There was no starting gun or bell that sounded amidst the giant poinsettia trees and winding walkways in the atrium of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
And even if there was, the sheer size of the place would have ensured only a small percentage of the building's many inhabitants would have heard it.
But the Winter Meetings did get under way Monday morning in Music City. All you had to do was check your Twitter feed for news of Mike Napoli's reported three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox or Alex Rodriguez's need for hip surgery or the latest in the Justin Upton rumor mill to know that the usual rumblings and rumors were emanating from the lobby.
The only difficulty in this sprawling building is, you know, finding the lobby.