Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Rockies cooked; drama; football; letters

Those Colorado Rockies do love to pump up expectations thinking fans will fall for it all over again.

Yes, it's only one game but thought management and opposing scouts saw Aaron Cook as an ace, a 20-game winner this season, yet he got, well, rocked against Arizona in an 8-6 loss on Monday in the opener.

Cook is intriguing but some pitchers find ways to end up on the wrong side of losing decisions way too often and that's the tall righthander from Ohio. It says here that Cook will win 12-14 games but that's hardly being the Top Gun he's billed to be.

Shhhhh, a little secret for you -- Jeff Francis, while no Johan Santana, is the Rockies' best starter. He rolls today for Colorado against a team in which he has won six of seven lifetime decisions.

Now for some big cuts:

Manny Corpas and Ramon Ramirez are going to be the stud Latin Connection that will protect closer Brian Fuentes. That twosome has a bright future.

Two RBI and throwing out a runner attempting to steal -- not a bad opener for catcher Chris Iannetta. He's going to be a fringe All-Star player.

Jeff Baker took a while to get to the majors because he was a walking accident but when he did finally end up in Denver last September he showed some real thunder in his bat. He homered Monday and it says here Baker is going to become a solid pro, a starter, some place, some time.

Kaz Matsui and Troy Tulowitzki combined for four hits. That pair has to show they can be offensive forces consistently to tie together the power middle of the lineup.

Cook said he didn't have his "A" game. What he didn't say was his outing was more like no. 3 starter. He can do better and must do better.

Buffs infatuation

The Jeff Bzdelik courtship continues as the object of Colorado's desire arrived in Boulder for some pillow talk about the Buffs' basketball coaching vacancy.

The dance is now public and its' only a matter of time before these two decide if they have the chemistry to become a couple.

So much drama, don't you think? It's high school all over again.

Truth is, if no one else is coming hard at Bzdelik and who knows if anyone is, then he should strike while the iron is hot and take over that mess at CU and whip it into shape. If he can make it happen in the Big 12 against power schools and power coaches he will be writing his ticket back to the NBA where rumor has it he longs to return.

The Backyard

What's not being talked about is if Bzdelik splits to stake a new claim on ground up north then who could be in line and attractive for Air Force?

Check out Matt Hayes of the Sporting News and see him getting in line with what we already know out here by saying that redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins is the next man to lead the Colorado Buffaloes' offense. That mention comes in the second paragraph of Hayes column but if you look at the first paragraph you'll see something very important. Notice it? O.K., now read the Hawkins' forecast again. There it is -- the shotgun. Hawkins being about 5-foot-11, the shotgun and him, a match made in heaven -- use it!

Remember this name Colorado State fans-- Ricky Brewer -- as you can just get the feeling he's going to be somebody. This is but one story on the future thumper and while I'm not hearing he's going to flat-out dominate on talent alone, his drive and will to succeed could make him a real wrecking ball for offenses by the time the final chapter is written on his days at the Fort.

Already shared that Kyle Bell has to be the man in the Rams running game as he's the one guy that can pound, pound and deliver that necessary production. If he's healthy and gobbling up chunks of yardage, quarterback Caleb Hannie is going to be a major factor. That said, CSU still needs to find that back that can bust inside and pop it big once in a while to spell B-E-L-L once in a while. Seems Mike Myers is the one getting the biggest look. With the stories coming out of Ft. Collins, it is obvious coach Sonny Lubick knows the offensive production from 2006 can't repeat itself or he could feel intense heat from the neighborhood despite him being Rams' football. If he doesn't win this fall he could start hearing fans and boosters naming nursing home options and taunts about the game passing him by, just ask Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden about their similar experiences.

CU needs all the big, talented wide receivers it can get these days and if the new verbal commitment from Corey Surrency out of the JUCO ranks sticks next winter, he might put a real charge into the offense. He is talking the talk now about loyalty but temptation, we all know, is a dangerous thing. The whores will soon come calling (see USC and maybe Cal, Oregon and Oregon State) even if he has given a verbal to wear the black and gold. We'll see how strong a character Surrency has to live up to his intentions and promise. Wish him strength -- he's going to need it. Glad it's not me.

So that's the problem with the Nuggets -- Attention Deficit Disorder. Who knew? They're only good for the opening moments of the game. Now that I think of that, maybe that's me.

Guess all that money spent on the roster didn't pay for defense. That must cost extra.

Trippin' the nation

So who's a better maestro -- Rick Pitino or Billy Donovan? Pitino long ago made his mark but he's yesterday's news compared to Donovan and don't think this is Billy D's last championship -- if he stays at Florida. He goes to Kentucky, he will do good things but man, why do that? He has the joint all set up down in Gainesville and all he has to do now is keep the engine hummin' with some general maintenance (recruiting) and maintain his hunger. Who wouldn't want to play for him?

Buckeyes' center Greg Oden dominated like he should in the championship tilt, offensively, but Gators giant Al Horford, well he ain't a dog either, is he? OSU point Mike Conley was a tremendous freshman but the question is how much better is he going to get? Not sure of he has much more upside so if he stays in school don't expect him to rise any higher in the eyes of NBA scouts.

Arkansas may not have rang up Billy Gillispie, John Calipari or even John Wooden to coach their team but in convincing Dana Altman to come to Fayetteville, it just booked itself deep into future NCAA Tournaments as the former Creighton coach is going to do wonderful things. Mark it down, boys.

The dominoes keep falling as Michigan scores some excitement with John Beilein moving up from West Virginia. His style will recruit itself and help the Wolverines take off.

Iowa scored big by getting Todd Lickliter away from Butler. Steve Alford was a marquee name when he came to Iowa City but Lickliter will end up doing better things for the Hawkeyes.

So this is Mike Price's approach at Texas-El Paso to climb the ladder again after embarrassing Alabama and getting fired before he even coached a game? Go after those who just didn't get it at their first school, become Mr. Second Chance. Risky but it might work having motivated juvenile delinquents and cast-offs.

Now here's some football aggression gone wild for you -- a former Michigan Stater playing the loco card. Now how bent do you have to be to throw someone overboard to pavement below. Where is the switch that says "wow, maybe I need a timeout here, maybe I should take a walk, you know, before I throw this chump over the balcony."

The Postman

First, from Jim, down Georgia way.

"I've been reading B&G Truth for a while now and when you announced it's demise I was a bit saddened (CU 65-68). After reading the new blog, I am convinced! As a exile from Colorado in the wasteland of Georgia, I just don't get much Colorado news, especially since Fox Sports Rocky Mountain stopped airing the Rocky Mountain Sports Report. WHO'S BRIGHT IDEA WAS THAT??!! Anyway, this new blog is ideal for me and I have already made it my home page! Thanks!"

WSN: A shout out to Jim in the Peach state and a little note today -- a lot of us end up in geographical or informational wastelands upon leaving Colorado, so I can commiserate with you. Thanks for the kind words. Will try to live up to the compliments.

Next up is Paul, who has something to say about the Jason Smith story in a Marc Spears' column in the Denver Post and the comparisons to Duke's Josh McRoberts.

"Congrats on the new page - I loved the blackandgoldtruth one. Anyways, watch out for McRoberts - the guy can score at will; he just doesn't have the mentality. Smith is not that great...I don't know what Spears is thinking."

WSN: Hey, Paul, good morning. You know something, McRoberts to me is all about untapped talent. You can see he has it but Duke couldn't get it all out of him and now, still not polished, he's hitting the NBA draft. I agree he is happier playing a supporting role than being a dominator. Smith won't be that type either but he will play in the Association and how many Rams can claim that accomplishment? In Spears' defense, it was the scout loving on Smith, not the writer but I get your point on how adamant the talent evaluator was on the CSU star. One more thing about Smith -- I do think he'll work harder than McRoberts on his game.

Scott rides in today and he's not shy when he does.

"Good luck, and to be completely honest -- CSU, CU & AFA all better football teams in 2007. Three bowl games! I'm working in Iraq, I have to be optimistic! Its late, good night. Thanks."

WSN: Scott, prayers, respect and a salute shipped your way this morning. Thank you for your love of country. And I'm going to jump on that bandwagon you're driving and believe that all three schools above will squeeze into minor bowls this season. Maybe, along the way, you can change this lifetime skeptic into an optimist, too. Trust me, do that and you'll get bags full of thank you cards.

And finally, from Craig, who made me laugh out loud, yet another street tough heckling my choice of colors for this space.

"Pick Broncos' orange or Buff gold, just not Fusker red."

WSN: Now Craig, I feel your pain on the whole Nebraska as the black hats and Coloradoans wearing the white ones but the color scheme just seemed bold. You gotta believe when I say I'm no closet Husker. Sending a question back your way -- how do I explain it to the Rams or Falcons here if I go with orange or gold? I might need some muscle to get to and from work -- you have my back, brother? Tell you what -- if I get a bunch of emails requesting a specific color change, I'm a reasonable man, I'll put it up for vote. Be good, catch you soon.

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