Media roundup: Major League Baseball's winter meetings enter 21st century

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The annual baseball winter meetings used to be an under-the-radar event with little media coverage, but they have finally entered the 21st century.

The baseball winter meetings used to be a time when executives from teams would get together in almost a retreat-like getaway, to talk some business, and spend time socializing getting together over a few cocktails in the hotel bar.

Any coverage of the event might come a lone reporter or two who might have his ear to the ground, or happened to be at the bar when a few executives started talking a little too loudly about this deal they had just made.

Now in this age of 24/7/365 sports coverage, the Baseball Winter Meetings are now an event. An event worthy of sending teams of reporters for around-the-clock coverage and instant analysis of the very latest rumors.

At least three major outlets - ESPN, MLB Network and Sirius Satellite Radio are setting up shop in Nashville, this year's home to the Winter Meetings, which will take place from December 2nd to the 6th.

ESPN announced this week that they are setting up the first-ever Baseball Tonight digital series of shows, These 10-minute live shows will include news and analysis from ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian and Jayson Stark. The shows will be posted to a special "Winter Meetings Live" page on ESPN.com and will also be available via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

ESPN will have more than 30 MLB commentators contributing to their coverage of the meetings. In addition to the digital series, there will also be televised editions of SportsCenter Special at the Winter Meetings and Baseball Tonight at the Winter Meetings. The special Winter Meetings Live page will also feature a 75-hour chat, beginning on Monday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m., which will run continuously throughout the week.

MLB Network will air more than 25 live hours of coverage from the Winter Meetings with special editions of Hot Stove, Intentional Talk and MLB Tonight, starting with a live MLB Tonight preview on Sunday, December 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Hot Stove, which is co-hosted by Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds will air each morning at 9:00 on Monday through Thursday. Then at 3:00pm and 6:00pm MLB Tonight will air, with hosts Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Matt Yallof, analysts Larry Bowa, Peter Gammons, Dan Plesac and Reynolds, and insiders Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. Intentional Talk, hosted by Kevin Millar and Chris Rose will air live at 5:00 p.m. ET from Monday, December 3 through Wednesday December 5, featuring interviews with team personnel and updates on the latest news and rumors from around the league. Intentional Talk will air live at 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Two of SiriusXM's exclusive sports talk channels - MLB Network Radio (channel 89 on XM and channel 209 on Sirius Premier) and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (channel 87 on XM and channel 210 on Sirius Premier) - will broadcast live from Nashville, where club owners, front office executives, managers and many others from the major and minor leagues will be gathered to discuss offseason baseball business.

Among the shows on the schedule are The Front Office with former GM's Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette, First Pitch with Jeff Nelson and Jim Memolo, Power Alley with Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin, Inside Pitch with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern and MLB Network's MLB Tonight Live from Nashville.

Former Mets GM Steve Phillips, who hosts Evan & Phillips in the Morning weekdays (6-10 am ET) on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio channel (channel 86), will also serve as an on-site correspondent for other Mad Dog Radio shows during the week.

In addition to all that national coverage, most of the local outlets will also be sending down reporters to the meetings, providing Red Sox-centric coverage of the meetings.

We don't know what or when it will be, but if and when the Red Sox do make a move down in Nashville, it will be well covered.

We won't even have to wait for a tipsy GM to spill the beans to an eavesdropping newspaperman in a hotel bar.

Bruce Allen is a Media Columnist for SB Nation Boston. Twitter: @BruceAllen.

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