Former Dodgers GM Dan Evans and I discussing the business of baseball at the
SMWW Baseball Career Conference
If you spend enough time around those that work in sports, youâll find that how you perceived the inner workings of a league, club, or agency to be quite different. While thatâs often the case with most jobs, since leagues such as Major League and Minor League baseball have higher visibility, armchair discussions about the front office around your water cooler or online can be different than reality.
Thatâs why year-after-year, I and many others make the trek to the Baseball Winter Meetings. Not only do I cover stories going on around free agent signings, announcements around the league, the Hall of Fame announcements, and more, I further my understanding of the MLB and MiLB landscape by interacting with those that work within it.
As a member of the media, gaining access is an easier road to travel than those that are just now looking to land jobs in sports. âHow can I meet these people?â is often a refrain thatâs echoed.
Certainly the Sports Management Worldwide Baseball Career Conference is one. While I have worked for SMWW for several years now, I can unabashedly say that attending it furthers not only the attendees education, but mine. Over the span of the last few years, the event has had keynote speakers that are at the highest levels of MLB.
Over the past few conferences execs have imparted incredible pearls of insight into not only the inner workings of their clubs, but how they got their starts., Dodgers GM Ned Coletti gave great advise on work ethics and drive describing his personal experience first with the Cubs, then later with the Giants and now the Dodgers. On the day that the Cardinals would either sign or watch Albert Pujols walk away, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak talked about balancing needs with allocating sizable salary resources to just one player. Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kastten gave advise on how those looking to break into sports need to prepared for opportunity. Last year, Hall of Famer, former GM, and now advisor to the Phillies, Pat Gillick talked of the risk and challenges the growing length and dollars associated with signing veteran pitchers.
That was just the keynotes. On the media side of things there has been Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick (ESPN), Hall of Famer Tracy Ringolsby (FOX Sports and now MLB.com), Craig Calcaterra (NBCSports.com), and Rob Neyer (book author and SB Nation writer).
As mentioned, Iâve proudly been involved in the event for many years. I was SMWWâs Baseball GM instructor for 7 years. I stepped aside this year as former Dodgers GM Dan Evans took over, and once again, Dan and I will be at the event to meet with current and former students and those signed up for the conference.
And thatâs what makes this event different from any other. While execs and media are on tight schedules, I have yet to witness one of them not spending more than a few minutes after being at the dais to answer questions one-on-one with attendees.
So, who is speaking this year and how can you sign-up? Hereâs the current list:
- John Schuerholz, President Atlanta Braves
- Dan Evans, Toronto Blue Jays Scout, Former LA Dodgers GM
- Rob Neyer,Â SB Nation National Baseball Editor & well known baseball author
- Tony DeMacio, Director Scouting Atlanta Braves
- Toney Howell, Special Assistant GM LA Dodgers
- Oscar Suarez, MLB Agent
- Hector Gomez, MLB Agent
- Bobby Evans, San Francisco Giants, Dir. of Player Personnel
- Alyson Footer, National Correspondent MLB.com
- Sal Artiaga, Former President of Minor League Baseball
- Dr. Jose Goyos, Ph.D. L.C.S.W. Kansas City Royals Sports Psychologist
- Tom Giordano, Special Assistant GM Texas Rangers
- Maury Brown, Contributor to Forbes and Baseball Prospectus. Founder and President of The Biz of Baseball
- Larry D'Amato, Former MLB Scout
- Tony Ciccolella, MLB Agent, SMWW Agency Dir. of Baseball
- Jeff Gray, Former MLB Pitcher
- Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, SMWW President and Founder
- ...More Added Daily!
SEE MORE DETAILS AND HOW TO SIGN-UP, HERE
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.
Follow Maury Brown on Twitter
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter