Friday, May 25, 2007

Quit cryin', stop lyin', local names back

It's not as ugly as the media makes it seem -- college athletes being told to look elsewhere if they want to play. It's like American Idol -- telling them truth, no matter how unkind, is the greatest kindness. It serves the athlete, it serves the school. Coaches are paid to win, face it, and if they don't believe a player can help them to that end, they need to go. For those kicked to the curb, it's just life. As long as the athletes have time to look for a new school without losing financial assistance, it's acceptable behavior. No player wants to rot on the bench and not feel part of the team.

Colorado and Hawaii in a four-game contract for college football -- I like. Hey, the islanders play an exciting brand of pig and you know the Buffs will love a couple of trips out that direction. They will make the Buffs work to stay in and win those games. Not a bad recruiting pitch either.

Joe Koshanksy
is red hot in the month of May down in the Springs, according to a Jack Etkin story in the RMN, hitting .390. In the Pacific Coast League, it you're not dominating with a .320 average or better you aren't much of a hitter. To put heat on the Rockies, all the strapping first baseman has to do is start showing his power again. He does that and really, Colorado has to try to force a trade with Todd Helton, getting rid of some of his salary while eating the rest. Until Koshansky balances power with average, though, Helton stays in town but this is a story that bears close watching.

Speaking of which, maybe someone is interested in Helton after all (and reliever Brian Fuentes). The problems are two-fold. One, the Yankees don't have much to offer in return at either the major or minor-league level and two, those New Yorkers are thinking the Rockies will sell at a steep quality discount. Knowing Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, that is possible, if forever stupid. The Yankees, it says here, are a poor trade partner. Don't deal with them.

Jack Elway, son of a pretty famous local quarterback legend, is almost ready to embark on a college career of his own and some schools of interest include LSU and Oregon. Little Elway has the size according to a Jim Armstrong column in the Denver Post, but anyone who follows local high school football knows his game doesn't compare at all to Pops. He simply isn't an elite prospect although he has that nationally-famous name. To have to carry that burden is going to be a challenge while he tries to improve his game. That said, with proper coaching he could become a winner, no doubt, if not a star, but he is far from a sure thing. Not saying he will be the same guy but remember the name Adam Bledsoe? Didn't quite become the second coming of his brother.

Word just in -- Denver coach Mike Shanahan falls more in love with quarterback Jay Cutler every day. He's married to him in contract and in heart.

Great....Rockies elite minor-league pitching prospect Greg Reynolds, last June's top draft pick, who is off to a bold start (4-1, 1.58 ERA) at Tulsa has a bum shoulder and is now on the disabled list. Even when Colorado has something going for it, things go up in smoke. The organization better handle him with kid gloves after seeing what happened to former uber-prospect Chin-hui Tsao, once of the better talents in the minors who busted in Denver due to injury. Now a Dodger, he looks promising again.

Sweeping the Nation

Selfishly speaking, I'd love to see Dikembe Mutombo have a shot at winning an NBA championship. It likely won't happen before the ancient center retires but if he keeps coming back season after season, who knows what might happen. Deke has just announced that after a dinner conversation with Hakeem Olajuwon that the 7-foot-2 condor is back next year for the Houston Rockets. Mutombo is one of the good people in sports and his presence, even in lesser athletic impact is a great thing for the Association, both for his closeness to young players and for what he can do image-wise for the NBA.

Congratulations to former Denver prep Micheal Ray Richardson, back in basketball, hired by a CBA team in Oklahoma City. Richardson was simply "forked" over comments that, while stupid, were hardly inflammatory, yet led to his firing. Worse things are said on playgrounds and in offices near daily. It was typical political correctness overreaction and pant soiling. "Big Time Jew Lawyers" oh my, what will we do! All those attorneys so offended they will sue for damages, the entire Jewish population staying home from work to mourn. Ridiculous. That's who we've become as a nation, though, looking hard to punish anyone over words. The way to hurt Richardson was not to throw a fit but, if you were offended as an attorney, simply refuse to work with him, which is still immature.

This really is appalling -- not the New York Rangers conduct but the former cheerleader's. Come on now, it's cheerleading! It's about appearance, more about what guys look at than getting someone excited for the team. Cheerleading has long been overrated as to what it brings to a game atmosphere or how it affects the outcome of a contest. It's about pretty girls, looking their best. So for this honey to be upset that her bosses had the nerve to suggest looking good for the fans is a hollow complaint. It's not some corporate job. Getting groped in the stands is a very legitimate gripe but the rest, is...the jury finds the plaintiff innocent...court dismissed. What's next, Hooters girls or strippers feeling sexually objectified in the workplace?

Fantastic story on Barry Bonds, the home-run record, and top hitters from Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News. Points to mention -- Bonds is lying if he says he wouldn't mind Alex Rodriguez breaking his record one day. Look at how Bonds phrases his statement and you can see he is a deeply insecure guy deflecting, in his mind, weakness over being hurt not being no. 1 one day. Also,Rockies manager Clint Hurdle's remarks about projections, how we can say A-Rod will break the record for sure but minefields remain. A lot of talk also on Bonds unbelievable talent as a hitter and how he almost always powders the baseball. Great work by a Hall of Fame writer.

Speak Up, Go Warrior

From Dolo, a "concerned fan" who is ready to take out a stalking order on me on behalf of one San Francisco Giant.

I don't know what Barry Bonds has done to you personally, but your fascination with him borders on the insane. Did it ever occur to you that the exact pitchers that served up those bombs to Bonds early in the decade were on roids themselves? Did that not occur to you? Bonds took roids, that's not in doubt, but what bothers me is that you seem to have some sort of bone to pick with him personally. Yes, he cheated, but so was everyone else in baseball, and I stress EVERYONE! Lay off the Bonds, or better yet, when you admonish him, please also admonish the vast majority of ball players with him (not just Canseco, Palmero, Sosa and McGwire)."

WSN: Guess, I've been outed. I do suppose I have been harsh on Bonds because of my "issue" with liars, especially those who mix it in with arrogance. And maybe I am a wee bit insane with my "fascination" with his cheating, only because of the affront it is to Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and all the accomplished players in history who's bodies haven't abnormally changed since their arrival in the big leagues.

Do I think Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, for example, have cheated? There is always that possibility they took part in that clubhouse buffet of supplements but I believe those guys, along with Ken Griffey Jr. either only sampled (and didn't take more on their plates) or rejected that sort of enhancement altogether. It's quite obvious the already amazing Bonds, piled that junk up high on his plate. Look at how Bonds and Mark McGwire's bodies changed over the years. That's not merely working out and diet.

To give Bonds a pass is to bury one's head in the sand. To say, 'hey, everyone else is doing it" doesn't wash either. Why? What would your parents and mine have said or what did they say if and when we tried that line on them growing up?

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