Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back in the saddle again

Being a one-man play you have to, at times, unplug.

No exotic vacation this past weekend just no responsibilities.

It came unexpected and hey, I apologize for those who showed up looking for the goods and found a padlock on the door, but my battery was about dead. Thanks for coming back.

Let's get back to looking at the landscape, talking 'bout the news and punchin' holes in the myths.

The Backyard

Todd Helton
is hot. He looks like the sweet slugger of old. Sort of. The power is long gone but he is back to being a bear of an out for opposing pitchers. That said, forget the foolishness -- he ain't hitting .400 this season any more than you and I. Just like Alex Rodriguez won't hit 75 home runs or whatever pace he is currently on these days. And while it is encouraging to see Helton healthy and raking, let's not forget his sick salary is not paid for him to hit .4oo. He's loaded up with green paper to be productive which means driving in runs, lots of them, say 120-130. That's not looking to be in the cards so let's go easy on Helton is "myyyyyyyyy hero" junk from the media. Matt Holliday is even a more ridiculous suggestion as a .400 hitter but that man, health permitting, will likely be the power source he's expected to be and Helton once was back in time, finishing with 120-plus RBI.

A disappointing story to read on long-time-ago Nugget power forward James Ray, a big-time athlete and even bigger draft bust who is now fighting for his life. Ray proves that on-court failure means little when compared to off-court contributions to this world. Blessings his way. Hopefully Mark Kiszla's story will generate some meaningful support.

Call me a hater, who cares, but former CU coach Ricardo Patton is little more than a wanna-be in Chauncey Billups' posse. Yes, Smooth loves Patton and Patton is all too willing to ride the coattails of Billups but the former Buff and current Piston star guard did it on his own in Boulder and would have been the same sort of star elsewhere. Coaching didn't make him a collegiate star. Patton can do all he wants to sell how he will bring in the next Billups but getting the former George Washington prep phenom was a gift and once on campus it was the player not the coaching of anyone that made him who he became. He ran the program.

Could it be true? Button-down Jeff Bzdelik already getting a blue-chip talent to consider CU? Michael Sanchez, a low post load from Arkansas, writes Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, is including the Buffs along with more reputable basketball schools as a place to showcase his talents. If Sanchez is serious on any level about Boulder then Bzdelik is showing he is not married to the belief his system doesn't need talent. If Bzdelik can drive CU to a winning record in 2007/2008 and score a victory along the recruiting paths then he will get the attention of even the doubters.

Ah, this has to hurt -- Rams lose to the Buffs and the games haven't even started yet. Big loss for the Rams but bigger catch for CU. This will be interesting to watch.

Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News is always a writer I've appreciated. Cerebral. But the dude is way off suggesting the Rockies call up last season's top draft pick -- pitcher Greg Reynolds. Yes, the big Stanford right-hander is dominating now -- without elite stuff -- but he comes to Denver now and he gets punched in the nose. Let him refine his talent, work through Triple-A and show off there too then consider the move to the big-league club. Let me offer this reminder to Krieger. There once was a pitcher who flew through the Rockies system, mowing down hitters, destined to become a star. His name? Jamey Wright. How many big seasons did the tall one have in Colorado or anywhere? Yes, Reynolds went much higher in the draft but most experts saw him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter at best, which is a whole another story using a high pick on such a guy. Wait. Be patient.

The National Sweep

For all his talent, Randy Moss is simply a headcase. There is no nice way to sell his behavior. Here is just the latest. Like Patriots coach Bill Belichick is going to change him? The Minnesota days were ages ago. Moss just set it on cruise control in Oakland and cheated the organization and fans. He will be better in New England but the days of dominance -- gone like the wind.

Florida Billy Donovan, a two-time champion, is a college coach. He should stay in school and dominate. But ego and money gets the best of most men in this life. The Gator magician could end up in the pros yet with Houston and Orlando the latest potential suitors. Here's one vote against that proposal.

His name, they say, is Chipper Jones. Sounds more like Grumpy Jones or Hot Head Jones, which I don't particularly care for because their is only one Hot Head and that's me. That said, Jones is a marvelous player, Hall of Fame all the way, and one straight-up fellow. He gets the WSN salute. Fact is, he's on the money with this quote. Not that Major League Baseball can do anything about it though. Just one of those things that Jones and the Atlanta Braves are going to have to grind through.

All you need to know about the NBA playoff is this -- whoever wins Game 5 of the Suns-Spurs series is...going...to...win...the championship. Phoenix and San Antonio are both capable of rallying from a 3-2 series deficit but won't. The rest of the teams in the Association party are good and can be rough in any one game but won't beat either the Suns or Spurs in a seven-game brawl.

And what is up with the Spurs, aka Street Punks. San Antonio continues to go hockey and check Suns stud Steve Nash hard. The little Canadian isn't cool with it either. Personally, I think the Spurs are playing right into Phoenix's hands, adding more fuel to the desire. Amare Stoudemire complained, Nash is battered and in the end the Texans could feel the most pain.

Are the Lakers really this stupid? Potentially importing Ron Artest? I think not but hey, foolish people have the ability to do the unexpected more than they should. The boy is an all-out baller, no doubt but he is also a high-probability freak out re-occurrence waiting to happen. To L.A. -- just say no. You'll thank me later. Just also remember to pay my consulting fee -- tix to Nuggets-Lakers games.

Bush and Kardashian? Oh, brother, that's all you need to know about the former Heisman Trophy winner. Look her up and check out her story (I, um, already knew it). Sexy, oh my, yes, but if Bush is looking to improve his dirty image (see USC) this ain't the way. His future endorsements continue to dwindle. Bush seems likable but the WSN is really starting to question his intelligence and decision-making process. Must be that Trojan education. Good thing he's protected with a fat bank account.

Random Ramblings

This is what the media orgy of coverage to the killing fields (mass murders), domestically, does for sick minds. No surprise. What's just as sick is the hunger, the lust for television ratings that creates a powerful allure to broken souls and minds. Removing the stigma of seeking mental health counseling is paramount as is making that service for available, cost be damned. Finally, punishment, even for minors needs to be harsh, with out exception, once someone crosses the line.

Ever needed an attorney after being hurt because of someone else's negligence? Check out the movie Civil Action, with John Travolta, Robert Duval and William Macy and learn all that goes into getting your case represented, or not. Fast paced, educational, entertaining.

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