held it here but this time is hard for me to get away at work. I’ve been so busy lately I have not been reading my favs blogs but I am catchng up!
.
Congrats on #2 (Tommy Lasorda’s #) on the latest MLb Fan blog leaders!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Emma,
Really did not get to hobnob with too many people accept the Rays people who knew me, or a few of thew people associated with the MLB Network.
Took an old bat Eduardo Perez gave me during Batting Pratcie once and he politely signed it for me.
Did not really go “hog wild” on photos, but did get to hear some interesting stuff.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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