(notes from the West Region where today it's going to be a chilly 87)
--Russell Jacobson, third-round choice of the Phillies in 1999 (96th overall) is a good guy. Trust me on this because Russell is working these days at Zen, a trendy bistro in downtown Phoenix. After serving up my lettuce wraps the other night, he told me how proud he was of his new son.
He had given the baseball thing a try for six or seven years then moved on. We clicked when he told me he went to the College World Series three times with Miami. The CWS is the best. So is Russell.
--Thanks to Ken Kendrick, the Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner. I wanted to meet Ken because I'd used him as a source on a couple of West Virginia columns. Friday night was perfect. The D-backs were playing an exhibition game against Colorado and -- what do you know -- I was there. We chatted for about 15 minutes in his seats down near the field. What a down-to-earth guy. He's a rabid Mountaineer booster and alum who still thinks Bill Stewart might have a few problems in replacing Rich Rodriguez.
--To the East German security guard who was in the breakout room with Kevin Love on Friday: Relax, dude. The media can police itself.
Here's the deal: On the off day at the regionals, there's a press conference then the players each go to their own room to do one-on-ones. The NCAA apparently has deemed that "moderators" accompany the helpless athletes. As I mentioned, Friday's moderator was way to full of himself telling us at one point to sit down so the cameras could get a shot.
Point is, we had Kevin Love going. What a great kid. What a great personality. He was really in the mood to talk and Mr. Moderator really ruined the momentum.