With quite a few old-school guys stepping down recently and their replacements getting increasingly younger, being a general manager and hanging out with your counterparts sounds like a lot more fun than it did just a few years ago:
Boston General Manager Theo Epstein, who helped organize this year's GM meetings, had the hotel set aside a private lounge area for the general managers to gather daily and nightly to talk shop away from the prying eyes of reporters and fans. In the past, general managers did some of their business out in the open, tipping off the media to possible trades.
"It's worked out well," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman. On the first day of the meetings, Epstein had each general manager stand up and state what he was looking for and what he was willing to trade. "That's the first time I've ever done that," said GM Mark Shapiro.
"Hi everyone, my name is Bill Smith and I'm looking to acquire some hitters who aren't Nick Punto."
Two months ago Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan accused Joe Mauer of making up a knee injury, writing that he'd "spoken with trainers in other sports who have told me there is no such thing" as a "stress reaction." It turns out that even a minimal amount of research would have shown Souhan that those "trainers in other sports" were feeding him lies, but research isn't needed when you fill columns with baseless accusations, decade-old pop-culture references, and unfunny one-liners.
Why am I bringing this topic up again? For starters, because I never get sick of pointing out what a hack Souhan is, especially after one of his colleagues jokingly suggested to me earlier this week that I should "maybe let up on Souhan just a little bit." Beyond that, Timberwolves guard Randy Foye is currently sidelined indefinitely with, you guessed it, "a stress reaction in his left knee cap." Apparently Foye didn't hear the news that "there is no such thing."
Steve Nash is one of my favorite NBA players despite the fact that I don't think he deserved either of his MVP awards and for whatever reason I never tire of reading about him. I passed the time during my 45-minute flight back from Milwaukee last weekend by reading Chip Brown's excellent feature article about Nash in the New York Times' sports magazine, Play.
In addition to reading about Nash on the plane and dining at some great restaurants, I also saw American Gangster while in Milwaukee. It was definitely a good film, but it'd probably be difficult to avoid making a good movie given the people and subject matter involved. I'd call it "interesting" and "well done" rather than "great," although it did lead to solid post-movie conversation. Denzel Washington is getting Oscar buzz, but I felt like he essentially played the same character that he did in Training Day.
On a semi-related note, RZA had a relatively big part as a police officer and was pretty good, but seeing his Wu-Tang Clan tattoo featured prominently sort of ruined the whole 1970s vibe.
The Star Tribune recently ran well-done articles about the off-field lives of two local first-round picks, with Kevin SeifertprofilingAdrian Peterson and Jerry ZgodaprofilingCorey Brewer. Brewer has struggled in limited playing time through three games, while Peterson is on pace to become just the sixth 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history and is on track to break Marshall Faulk's all-time record of 2,429 total yards from scrimmage.
Quotes like this one are part of why Jessica Alba is a former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com:
I will never do a nude scene in a movie, not ever. I can act sexy and I can wear sexy clothes, but I can't go naked. I think I was always very uncomfortable about the way my body developed. I come from a Catholic family and it wasn't seen as good to flaunt yourself. I can handle being sexy with clothes on, but not with them off.
It's ironic for Alba to say that she's "very uncomfortable about the way my body developed," because her fame is due almost entirely to the fact that nearly everyone else has the opposite feeling.