March 15, 2007
It's an amusing back-and-forth, because that refusal to read the rapidly increasing writing on the wall represents one of the reasons that the newspaper industry is declining in the first place. This week's evidence--which someone in the comments section will surely inform me means absolutely nothing--is that 24 staffers at the Minneapolis Star Tribune have accepted a buyout following the newspaper's recent sale.
That total represents seven percent of the newspaper's staff and includes several well-known names, among them long-time Timberwolves beat writer Steve Aschburner. Reporter Darlene Prois, who worked at the Star Tribune for 30 years, explained why she accepted the buyout offer by saying, "It's pretty uncertain here right now." I'm pretty sure Prois was referring specifically to the Star Tribune, rather than the newspaper industry as a whole, but she's right in either case.
The source was also right about Williams' replacement, Kelsie Smith, who previously covered the Red Sox at the Boston Globe. My thoughts on Williams' work are well documented, so I won't rehash them, but needless to say that I'm looking forward to a new voice reporting on the Twins. I know nothing of Smith, but everyone starts with a clean slate in my book and I'm hopeful that she'll win me over in much the same way Joe Christensen did after joining the Star Tribune last season.
I haven't said this to Gregg, because apparently I'd rather be a jerk publicly, but I think it says an awful lot about the power of women that someone who's more football-obsessed than anyone I've ever met could possibly agree to get married in the few days between the NFL draft and the due date for the football magazine he's editing. I'm sure I'd agree to something similar (or worse) if put into the same situation, but since that's in no danger of happening any time soon I can safely mock Gregg.
I get married in less than two months, and we have the most last-minute wedding possible. ... I'm the editor-in-chief of our football magazine, which is impossibly due on the week directly after the NFL Draft. Coincidentally, that's also the week of my wedding. I also move in two weeks.
Throw in the regular news, the videos (check out the 8 baseball previews we're taping this week by the way), and there's a pretty good chance I'm going to flip out or spontaeously self-destruct by May. Our GM Rick Cordella said he's putting me on the 'busts' list of employees for 2007. That hurts.
Here's what SI Digital president Jeff Price had to say about the partnership:
The speed and depth of SI.com content and the broadband video power of NBCSports.com is a unique combination of resources that enhances the user experience for fans on both sites. Building a strong relationship that leverages NBC Sports powerful video storytelling ability furthers our efforts to partner with the best brands in sports.
Here's what NBC Sports senior vice president Perkins Miller (whom I've actually met!) had to say:
From our live pre-game programming for Notre Dame and the NHL, to our wrap-up shows for football and golf, NBCSports.com has been on the forefront of original broadband sports programming. With SI.com's world-class writing and photography, married with our Rotoworld fantasy news, NBCSports.com users will have a richer, more informative visit than ever before.
Like I said, I'm not sure exactly what that all means, but it sounds interesting, I respect what SI.com has done, and I love the fact that Rotoworld is prominently involved in the plans.
OK, let me get this straight. The Twins may end up spending about $9 million on the veteran trio of Carlos Silva, Ramon Ortiz, and Sidney Ponson, who went a combined 26-36 with a 5.84 ERA last year. Despite that, Thesier is suggesting that they "don't see any reason to hesitate using these young starters right away." Really, they don't see any reason? Is there another explanation for the rotation being filled with veterans coming off horrible seasons instead of, you know, those young starters?
There has been a lot of concern voiced outside the organization about the lack of experience for some of these young arms, but the Twins don't see any reason to hesitate using these young starters right away.
The kicker, of course, is that Thesier further suggests that the "concern ... about the lack of experience for some of these young arms" is coming from "outside the organization." Really, people outside the organization are the ones who're hesitant to hand things over to the young guys? I guess all those outsiders forced Terry Ryan to re-sign Silva for $4 million, hand Ortiz $3.1 million, and bring in Ponson. The Twins trust the young guys, but these silly outsiders love the veterans! I'm glad that's settled.
(I think Thesier has improved a tremendous amount since she first took over the Twins beat at MLB.com last season and given some of the things I've written about her work she was exceptionally friendly to me when we met at the Winter Meetings in December. With that said, I sometimes wonder if her articles are written in some sort of bizarro world that I just haven't discovered yet. On the other hand, she did break the news that Jason Kubel and Jeff Cirillo are likely to platoon at designated hitter.)