Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Truth

Here's the deal for the Rockies -- trade first baseman Todd Helton and his minor-league backup, Joe Koshanksy, for Texas big bopper Mark Teixeira. The "why's?" The Rangers are going to lose Tex to free agency soon so why not get genuine value in return. Throwing Koshansky into the mix gives them protection if Helton doesn't dial up his power. For Colorado, this is simply being an opportunist. Tex's upside is far greater than a worn-down Helton and even bright-light Kosh.

Of course, the team will not listen to this and instead do their own thing. Take a look at Troy Renck's story today in a local paper and see some of the news going around. The Rockies interested in Houston's Chris Burke? Why? The Angels asking about Garrett Atkins? Sure, as long as those Californians take time to look at the price tag first -- a third baseman in return and two premium arms.

And about time Ryan Spilborghs got invited back to Denver. Dude got done when he got sent down so John Mabry could stick. Mabry once could play but he's cooked. Spilborghs is not an everyday player but he's the type of guy that sparks good things and heaven knows Colorado needs some of that good stuff.

Do you believe this? Larry Brown coming back to coach -- the Houston Rockets? One of the smartest, most dedicated, neurotic men of his sport of his generation. Wonder if even his friends 'get him?' If a young hotshot can't get his big break as the new leader of the Rockets, yeah, it would be nice to see Brown work with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Imagine the minds of Greg Popovich in San Antonio playing chess on the court with Brown. Cool.

Rockies masher Matt Holliday getting some recognition outside of Denver. The Okie would get a whole lot more national love if only he played on a team someone cared about, one that actually cared about winning.

A salute to Rocky Mountain high school shortstop Andy Burns who put on a five-game show in the state tournament to lead his team to a 5A championship, hitting .600 with four home runs and 12 RBI. Pressure? What pressure.

A name to remember -- Cherokee Trail high school stud -- and 15-year old Micah Green, who slugged his team past Thomas Jefferson in the 4A title game.

Congratulations to Faith Christian, Wray and Eads, who also won championships in their respective classes.

Calhoun talks Falcons

Had a chance to talk Air Force football recently with new coach Troy Calhoun.

It says here that Calhoun is an intriguing choice to replace Fisher DeBerry due to his own playing and coaching experience in Colorado Springs as well as his time working under Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak.

The man certainly knows winning.

WSN: What about the Air Force Academy called you back from the NFL -- was it to become a head coach or where there other factors?

Calhoun: I guess there were other factors but first and foremost it would be the caliber of young person with whom you're able to work.

WSN: How do you feel your broad experience will help you do great things in the Springs?

Calhoun: I don't know if I would put it like that. I'd say a familiarity with the Academy is a benefit and then the chance to put together a staff that works hard, has tremendous integrity and guys that are very proud in whatever capacity to be a part of Air Force.

WSN: What do you see as the current obstacles or challenges to building your model program?

Calhoun: You have to look at what your advantages are. For one, you have unselfish kids that have a ton of passion for football and are proud to be associated with an institution, that later on following graduation, are going to serve their country.

WSN: Personnel-wise, what are your initial observations of the program?

Calhoun: It helps having an experienced quarterback but candidly, we have a long ways to go. Yet, I like our work ethic, like our spirit.

WSN: With the limited recruiting base as a service academy does that limit what systems you can use on both sides of the ball?

Calhoun: The key is this -- you have to know time-wise that you don't have 20 hours a week, you don't even close. We're probably in the neighborhood of 15 hours a week that we spend with our players.

We're going to identify two things we can do really, really well on both sides of the ball and make sure we get a ton of (repetitions).

On offense, we have to execute some option and we want to utilize some zone principles.

WSN: What are your short-term goals, maybe for the first three seasons?

Calhoun: I want to see us make improvement, especially being stronger in the second half of the season and we'd like to go to bowl games. That's what we want to do here.

WSN: What characteristic do you most admire when you talk about Shanahan and Kubiak?

Calhoun: Work ethic.

WSN: What made DeBerry so successful at Air Force?

Calhoun: He was exceptionally proud to represent the Academy.

WSN: Maybe I'm full of myself playing psychologist but the discussion I had with Calhoun had a lot of things to say between the lines. Maybe he had fantastic relationships in the pro game but what really matters to him most is what he will find at Air Force. Morals, values, work ethic, serving others and the pride of doing a job well. He comes off as a man of high character. We know he has the pedigree to coach. In time, the word here is he is going to be highly successful, as in frequent bowl games. And it would not surprise me if Calhoun roots himself long-term in this job.

The National Sweep

Hate to be the bad guy, although I'm good at it, but you get pregnant, well, not me but women, and you're an athlete, you should lose your scholarship at least for a year. No investigation is needed. We're not talking academics here, we're talking coming to school to play a sport then not being able to play. It's cool you want to have a baby or had, um, one of those moments, but don't penalize the school with your decision. Now, rebel all you want with your selfish position but that's the word.

Maybe it's just me but I don't think I have ever seen Michael Jordan, Mr. GQ, out in public so casually dressed. Is he really like the rest of us? Yeah, didn't think so.

Co-ed party boy reborn -- a 20-win season and a contract extension. Redemption is out there for all of us. Larry Eustachy could always coach but obviously his success gave him the impression that he was bullet-proof. Hey, all for someone pulling themselves out of the gutter.

Scoreboard Grumblings

The Rockies beat up Gil Meche, no easy task, in beating the bad-news Royals 6-4 Saturday. Good thing Colorado got to play a team that is more pitiful than itself. Nice to see former homeboy Ryan Shealy bring a gift to the host team in the form of a home run.

While I dislike doing this, I will admit Taylor Buchholz turned in another quality start (one unearned run in seven innings) but remember, this was Kansas City. And what's up with the best Rockies relievers? Last night, Manny Corpas got smoked and today it was Ramon Ramirez getting worked. Is there some Dominican holiday going on this weekend?
Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton all woke up for a day and homered. Nice fireworks.

Nice day all around. Everyone gets ice cream!

WSN Rockies Prospect Report

Colorado's farm system is developing players but it's the new names that are impressing not the ones who were closest to The Show.

Before breaking down each level of the chain, let's just hit on what you want, which is names.

The Hotshots, based on production not that fluid thing called potential
  1. Greg Reynolds, starting pitcher
  2. Brandon Hynick, SP
  3. Joe Koshansky, 1B
  4. Keith Weiser, SP
  5. Jarrett Grube, relief pitcher
  6. Ian Stewart, OF
  7. Seth Smith, OF
  8. Jon Hererra, SS
AAA-Colorado Springs -- Outfielders Stewart and Smith continue to disappoint but that's a shortcoming that a solid hot streak can cure. Koshansky has his average up to .321, a must in a hitter's league, and his power is likely just around the corner. He is the one to watch on this team.

Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is not a prospect currently despite his physical skills because he has regressed into just another Joe (7.65 ERA). The pitchers on this roster are afterthoughts only at this time.

AA-Tulsa -- Shortstop Hererra (.312) is the best of a motley crew of hitters.

Reynolds (4-1, 1.58 ERA in 7 starts) is dominating and Grube (0.36 ERA) and Matt Daley (3.13) have been strong in relief.

A - Modesto -- Outfielder Daniel Carte (.333), a player the Rockies have had high hopes for, is finally producing but the man has drawn but two walks while striking out 33 times, something to watch as he moves up the ladder. Such poor strike-zone judgment usually spells d-o-o-m.

Hynick (6-0, 0.68 ERA) is the most productive player in the minors right now for the organization, toying with opponents. Keep him healthy and he will be in Tulsa shortly. Andrew Johnston (2.14) has been solid in relief.

A - Asheville -- First baseman Michael Paulk (.375) has been amazing but no power means he is not much more than a bench player in the eyes of major league scouts. Shortstop Daniel Mayora (.331) and another first baseman, Logan Wiens (.314), are also stinging the baseball now.

Weiser (7-0, 2.32) doesn't overwhelm hitters as a big arm but his pitching smarts have him winning big. Sean Jarrett (1.15 ERA) is tough out of the bullpen.

Random Ramblings

Funny, isn't it, how a President who's work in office was once highly questioned is now dropping the hammer on another President. Laughable. He, like all Americans, has a right to express his feelings and it is interesting to hear them but maybe one should have more achievement behind him before denigrating another. Just my ever so humble opinion.

The decision on whether to withdraw troops from Iraq is not mine to make but this assertion that the reason for the terrorist activity is due to the American presence is -- hahaha-- insulting, inaccurate and delusional. The reason for the terrorist activity is because that has long been and will long be these people's mindset. Pain, anger, rage, pride, more anger, amplified rage, hell on earth, and the best thing -- zero remorse and empathy. Wish they would go sell their request for help elsewhere. Terrorism was a bedrock long before the United States became involved.

Michael Moore goes SiCKO to talk about what the government continues to try to repress because they don't wish to get tossed out of the bed they share and all the naughties they do with their lover, the health insurance companies. What's that old song -- Running with the Devil.

Hate to break the news to the government
but immigration issues are not the ones that should be at the top of the list of things we should be getting dirty dealing with. Not saying it isn't a matter that doesn't need attention, it's just that this little think called a war should be getting more effort, that health care, which affects our lives daily, should be getting our love, that helping those in New Orleans, Kansas, Missouri and anywhere where towns, cities and people have had their world's rocked. What about supporting entrepreneurs who will one day provide jobs to all of us? What happened to prioritizing?

I'm perfectly cool with the idea of no Bibles in school. Just don't then play the other side of the fence and jam new-age culture down the throats of children and parents, thinking you're beyond reproach. And no introducing other forms of religion. Like any athletic event, call it the same both ways and this guy will live and let live, roll with the punches.

Well, now that Leo has said it, I believe it -- our planet is in peril. Leo, people aren't going to listen to you anymore than they will nerd scientists who's business it is to study and educate. We prefer not to know until it's too late, which will be the case on this matter.

A story that is very real to some families. These truths about personal sacrifice for others serve as lights of inspiration. In this life, some run, some stick tight. The Feuerstines, by all appearances, are in it to win, to the very end. They get a WSN salute.

On the flip side, there's this slice of life. Maybe we should give her break. After all, she says she called for an ambulance and tried CPR. How responsible is that! Think we should forget about cruel and unusual punishment, turn our heads and let someone do the same her way. And what is anyone doing taking on eight young children, outside of a public insitution. Even for the best in the business, that's showing off, thinking you're superhuman. That itself should be a crime.

Love how the media believes that the setting of this story means something big. Affluent people have issues just like the rest of us. Money doesn't completely insulate you from pain and suffering. And face it, there is insanity all around us. We just hope we and our loved ones some how avoid it all.

Final Salvo

Ever had someone pass through your life, leaving you for the better, then they're gone to presumably do the same for another?

Lose someone so very special and in the end all you're left with is the fact that you've been changed, never again to be who you were and all you can do is be grateful for a taste of something so strong, powerful and beautiful and how it gave you new eyes, a new heart.

Choose to hold on to that transformation and that time instead of how short-lived the experience.

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