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Facebook For Sale

I had a posting earlier today, Your Online Presence And The Recruiter. What Will They Find?, and I want to clarify my position.

I think these social networking sites are great, personally and professionally. It’s some of the people using it I have an issue with. Well, not so much them as a person but the information they are sharing and then to be shocked, SHOCKED, that it might be used against them.

Back to Facebook, what a great story it is. Two dudes in college want to build a site at their college, Harvard, so students can better communicate and it becomes very popular.

So the kids at Stanford start using it. Then it spreads like a wildfire.

Then the founders turn down $750 million hoping for $2 billion.

Yep, that is how BusinessWeek is reporting it today with this story, Facebook’s on the Block.

Your Online Presence And The Recruiter. What Will They Find?

I swear (a lot) that people need to be hit in the head before they stop being an idiot. I tell the college crowd, you can be stupid but do not elevate yourself to the idiot level. You’re young, in college and do silly things. Now this is not a license to be stupid but most young ones, 18-22, will do some growing up during this stage.

For the over 23 and over crowd I expect better.

A week or more ago I signed up on I have an interest in social networking and thought I would see what the fuss was about.

Basically I found many users and their “grown-up” profile acting like the college kids on FaceBook.

That’s bad news if your future employer is actively using the sites to recruit and research and now you have been excluded. How would you feel?

Think I am joking when I say recruiters are using these sites? Here are four examples:

For the “grown-ups” a March 19, 2006 New York Daily News article, What a tangled Web we weave, we have this:

But when a member of the search committee Googled her, he found she had called him a "belligerent jerk," though not by name, and canceled the interview. "I almost immediately deleted the blog," wrote Healy via E-mail. For obvious reasons, Healy doesn't think employers should Google candidates, but also because she doesn't believe that one's entire life should be up for review. "What is on the table at an interview should be skills, detectible levels of craziness, overall impression and a good fit in the workplace," she writes, "not your foibles, rants, petty opinions or brilliant insights."

HELLO!!! You are writing online. Most people write online to have others read it and we are.

For the “college crowd” two articles from the USA Today on March 16, 2006, Alarms sound over athletes' Facebook time:

The tone of the site can be sophomorically jocular: Many underage students include photos of themselves with alcohol, and some make references to drugs and sex. These sorts of postings are emerging as a particular danger for athletes, who often sign a code of conduct as a condition of their scholarships.

And What you say online could haunt you:

"I brought this up in English class, and everybody was like, 'Are you kidding me? Why are these people in our profiles?' Initially, everybody had a sense of this is their own little private thing."

Umm, no.

You’re right, it is your profile on a web site with a user name and password. The thing is the web site is not just for the college students but university staff, faculty and alumni too. So again, you have the freedom to write what you want and we are reading it.

Last but not least and maybe more important, on ERE yesterday Dr. John Sullivan had an article Outside-the-Box Recruiting — Using as a Recruiting Tool.

I assure you that for as many people who read what Dr. John has to say, more recruiters, researchers, and headhunters will be on MySpace by the end of the week.

We will be reading...

Action In The Microsoft Blogosphere

The Good

I am a big fan of the bloggers from Microsoft, particularly Heather’s Marketing at Microsoft and Gretchen’s Technical Careers @ Microsoft. They give a great view into the corporate side of recruiting and blogging.

Today Heather has a posting The difference between companies that WANT their employees to blog and companies that ALLOW their employees to blog.

I point it out because a few of my clients and a couple of my search firm friends have been asking me if I think they should start blogging too. I have two questions for them. One, what is the message you are trying to convey? Two, do you have the time to do it? For me the first was easy and the second has been very hard.

For the corporate folks, take a read at Heather’s posting today as she does a much better job with the subject than I have with you. It will also start youe conversation on who should be doing it and who will own it.

The Controversial

Red Herring has a news story today Microsoft Bloggers Post Gripes. Looks like the anonymous folks at Mini-Microsoft had a post last week Vista 2007. Fire the leadership now! This one post has 475+ comments on it.

I like anonymous posts because they can give you an idea of what folks think on the inside but I always wonder how many of these folks are grandstanding. More than that, how many of them are the problem or raise their issues in meetings. Now if could get metrics on that…

March Madness, 2nd Weekend, Elite Eight And The Final Four

Some Dick Vitale quotes are coming to mind but this one sums it up for me:

“This is awesome, baby”.

After the First Round I had picked 22 of the 32 teams. After the second round I had 11 of the 16 teams. After the third round I had 4 of the 8 teams with 3 of my Final Four still in it. At this point I was in the top 5% on

Umm, yeah, not so much now. Although I suppose everyone else has gone in the tank too so I should check again.

After the fourth round I have 1 of the 4, UCLA.

I am so, so happy I did not do a bracket this year. I mean in the sense of in a pool for cash, for ego, or for trash talk. I am going to be interested to hear from my friends the number of points or the percentage of correct picks because these numbers are going to be very, very low.

The other reason is that I have been rooting for every underdog, Cinderella, mid-major conference team.

Hey, remember when Billy Packer and Dick Vitale were nearly screaming about some of the teams in the tournament? One of the teams always mentioned was George Mason. George Mason, they lost to Hofstra twice. They should not be in the tournament so the experts said. Lets see,

Look, I loved Connecticut, Texas, and Boston College. But watching George Mason take down Connecticut was awesome. Watching LSU, gotta love a guy with the nickname “Big Baby” and he likes it, take out Texas was awesome. Watching Villanova beat Boston College which, really was not an upset unless you were like me thinking a four guard offense could not survive this long, was awesome.

And not just the victories but they way they happened. These overtime games have been awesome. The players their personalities and their stories that we have been able to learn about have been awesome.

Yeah I know, I have used the “awesome” word too many times but what other word comes close?

More thoughts on some of these games in days to follow…

These were the Elite Eight. In gray are my original predictions. In (x) is the round I predicted they make it to. In maroon are the winners I did not pick.

LSU (8)

Texas (2)

Kansas (8) Memphis

UCLA (4)

Connecticut (1)

North Carolina (8) George Mason

Boston College (4) Villanova

Ohio State (8) Florida

These are the Final Four. In gray are my original predictions. In (x) is the round I predicted they make it to. In maroon are the winners I did not pick.

Texas (2) LSU

UCLA (4)

Connecticut (1) George Mason

Boston College (4) Florida

More On Customer Service

I tried to update my original Thursday posting, Recruiters, Morons And Scumbags..., but for some reason I am having issues with the HTML on the post and rather than spend time trying to fix I’ll just add a new post.

Mike Goldman had a blog post March 20 on ERE, Customer Service Skills For Recruiters. Mike takes a polite look at how some companies treat candidates and external recruiters (us third party folk). Surly not all companies function in this manner but many do and going back to my blog post there is an impact on perception, image, and reputation of companies.

A side note: a tip of the hat to David Manaster and the good folks at ERE for adding the trackback option to their blog posts.

March Madness, Sweet Sixteen

So I am quite a few days late in getting this posted considering we already have four of the Elite Eight teams moving on.

After the First Round I had picked 22 of the 32 teams. After the second round I had 11 of the 16 teams.

All I know is that the first weekend was all us March Madness junkies could have ever hoped for.

On my first post I had some main themes:

-Parity, any team can go down at any time. Will this finally be the year of a #16 beating a #1?

We almost had it with Albany and Connecticut.

-Brackets will be a mess. I just have no idea which upsets to go with.

That certainly played out.

-March Madness earns its nickname this year.

Ummm, yeah, sheer madness.

Cinderella’s, 1 per region: Southern Illinois, Bucknell, Wichita State, Wisconsin Milwaukee

Yep, other than Southern Illinois I picked those well but I missed Bradley and George Mason. My excuse is that I only picked one per region. (Whatever makes me feel better)

First Round notes:

#8 vs. #9, all of these games are a coin toss. #5 vs. #12, all of these games are a coin toss. #2, #3 and #4 seeds will each have at least one loss.

This prediction was not all that “out there” but I definitely was seeing the crystal ball clearly.

Second Round notes:

-North Carolina and Michigan State, a coin-flip and the winner could take Connecticut out.

Oops, would have helped if they had made to the Sweet Sixteen.

-Syracuse, out of gas or still riding the wave of emotion?

They ran out of gas in the first round.

-Pittsburgh or Kansas will take Memphis out.

Oops, neither one made it this far. Memphis still dancing.

-Villanova, an early exit? By the way, I am a big fan and I do hope they make it to Minneapolis

My issue is the four guard offense. I love the team and I am glad they made it here to Minneapolis but I am just not convinced they can go any further.

These are the Sweet Sixteen. In gray are my original predictions. In (x) is the round I predicted they make it to. In maroon are the winners I did not pick.

Duke (16)

LSU (8)

West Virginia (16)

Texas (2)

Memphis (16)

Kansas (8) Bradley

Gonzaga (16)

UCLA (4)

Connecticut (1)

Illinois (16) Washington

North Carolina (8) George Mason

Tennessee (16) Wichita State

Villanova (16)

Boston College (4)

Florida (16)

Ohio State (8) Georgetown

Recruiters, Morons And Scumbags...

About a month ago a friend of mine pointed me to Slashdot and a post, What Do You Want in a Job Website?

I saw a few blog posts in the RSS feed focused on the job board aspect of the post. I was more curious about what the masses thought of those in my profession. The recruiters, headhunters, staffing specialists and human resource folk.

It was not pretty. I understand that when you can post whatever you want to say and the topic itself is going to get a bunch of responses from frustrated users that the response was not likely to be positive.

There were a few things to learn from the responses and this is information I hear all the time so the Slashdot folk are not any different from anyone else.

Yeah I know this is common sense but apparently it is not being practiced very well. These go for the in-house staff (morons) as well as us third party guys “scumbags”. Of course there are many more but to get started:

1) Find a way to respond to every qualified inquiry in a timely manner.

2) Be knowledgeable about the job you are recruiting for.

3) There is some fudge factor but only respond to resumes on job boards who closely resemble who you are looking for.

4) Read the full resume before contacting the candidate.

I know how hard it is but part of what we do is part customer service and it directly impacts our companies (for the morons) and our clients (for the scumbags). It’s about marketing and branding. We can have the coolest employment web sites but if no on is there to respond to the email or phone inquiry the result is the same, frustration and a bad reputation.

As the labor market continues to tighten up my moron and scumbag friends we do not want to get bad reputations for failing to respond or properly qualify a candidate. We will likely lose them forever as a potential employee and their friends who they tell their story to.

Here are just a few of the many choice quotes:

-There's nothing I hate more than having to go through some recruiter (who often turns out to be a scumbag). What I want in a jobsite is an actual connection between job seekers and employers, with no middlemen getting in the way. The recruiters are a problem in more ways than I can count.

-Well... I have always wanted job websites to allow you to blacklist known scumbags and filter out their job ads. Unfortunately it is the scumbags which pay the website, not the jobseeker.

-... I really don't use job sites, but I've poked around a bit.

1) ban recruiters
2) mandatory salary ranges
3) must include company name so I can do research
4) use a good set of standard tags (travel, COBOL, PMI, etc)
5) list when you're deciding to award the job

-…The correct answer to this is "I hang up on morons who waste their time and mine."

MN Headhunter Gets A Facelift

Last weekend I did a color change on the three MN Headhunter pages that is very similar to the scheme I will be using for the new search firm.

I also added the newsletter signup function (I still need to work on the color scheme there). On Tuesdays I will be sending out a message with jobs I am recruiting for, technology volunteer opportunities, and the top five read blog posts from the previous week.

I also am working on a new feature, not yet titled, where I will be asking six questions (seemed like a reasonable number) to business, political and academic leaders in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area on topics relating to the local job market and business community.

Finally I have started formally pitching the creation of the IT volunteer network to area corporations, consulting firms, and individuals. The response so far has been very good. The only problem I will have is that business is very good around here and time is in limited supply. Too bad I did not think of this a few years ago when everyone had time on their hands…

Minnesota Job Reports

Now that I have the U.S. Job Reports posted here are statistics on Minnesota job creation.

The recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for 2nd Quarter 2006 had the following results from the Minnesota employers surveyed:

28% increase

50% maintain

6% decrease

16% apparently have no idea what they are doing

In terms of percentage of jobs gained in 2005 Minnesota ranked #30 and behind Iowa, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin:

1.2% MN

1.5% Nationally

Minnesota unemployment rates:

December 4.2%

January 4.1%

February 4.4%

Total Minnesota jobs:

2,731,600 job in January

2,731,500 jobs in February

U.S. Job Reports

It has been a while since I posted national jobs numbers so here we go (Month – number of jobs created):

December ’05 - 145,000

January ’06 - 170,000

February ’06 - 243,000 (the consensus number was 210,000)

The Northeast and Midwest have seen relatively slow job growth. Michigan has lost jobs since the national job boom began in mid-2003, and Maine, Massachusetts and Ohio have grown by less than 1%.

The recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for 2nd Quarter 2006 had the following results from the 16,000 national employers surveyed:

30% will increase hiring

58% no change

6% will decrease hiring

6% are unsure (How can that be? Are they asleep at the wheel?)

Staffing plans for the Northeast, Midwest, South and West are all expected to remain consistent through June of 2006.

National unemployment rates:

December 4.9%

January 4.7%

February 4.8%

Sprint PCS Customer Service And A Headache

On September 23rd I signed a new contract with Sprint PCS. I started being a customer of theirs in 2000. My contract ended with them and I went more than a year with them anyway. I liked my old phone and was not using that many minutes.

After being made fun of by my friends for still using such an old phone, I decided to upgrade and get a new plan.

As part of the deal they allow you to use some cool features like text messaging, ready link, and the vision pack for 30 days without paying for them. OK, I know these are standard tools for most people but I am a bit old fashioned. I am a simple guy and do not use them.

October 11th I went in to get some service on my phone as I messed something up with it. I went next door to McDonald’s while they fixed it and the sales rep said he would call and cancel the add-ons.

He didn’t and I never checked my bill until today. Yeah I know, I know.

After paying my bill through a very nice and friendly customer service on the phone, she did credit me $70 (two months worth is all she is authorized to do), I asked to be given a customer service phone number to raise the issue of the previous months.

This is where a slightly frustrating evening gets worse…

I was on hold for 20 minutes and the number I was given was not good for a business account, so that person said they would transfer me.

Unfortunately that person disconnected me.

I sat on hold again for 15 minutes and this person did not have good communication skills and could not understand what I was asking for.

So I started over again but did not want to be placed on the estimated 20 minutes of hold time so I hung up.

I decided on using the email form on their web site, explained the situation (all I am looking for is a person to speak with) and hit send. I get an automated response saying “…will respond to your request within 72 hours.”

As I look for a provider this fall to help with the new staff this might be a good test if Sprint PCS is worth sticking with.

The clock is ticking…

March Madness, Lives Up To The Hype

It’s getting late and all I can say is, bracket busters, Cinderella, March Madness, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I have no dog in this fight, make that a Gopher, so it is possible for me to enjoy this experience. It allows me to cheer for the underdog in every game if I so choose and I choose to do so. There has been a lot to cheer about so far.

There could be a lot to write about in the first 32 games but I will wait until Sunday ends and we have the Sweet Sixteen. Then I will do a more in depth look at the first weekend.

All I know is some of the highly rated teams better be resting and thinking about what they need to do to take care of their business.

One thing we all see so far, this may be as wide open as ever. Right on…

After the First Round I went 22 –10. The only team I had moving on to the Sweet Sixteen or further is Kansas to the Great Eight. I missed quite a few but nothing of significance, yet.

These were the 1st Round winners. In gray are my original predictions. In (x) is the round I predicted they make it to. In maroon are the winners I did not pick.

Duke (16)

George Washington

Syracuse Texas A&M

LSU (8)

West Virginia (16)

Iowa Northwestern State

North Carolina State

Texas (2)

Memphis (16)



Kansas (8) Bradley

San Diego State Indiana

Gonzaga (16)

Marquette Alabama

UCLA (4)

Connecticut (1)

UAB Kentucky

Utah State Washington

Illinois (16)

Michigan State George Mason

North Carolina (8)

Wichita State

Tennessee (16)

Villanova (16)

Wisconsin Arizona

Nevada Montana

Boston College (4)

Oklahoma Wisconsin Milwaukee

Florida (16)


Ohio State (8)

March Madness, Let’s Get It On

I did not have time to post my tournament bracket Thursday morning and you can tell by the amount of missed games (like everyone else) that I did not change anything to it.

This is my third version, which looks much like the first one I did. I have learned that gut reactions are the best ones to go with.

Below the bracket are some notes I had. Already funny seeing how right/wrong I was after just the first round games.

***Please note. I am not in any pools and have wagered no money. I did put my two other brackets on ESPN to track how I compared to others across the country. The bracket below was not posted there.

This all for fun and I hope bracket busters are a plenty…

These are the 1st Round winners. In (x) is the round they make it to:

Duke (16)

George Washington


LSU (8)

West Virginia (16)


North Carolina State

Texas (2)

Memphis (16)



Kansas (8)

San Diego State

Gonzaga (16)


UCLA (4)

Connecticut (1)


Utah State

Illinois (16)

Michigan State

North Carolina (8)

Wichita State

Tennessee (16)

Villanova (16)



Boston College (4)


Florida (16)


Ohio State (8)

Main theme:

-Parity, any team can go down at any time. Will this finally be the year of a #16 beating a #1?

-Brackets will be a mess. I just have no idea which upsets to go with.

-March Madness earns its nickname this year.

Cinderella’s, 1 per region:

-Southern Illinois


-Wichita State

-Wisconsin Milwaukee

First Round notes:

-#8 vs. #9, all of these games are a coin toss.

-#5 vs. #12, all of these games are a coin toss.

-#2, #3 and #4 seeds will each have at least one loss.

Second Round notes:

-North Carolina and Michigan State, a coin-flip and the winner could take Connecticut out.

-Syracuse, out of gas or still riding the wave of emotion?

-Pittsburgh or Kansas will take Memphis out.

-Villanova, an early exit? By the way, I am a big fan and I do hope they make it to Minneapolis.

Sweet Sixteen note:

-#1 seeds Duke, Villanova, and Memphis are packing their bags and going home to stay.

Great Eight notes:

-Kansas and UCLA are a coin toss. I go with UCLA as the regional final is in Oakland.

-I am staying with my picks but any of these teams can move on without it being an upset.

Final Four note:

-I just think Connecticut is the most talented and complete team. It will be interesting to see how they respond to a challenge.

So those are my thoughts on the Big Dance.

Let the madness begin…

March Madness, Getting Ready

I gave up on office pools and tournament brackets a few years ago. For all the games I watch during the season and then during Championship Week I would normally do pretty well. The problem is that I would spend hours and hours analyzing statistics and it took the fun out of it. The games were no longer enjoyable because I was cheering for a team to win whether I liked them or not. Or cared about them.

(That’s also why I quite playing Fantasy Football).

I did fill out two brackets for a couple of friends. The first one I spent less than 3 minutes on. It was all a gut reaction. I have done a second as there were some things I thought about changing. Funny thing is that I changed very little.

During the day on Thursday I will post my board for all to see. (And ridicule)

Weekend Headlines

Allen Ray of Villanova has been examined, practiced, and cleared to play in their first round game.

Gerry McNamara of Syracuse and J.J. Redick came through in the clutch for their teams again. Any idea of them being overrated, tired, or otherwise not performing up to the hype has been laid to rest.

Duke over Boston College had a Final Four feeling about it. For Boston College to essentially play a road game, in Greensboro, against North Carolina and win and nearly defeat the Blue Devils was awesome.

Final 65, who gets to dance

There was a lot of media chatter about the “at large bids” particularly from Billy Packer and Dick Vitale. While I would agree that the best 34 at large teams were not picked I do have an answer for those who feel left out.

Win one more damn game so you are no longer on the bubble.

For example, Michigan lost to my Gophers. They needed to win that game. Heck they might have needed to win another. So sure some of the teams in The Big Dance have an RPI over 35. Sure they may not stand up as well during a season in the ACC or Big Ten.

I would much rather watch a great team from an average conference who worked their butt off to get there than someone from a major conference who loses 7 of their last 10 and their first conference tournament game.

Automatics Bids:

Duke – ACC

Albany – America East, first ever Division I tourney

Belmont – Atlantic Sun

Xavier – Atlantic 10

Kansas – Big 12

Syracuse – Big East

Montana – Big Sky

Winthrop – Big South

Iowa – Big Ten

Pacific – Big West

UNC Wilmington – Colonial

Memphis – Conference USA

Wisconsin Milwaukee - Horizon

Penn – Ivy

Kent State – MAC

Iona – MAAC

Hampton – MEAC

Oral Roberts – Mid Continent

Southern Illinois – Missouri Valley

San Diego State – Mountain West

Monmouth – Northeast

Murray State – Ohio Valley

UCLA – Pac 10

Bucknell – Patriot League

Florida – SEC

Davidson – Southern

Northwestern State – Southland

South Alabama – Sun Belt

Southern – SWAC

Nevada – WAC

Gonzaga – West Coast Conference

At Large Bids:

Boston College – ACC

North Carolina – ACC

North Carolina State – ACC

George Washington – Atlantic 10

Oklahoma – Big 12

Texas – Big 12

Texas A&M – Big 12

Connecticut – Big East

Georgetown – Big East

Marquette – Big East

Pittsburgh – Big East

Seton Hall – Big East

Villanova – Big East

West Virginia – Big East

Illinois – Big Ten

Indiana – Big Ten

Michigan State – Big Ten

Ohio State – Big Ten

Wisconsin – Big Ten

Utah State – Big West

George Mason – Colonial

UAB – Conference USA

Bradley – Missouri Valley

Northern Iowa – Missouri Valley

Wichita State – Missouri Valley

Air Force – Mountain West

Arizona – Pac 10

California – Pac 10

Washington – Pac 10

Alabama – SEC

Arkansas – SEC

Kentucky – SEC


Tennessee – SEC

Kirby Puckett Memorial, NIT, NCAA Hockey, World Baseball Classic, Minnesota Vikings

Kirby Puckett Memorial

The memorial Sunday night for Kirby Puckett brought us all down memory lane. I bet half the people I know either were at the Metrodome, watched it on TV or seen it on the Internet.

So what was the impact of Kirby Puckett in this area? According the Social Security Administration the popularity of the name Kirby, for males, topped around 1956 near #400. In 1982 it was no longer on the list, which is the year the Twins drafted Kirby Puckett.

The name Kirby started making a come back in popularity. In 1987 the name ranked #867. In 1988 after the Twins won the World Series the name Kirby jumped to 684. In 1996 when Kirby was forced to retire from playing the game of baseball, #970. In 1997, no longer on the list and has not been since.

During the memorial Kent Hrbek reminded everyone of the number of pets named Kirby. IF there were two pets Herbie, name after Hrbek, would be the second. That was so true. I had a friend who had two cats, Kirby and Herbie. I had another friend with fish, Kirby and Herbie.

One last thought.

In 1987 I was a senior in high school and played in the marching band. Minnesota Twins had organized a victory parade and it was a very, very cold and gray day. They had a high school band on every block playing tunes and we had been invited. I saw Kirby ride by in the convertible wearing the now famous aviator cap. If I remember the story correctly Kirby and Al Newman bought them from some folks in the parade to keep their head warm.

That was a special team, a special day, and a special man.

Batgirl, a local blog, is all Minnesota Twins all the time and has written a lot of good stuff on Kirby Puckett with a couple of pictures from the memorial service.


Anyone seen a web site with a NIT tournament pool? #4 seed men’s Gopher basketball begins with a home game against #5 seed Wake Forest. The Deamon Deacons season was much like the Gophers and this looks to be a good game.

The NIT may be the teams “Not In the Tournament” but always produces some great games.

Let’s Go Gophers!!!

NCAA Hockey

#4 ranked women’s Gopher hockey lost to Wisconsin in the WCHA final last weekend. The lady Gophers host #6 Princeton Tigers at Ridder Arena March 17th at 7 pm in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

A reminder that this year’s women’s NCAA Frozen Four is held at Mariucci Arena March 24 & 26. For tickets click here.

World Baseball Classic

Looks like we need to rethink the title World Series Champion. USA lost to Canada, lost to Mexico and crushed South Africa. That’s not much to be proud of.

We did steal one from Japan. Literally stole it. If this was boxing or figure skating I could understand bit this is baseball.

So we need help from Japan. Because of some tie breaker system that seems like was created by a math major under the influence of drugs, Japan needs to beat Mexico in a 9 inning game and by less than 7 runs for us to have a chance to advance.


Minnesota Vikings

Daunte Culpepper, I am not sure what to say. I wish the situation had been handled different by both sides but I do have to wonder if this was Daunte’s way of forcing a trade. Negotiating in the media and via email is ridiculous. Miami can have him.