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Viva Las Vegas

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  December 8, 2008 12:04 PM

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LAS VEGAS -- Just arrived at the fabulous Bellagio, where league and team officials are now congregating for the winter meetings. Though there has been no official announcement yet, there is a press conference scheduled for 2:45 Eastern time, when the Tigers and Rangers are expected to announce the deal that will send Texas catcher Gerald Laird to Detroit.

Lies will be told with great regularity in this lobby all week.
Lies will be told with great regularity in this lobby all week.
A few things about these meetings:

  • I've taken a few photos -- including one of the view from the front door of the hotel (the replica of the Eiffel Tower) as well one of the Bellagio lobby, where lies will be told with great regularity all week. "Working the lobby" is standard procedure at these meetings as team representatives (usually scouts and positions of the like) often congregate to keep their fingers on the pulse (or alleged pulse) on what may or may not be taking place. As one Sox official said recently, keep the following in mind: "The people who donít know anything are talking. The people who do know something arenít."
  • Any chance Theo and Boras tie the knot on Teixeira this week?
    Any chance Theo and Boras tie the knot on Teixeira this week?
    Purely for entertainment value, weíve also sent a photo of the wedding chapel at the Bellagio. Any chance Theo Epstein and Scott Boras will be meeting in there to consummate the Mark Teixeira negotiations?

  • Rode over in a cab this morning and learned an interesting fact: Cabs are not allowed to pick up passengers on the street. You have to wait at the entrance of an establishment. According to the driver, this has helped cut down on robberies in Vegas by roughly 90 percent as most buildings are equipped with video surveillance that discourages anyone from ripping off the cabbies.
  • Everybody in Vegas has a story, true or fictional. This morningís cab driver was born in Michigan, where he owned a bar. He sold the place and moved to Cape Coral for a time, but found the life there too slow. He came to Vegas and made some money as a small-time pool hustler, making "a couple of hundred bucks a day" for a time. If you take him literally, that translates into a about $73,000 a year.

    The view out the front door of the Bellagio, where the winter meetings are being held.
    The view out the front door of the Bellagio, where the winter meetings are being held.
    The cabbie also told me a story about a friend who hustled on a much larger scale. The unnamed man then went to a casino over a period of days and bet by the tens of thousands, at one point turning his gains into $20 million. He then lost it all.

    As the driver noted: "You learn fast here that money is for gambling. You donít spend it on silly things like food and shelter."

In case youíre wondering, havenít been to the casino yet, but we believe it to be a vital part of the Vegas experience. As such, we will be expensing any losses.

More soon . . .

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