And so it begins...

Arriving at your gate at 9:30 a.m. for an 11:45 a.m. flight isn't recommended, but I'm a people-watcher and this is the ideal place for it.

It also gives me a chance to gripe about the lousy internet service. I've been disconnected four times already and No. 5 is on the way.

A man working security at the Southwest terminal asked if I was heading to "the game." I had no idea what he meant until he referenced the Ravens and Packers.

"Don't you do TV stuff?" he asked.

Yes, but I'd prefer wandering around a hotel lobby in Indianapolis for the next four days and playing "Name That Agent."

Hopefully, I'll receive some nice parting gifts, because I only recognize a few.

Mark DeRosa is my early candidate to win the "Jon Garland Award" for pricing himself out of the free-agent market at the Winter Meetings. A utility infielder who turns 35 in February and reportedly is seeking a three-year deal worth about $27 million.

Good luck.

FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees are interested in John Lackey, Rich Harden, Joel Pineiro and maybe Randy Wolf.

I hope he means that they'll choose only one, but you never know. After all, these are the Yankees.

I don't expect the Orioles to reach the podium this week. If they make any moves, I don't think they'll be significant enough to warrant more than a press release, and I'll wonder why I spent the week in Indy.

I'm trying to condense these meetings into three days, for the sake of my sanity.

Today is a travel day - and a time to watch football upon checking into my hotel (And yes, I finally got a room). I'll pick up my credential and locate the media workroom. I'll tour the lobby to see if anyone is being surrounded by reporters. And I'll challenge Peter Schmuck to a race to see how that Achilles is holding up.

The real work begins on Monday and continues through Wednesday. That's the heavy lifting. The Rule 5 Draft takes place Thursday morning, and most team executives and agents check out of their rooms and head to the airport almost as soon as the last name is announced.

I'll be one of the stragglers who stays in Indy until early Friday morning, just in case news breaks the previous night, which isn't anticipated but can't be chanced.

Reporters who cover the Orioles will huddle with manager Dave Trembley tomorrow afternoon. We're also scheduled to meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail Monday through Wednesday at 6 p.m. Otherwise, there isn't much structure. You just hope to unearth a few nuggets and keep up with all the happenings.

You won't have a shortage of places to go to satisfy your cravings. MASNsports.com, The Sun, MLB.com, FOXSports, ESPN, Baseball America, mlbtraderumors. It's quite the buffet. Just leave room for dessert.

I'm pretty much out-numbered and can't be in more than one place at a time, but I'll do my best to keep up. And I'll be sure to tell Jim Irsay that you say hello.

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