Look, there are times when I'm jealous of beat writers. Getting to talk to Brandon McCarthy basically every day would like enhance my understanding and (therefore?) enjoyment of the game of baseball. Brett Anderson is hilarious on Twitter and might well be in real life, too. Dallas Braden would probably be amusing to watch from afar. Jonny Gomes. Players on other teams, too, since you also have to interview them.
And then there's the other 98 percent of the time. I like Bob Melvin and I've never heard anyone say a cross word about him. He's smart and he's personable. And he says stuff like that. (Which, for the record, is about whether Brandon McCarthy will come back to the A's or not.) And if I were a beat writer or a traditional columnist, I would have to write down what he said and put it in a story about how the A's are primed to compete because of their pitching, never mind that if you look at True Average, which accounts for park among other things, the A's were a top-third hitting team in MLB last year, i.e. they were not stellar but they were good. (Their pitching was better, yes, but this wasn't a great-pitching bad-hitting team by any means.)
Anyway, my quibbles about how to evaluate a baseball team aren't the point. My point is that the door is always open until it's closed, and that's the kind of thing a smart man like Melvin is trained (not literally, but by years in organized baseball) to say to the media and that's the kind of thing a smart man like Mike Bauman is trained to dutifully write down and report. Especially at the winter meetings. Especially about the A's at the winter meetings, where Billy Beane notoriously finds the whole thing a clusterfluff and more or less disdains all of the nonsense.
So yeah, I'm on my couch. My wife is cooking dinner. I'll wash the dishes later while I watch Angel on Netflix. I'm writing a blog post. I'll probably research for some other posts later. I'll read this book I'm reading. I will not stand in a hotel conference room taking notes while Scott Boras signs autographs in the hall and a thousand desperate job seekers wave their resumes at anyone who looks nerdy enough to maybe work in baseball operations.
Writers, I love you, and bless you for being in Nashville fighting to protect the freedoms that I enjoy in peace and comfort.
Beaneball by Jason Wojciechowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.