January 26, 2007
That's right, she went the Paris Hilton route and had a homemade "sex tape" find its way to the public. Normally that'd be a positive thing for her OFGoAG.com candidacy, but I find myself with surprisingly mixed feelings on the issue. I've decided that I'll probably have to view the footage several thousand times before making a final decision, if only to give Fischer (not to mention past title holders Cuthbert and Jessica Alba) a proper opportunity to respond similarly. That's only fair, right?
Oh, and let me assure you that, despite all the rumors and speculation, this is not the same way LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune went about becoming the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com.
It's still a work in progress, but it'll be pretty cool to be one-third of a columnist lineup that includes a pair of guys from two of the biggest newspapers in the country. I haven't actually met Massarotti or Grant, because I was too shy to introduce myself to them at the Winter Meetings. I did, however, witness LEN3 identify Grant from 30 feet away using nothing more than the back of his head. I believe his exact words were, "Hey, there's Evan Grant's big, bald head!" I consider that a point in Grant's favor.
Consistently winning football games at the University of Minnesota is significantly more difficult than most fans think, but Brewster's decision to focus on in-state recruiting is an important first step. Much like in basketball, the state has produced an awful lot of good players for other schools over the past half-dozen years. It remains to be seen whether Brewster can truly improve the level of incoming talent, but "locking up the borders" is the most realistic way to do it.
Brewster is already behind in the count because most fans unrealistically wanted "name" coaches that surely had no interest in coming here and he could do a reasonably effective job and still not improve upon Mason's admittedly mediocre results. However, given the circumstances and the available options, I think the Gophers did well. Plus, after years of watching running backs pile up yardage behind the always-solid offensive line, it'll be fun to watch a wide open spread-option for a while.
One of my favorite things about going to the Winter Meetings was watching Rosenthal in action. In constant motion, he bounced between sources in the lobby while scribbling in his notebook, hustled upstairs to type up his latest batch of notes, and then went right back down to the lobby again. In one of my on-site reports for NBCSports.com, I referred to him as a mini-Peter Gammons, but the "Robothal" nickname that the mob over at Baseball Think Factory has tagged him with works just as well.
BizBall: Finally, you have been affectionately termed "Robothal" by some in the online community for your constant stream of breaking baseball news. As a guesstimate, how many minutes do you log on your cell phone and what's the average number of hours a night you sleep?
Rosenthal: First off, I'm very grateful that people notice and appreciate my work. As someone who is 5-foot-4, 140 pounds, I get a particular kick out of that nickname. It makes me sound like I'm a relentless, indestructible machine! I only wish that were the case. ...
I've got a 4,000-minute plan on my cell phone, and like others in my position, I also make extensive use of e-mail, text messaging, and instant messaging. As for sleep, I don't get much, but work is only partly to blame. I've got three kids--15, 14, and 11--who are very busy and energetic.
Incidentally, I would have bet a large amount of money on Rosenthal not being the father of an 11-year-old, let alone an 11-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 15-year-old. I learned from the interview that he's been "covering baseball ... for more than 20 years," but I wouldn't have skipped a beat if you told me Rosenthal just turned 30 years old. I'm a big fan, and not just because Rosenthal once discussed his bathroom habits with Howard Stern.