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Winter Meetings Day 1: Lost in Opryland

The Winter Meetings -- do they really exist, or is there just a secret pact among the baseball media to tweet as many questionably sourced rumors as possible during this four-day stretch of the offseason?

Well, I can confirm that there is in fact a large gathering of baseball industry people, wannabe baseball industry people and reporters who cover the baseball industry people currently underway at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Judging by the number of conference rooms in this place, it's likely that they're meeting with each other. As for the Winter part, well, that's a little harder to determine.

Walking into the Gaylord Opryland is a lot like walking into a casino. The lights are bright, the ceilings are high and you're immediately lost.

All the hallways curve into an endless spiral, from Delta to Garden Conservatory to Cascades and back again. Every turn leads you deeper into the thick-carpeted, fern-bordered abyss. It's sensory overload not from slot machines exploding in your face but because there's something happening -- another hallway, a grove of palm trees, an agent juggling multiple smartphones -- above you, below you and 360 degrees around.

Is it Winter? Probably, but I can only say for certain that it's daytime.

Ian Kay /