Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Meetings...brrrr!

We're at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando. At Disney's Swan and Dolphin. Sunny Florida...except it was a record breaking 31 degrees overnight. Disney had to cover the tender tropical plants yesterday. Here's a shot of the beach. Empty!

Enough whining about the weather. We are all about business (when we're not in someone's hospitality suite.)

The Major League clubs make player trades at the Winter Meetings that generate headlines. We are here for league meetings and a gigantic trade show. Our drama revolves around the cost of cotton - a global supply crisis is brewing. T-shirts are a major retail item for us, and a big promotional give-away. The cost is expected to rise 30% or more early next year. Ouch!

The highlight of this convention was the Monday awards luncheon. Bulls' Head Groundskeeper Scott Strickland was recognized as Turf Manager of the Year in the Triple A classification. That means we had the best field among the 30 International League and Pacific Coast League teams in 2010!

There's a point I want to make about Scott's work that has nothing to do with growing grass. This is about more than turf. And it has a lot to do with meteorology and hydraulics.

Until a torrential rain this summer, the Bulls had not lost a game to inclement weather in almost four seasons. Scott's streak was 271 games. That doesn't mean we had ideal weather. It means we got a lot of games in during bad weather. Watching the radar, Scott knows when to put the tarp down as a storm approaches, and his crew knows how to efficiently get water off the field and track. That's what makes a World Class groundskeeper. Congratulations, Scott!