Monday, June 25, 2007

Broken bodies and accountability

Look in the mirror, at least a little, will you, those who complain.

A story getting big play right now is about benefits, or the lack of for former NFL players, and it's one hot issue.

The question is -- who should pay?

The players think the League has completely failed them and maybe, in the case of long-retired players, that's true. But something that isn't getting asked or written about is how much of the responsibility lies with the players, both current and former?

Shouldn't people who make a fantastic living, knowing full well the risks of the profession, think of another career endeavor if they fear crippling consequences? Should they also debate living like kings or rock stars while they are playing, instead choosing to sock heavy dough away for the post-career medical costs? Shouldn't current players also come together to help those from the past?

This should not all be about the League and the union, should it?

There are a lot of sad stories out there that will appeal to anyone with a heart but it's like me smoking for a lifetime then asking where's my help when I contract lung cancer. Playing football is like being a coal miner. You know you are going to an early grave doing it but it pays too well for you to make an alternative decision.

Writers gone wild

Ideas, by themselves, should not be discouraged.

Yet, questionable quality always should be.

Reading some Denver columnists musings regarding ideas about the Rockies personnel was startling, as in made little sense.

Seems to me that some esteemed writers who I hold in high regard believe that Garrett Atkins could or should be moved for more pitching, with some even believing the organization has major league-ready bats on tap.


Atkins is having a disappointing and putrid season that defies explanation but are we supposed to bury our heads in the sand and completely forget his two prior campaigns and just sell him off as distressed property? Maybe then, we can watch him hit 25 homers and drive in 100 runs for another team.

And how about the idea to promote last year's number one pick, Greg Reynolds, currently in Double-A, now? Remember the name Ubaldo Jimenez? Cruised through Double-A last year and then looked like a lost boy in Denver. Now he barely looks like a prospect at Colorado Springs, with no signs of past dominance. Long-lost Rockie Jamey Wright also dominated Double-A and look what happened to him.

And the Rockies dealing Aaron Cook? Here's a guy who has been falsely touted as a potential ace for who knows how long (not his fault) but trading him? While the guy is a no. 3 starter at best and probably best suited to be a no. 4, where a lot of pressure would be off him to perform, he still has real value, although he is starting to remind me of former Rockie underachiever John Thomsen. That said, he could be a very good arm in that spot in the rotation. Use Jeff Francis as your anchor, and Rodrigo Lopez, for now, as your next arm, followed by the mess that is the rest of the bunch.

No doubt this team needs pitching but will come in time from the farm system, or when two many bats prove to be quality or when a free agent realizes Coors Field doesn't play like it used to and a pitcher really can be successful here, especially if he can control and command his fastball while also possessing a slider and change up.

Final Salvo

Happy birthday to Dikembe Mutombo, who is 41-years young today. Still playing pro basketball, still showing signs of his brilliant past. Still making an impact in the world away from the court.

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