Thursday, June 7, 2007

Rappin' injustice claim; weakness; panties

O.K., enough already, alright? Contrary to the opinion that a scholarship offer is a commitment for the duration of an athlete's career, it isn't. While the WSN disapproves of dumping a player out of a program say, outside of a week following the season, a coach has the right and yes, obligation to the athletic department to field the best product and if a coach believes a player is not living up to his potential, whether it be as an athlete, student or human being, he needs to encourage or dismiss that person from his program.

Players transfer, coaches split, the world ain't perfect, is it?

This "running off" of players, as many sell it, is just part of the business. Last I checked, athletes get cut from junior high and high school programs, when their emotional maturity can't really handle that wound too well, yet they live on.

Some cat named Michael Jordan got axed from the team in high school and look what happened to him.

Winning matters and CU coach Jeff Bzdelik should not be vilified for doing exactly what he has been hired to do and will be expected to do come next season and the season after that. Does the end justify the means?

Sometimes, yes.

Do we think Bzdelik wanted to redirect four players elsewhere? I'm thinking he would have loved to walk into town, love his talent base and win 25 games in year 1. It would be easier than what his reality is in Boulder, which is not enough talent.

The same people furious at him over this coldness will be the same ones furious over losing games.

The man could care less about the hits he's taking now because he knows someone has to be the bad guy and that ultimately, his decisions will help his plan succeed.

The exiled players? They will still get educations, still have opportunities to compete.

You know it, I know it, that dirty little secret -- life isn't fair. It's a meat-grinder we all have to fight to rise above. I think the Fired Four will be stronger than most in the end by overcoming their current pain. Their scars will give them an advantage when it comes to future adversity.

What's more cruel, anyway? Using a kid as practice meat and never being honest about his prospects to contribute beyond that or telling the truth and giving them direction to achieve their dreams and goals?

Bzdelik was put into this position by someone no longer employed as head basketball coach.

That's where the blame lies if people want to place it.

Checkin' the backyard

Kaz Matsui
doesn't have productive numbers to show you when it comes to power or RBI but anyone who doubts his irreplaceable value to the Rockies offense has had one two many Coors Lights. His confidence, shattered in New York, is back. He will never be what the Mets thought he would be when he came to the states (an elite talent) but until Colorado can find a hammer of a bat at 2B, Matsui is the best the team has had since Eric Young.

Know who Brad Hawpe reminds the WSN of these days? A poor man's Paul O'Neill. He might also round more into that type of player as he gets older. Of course, if a contending team came calling for Hawpe later this summer, and this is considering Hawpe can continue his recent excellent play, then the word here is to trade him -- extract a premium prospect and a major leaguer for his rights.

Oh, brother, here we go again. The Rockies, who have impressed picking and developing Jeff Francis and Troy Tulowitzki into major leaguers and getting Greg Reynolds on his way, are going to pass up high-ceiling talent again over money. Yes, you have to get players signed but you can't always turn your back on talent if you one day hope to win a division, pennant or World Series. Word is the team is going to draft a college reliever in the first round today. Yes, the team needs a dominant closer and maybe Vanderbilt's Casey Weathers is one (think Billy Wagner) but at the expense of a great hitter, which the team obviously needs? Meet the new Rockies, same as the old Rockies. Check Wednesday's post for who Colorado should be looking at today.

So I keep hearing that Von Wafer, he of the D-League and a former Lakers washout, is the Nuggets answer to their perimeter shooting woes. Like I said, that's what I hear. Sounds like a spin job to me. Not saying Wafer can't come from such a place to succeed but am saying Denver would be wise to do as instructed in this space before and trade a future pick, even if it is a second rounder or a reserve player and a pick to grab one of many potentially solid shooters from this year's draft.

Catcher Chris Iannetta needs more seasoning in the minors and Yorvit Torrealba needs more playing time. Iannetta has shockingly failed with the bat to this point but he should still be thought of as a quality prospect. He excelled at Triple-A last season but was lost in the majors, something that has continued in 2007.

The National Sweep

Just read a report that says Texas forward Kevin Durant is weak, as in his body is pitiful. That's news? Dude is a straw. Regardless, I thought the NBA draft is about talent and from what my eyes saw all season, Durant has that coming out of all his pores. So a story that says Durant can't bench 185 pounds, can't jump, can't whatever means as much to me as Lindsay Lohan/Brittany Spears/Paris Hilton news -- nada.

The real reason Florida superstar coach Billy Donovan dumped the Orlando Magic? He was afraid of failure. Oh, the explanations will be to the contrary but that's the real dirt. That said, Donovan is a fantastic mind, recruiter and teacher and I'd take him coaching my team any day. The college game is where he belongs and will long excel. The Gators will make him feel bad, for a day or two, but will welcome their true love back with open arms.

Nice to see the game of golf has its' panties all wadded up over Michelle Wie's withdrawal from a tournament (which one, who cares) with two holes to play. Yes, maybe a shortsighted move on her part but if I'm women's golf, men's golf, any golf, I think I would shut my mouth when a player who draws any interest and fans even wants to show up to participate in my blue-blood activity. Quick, how many LPGA talents can you name off the top of your head. I just read an article, which reminded me of the great Annika Sorenstam. If I can't remember her, then what's that say about the tour?

Everyone now, give it up for legendary sportswriter Frank Deford, who just gets what the NBA doesn't -- more is not always better. Matter of fact, we're full. We want to leave the table. We could have stopped back in April. Quit making the game the equivalent of an overly long movie you want to leave before finding out how it all ends. Commissioner David Stern's ego and arrogance makes me look like Joe Wallflower.

Final Salvos

Looking for a name to remember? Here's one, a WSN sleeper -- Michael McKenry, a A-Asheville catcher in the Rockies organization who isn't hitting at a high clip (.263) but has strike zone judgment (25 walks, 36 strikeouts) and power (8 HR, 14 2B in 47 games). McKenry could rise fast to the majors if he can continue that level of production.

Starting tomorrow, a series of WSN Lists, beginning with the state's football teams.

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