Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At Disney World, alone

On Monday the job took me to another place I'd never have predicted: the Major League Baseball meetings in Orlando. MLB called a few weeks ago to invite me to be on a panel on blogging. Apparently I've become an expert (that noise you just heard was my guy Corey and Blog Boxer B.D. Gallof falling over themselves laughing). Regardless, the chance to represent the NYI and the 36 hours in Florida were too good to pass up.

I arrived at the Caribbean Beach resort at Disney World late Sunday afternoon. At the front desk was a really nice young lady on her first day on the job. With a wide, Disneyesque smile she told me her fiance (from Enfield, Conn.) was a huge Islanders fan. She also told me it was my lucky day because the Magic Kingdom is open until midnight!!!

I'm at Disney World completely on my own. I know no one there. If you saw me on It's a Small World by myself, wouldn't you wonder?

I passed on the Jungle Cruise and instead headed to Downtown Disney, the stretch of shops and clubs where I figured I wouldn't feel so self-conscious. Wrong. I went into the Magic Shop to maybe get a gift for my three boys and the guy behind the counter says, "Sir, my magic show starts in five minutes. Go get your kids"!

Monday was much better at the meeting at the Yacht and Beach Resort Hotel on the Disney grounds. I was real impressed by the MLB staff and everyone from the teams. At my session, I picked up a few good tidbits.

Scott Reifort, who has a job similar to mine with the Chicago White Sox, has a blog that he often uses to even the score with the media. Picture my poke at Jim Baumbach last week and then imagine me doing that a few times a week. Scott started his blog the year the White Sox won the World Series, but was just as aggressive when the ChiSox struggled badly this season. Scott made the point that it wasn't like the newspapers were going to stop covering his team just because he ripped them.

The other thing Scott does, which I haven't yet, is open the blog up for reader response. He told me he now has a "community" and it's worth all the effort. I've been hesitant to do that because I know it could turn into a fulltime job eliminating pesky posts from Rangers fans (ask Logan). I'm going to look into adding that feature in about a month.

The San Francisco Giants do a nice job of communicating with their season ticketholders. Whenever possible, they try to get their breaking news to their subscribers first. For example, they sent out a letter from management explaining the decision to not bring back Barry Bonds. I believe the NYI have made a lot of strides in this area, but it is definitely worth continuing to explore.

Tomorrow I leave with the Islanders for two big games in Pittsburgh and New Jersey. I spoke with Billy Guerin this afternoon and it sounds like he's going to make the trip. If he gets the OK from the doc Wednesday morning, there's a chance Bill could play on Thursday. Also sounds like Bryan Berard will be back.

Thanks, Islanders fans, for playing a big part in what has been a pretty amazing start to the season on a lot of levels. Let's keep it going.

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