When I started as a Deadspin intern this fall, one of the duties I took on was publishing the Hot Fucking Stove every day. It's been on the site for two years or so, and it's nothing more than a semi-regular roundup of baseball stories. It's called "Hot Fucking Stove," mostly because that makes us laugh.
As part of the roundup, we made a point of always linking to whatever Ken Rosenthal had reported that day with the text, "Ken Rosenthal throws some shit against the wall," mostly because that made us laugh, too. We have nothing against Ken personally. "Ken Rosenthal throws some shit against the wall" was really just a joke about all the rumor-mongering of baseball's silly season.
And it works, I think, because if you're in the Hot Fucking Stove business, you're destined to actually throw some kind of shit at the wall every now and then. So we kept using it. It made us laugh.
So when I started writing Hot Fucking Stove, I followed the format and didn't think much of it. I did this for a couple posts. And even as I wrote about Ken Rosenthal throwing some shit at the wall, I did not think much of the fact that my mother went to UPenn with Ken Rosenthal. My mother and Ken Rosenthal were actually friends once upon a time.
Ken, I guess, had made the connection. He sent an email to my mother's friend that included this line:
Tell that little twit that the Matt Kemp "shit against the wall" is known as a SCOOP! Once in a while, my stuff actually does stick.
(The scoop he's referring to is Matt Kemp's eight-year, $160 million deal with the Dogers.)
A few days after that original email was sent, Ken heard that Deadspin wanted to publish the email. He sent Craggs and me an email in which he gave his permission and some precious life advice:
Now about humility...
Josh, I know you were trying to be funny, and I actually took no offense; people say stuff about me all the time, it's all part of it. But, given that A) I was good friends with your Mom in college; B) You want to be a sports writer and C) I might actually be able to help you someday, I would classify what you did as not too bright. I've got kids about your age, and I would have THROTTLED them if they pulled a similar stunt.
"Please say hi to your Mom," he wrote in closing.
So here's the deal we made with Ken: From here on out, every time Deadspin publishes the phrase "Ken Rosenthal throws some shit against the wall," we will link to Rosenthal's worthy charity, the Bow Tie Cause. That seems like a good arrangement for all parties.
Hopefully, it sticks.