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Big League Stew

The Juice: Welcome to the weird and wild world of baseball’s winter meetings

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(Big League Stew)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Juice has taken a short break from its offseason hibernation as Big League Stew's David Brown is on the scene of baseball's winter meetings in Nashville. Stop back on Tuesday and Wednesday to preview what's ahead at the biggest major-league congregation of them all.

In search of Gaylord: They say we're inside the massive Gaylord Opryland Hotel for baseball's winter meetings, but so far there's no sign of Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Obviously they named the place after him — look at the guitar shown above with all of the destinations on it. He pitched for all of those places, didn't he? And even though he's from Memphis, here's hoping the Honky Tonk Man of wrestling fame pops out of the guitar at some point.

Aside from hoping to see Gaylord Perry load up a baseball and then sign it, we'll definitely see free-agent signings. For example, the Tampa Bay Rays just added James Loney, as Yahoo! Sports' own Tim Brown reported early Monday morning. But the fish will get bigger than that — which is good, because there's a river that runs through the hotel. Really.

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It's as though the largest, swankiest Holiday Inn ever descended from space and covered the Riverwalk in San Antonio. In order to get out of their rooms and away from the throngs of prying media here, GMs could take a boat cruise around the hotel (for $9.50 a ride) and talk trade on the water. Or perhaps the agent for Zack Greinke could seal the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals while cruising. Greinke very well might sign this week, and it could be for the richest contract for a pitcher ever (possibly including the $9.50 boat surcharge).

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The coolest table ever: It won't happen this way, but all transactions at the winter meetings should be conducted at this table. A roadie for ESPN says the network had it made special for "Baseball Tonight." It might have been inspired by leafing through a "Skymall" magazine or a visit to Brookstone inside the nearby Opry Mills Mall (assuming there's a Brookstone there), but it's awesome, isn't it? Hey, R.A. Dickey already has wandered through the hotel in search of a contract extension with the Mets. Why not sit down (or "set down," as they might say in the South) at this table and hammer one out?

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Manager overload: Every major-league manager is scheduled to attend, and I'll sit in on as many scrums as possible and try to get at least one question answered with each guy. "John Farrell, why do you hate Toronto so much?"

Speaking of wandering through the hotel, you never know who you might meet here. A Luke Scott. A Pete Vukovich (Clu Heywood from "Major League.") Karl Ravech groupies. Hopefully, there will be a surprise or two every day, just to keep everyone on their toes. Check back throughout the day for more posts and head over to The winter meetings tracker, which does what it says.

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