Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn...Hall of Famers. Rare talents, even better professionals. Both were and are perfect ambassadors to the game, as they were committed to their craft and carried themselves with pride. The warm fuzzies for all inductees is not the same. Neither Ripken nor Gwynn are Ty Cobb, Pete Rose or other like chumps that are on the assistant principal's after-school detention roll call.
Ripken was the all-time grinder who mixed that resolve with talent to create the predecessor to the big and offensively-productive shortstop.
Gwynn never tried to be anything more than God made him, which was a premier base-hit machine. No attempts to go muscle bound and try to hit 30, 40 homers. Knowing who you are and being the best at that you can is success in of itself.
Word from the Sporting News is that Mark McGwire belongs in the Hall too. The publication asked 25 players their opinion and a whopping 23 said Big Mac did too much on the field and for the game off it and for too long to be ignored as honors worthy. Hey, the man was an unbelievable sight as a power bat, no argument here, but if he was in that gray area in getting an unfair advantage with his body then there have to be consequences, don't there? What kind of message do we send aspiring athletes ifMcGwire and eventually Sammy Sosa, Raffy Palmeiro and Big Head Bonds get enshrined despite their unsavory methods?
A reporter asked Bonds if there was a better hitter than himself in his high school lineup. Can you wrap that? Bonds, and no wonder he hates the media, said no one outhit him at Serra High School in Southern California and no one has been better than him at any level. How would you like to be the writer who asked that rookie-caliber question in front of your peers? Could you ever live it down? It's like the guy in office meetings who tries to hard to show off. Know that guy?
Jose Canseco says he has some goods on Alex Rodriguez. While Canseco is the ultimate stool pigeon he has shared truth before so A-Rod might want to be a little worried right now as Canseco doesn't mind selling out anyone and everyone.
Former OU star Adrian Peterson now has his contract, for $ 40.5 million, from the Vikings. That's the easy part of the equation. Him staying healthy enough to earn that money love is the challenge. With is history, the odds are against that happening.
Oklahoma and Notre Dame are talking about getting tangled up on the football field in a home-and-home series beginning in 2012. Progressive idea on behalf of the schools if it goes down. Those are the games fans want to see. Make it reality.
Other series the WSN would like to see would be Michigan and/or Ohio State against Texas and/or Oklahoma; Colorado against Penn State and/or Iowa; a rebirth of Colorado against both Oregon and Washington and a new series with Cal; Colorado State against second-tier or lower tier Pac 10 schools Oregon State, Arizona and Stanford. The Buffs finding an SEC dancing partner or two would also be attractive while hooking up the Rams with mid-to-low-level Big 10 schools, if agreeable, would be a good move.
One more series -- Notre Dame and it's network and money power against any NFL team. If you're going to act like a pro team, you might as well play one.
Tim Couch, back in the NFL, signing with Jacksonville. A flop as a number one overall pick of the Browns but capable if healthy and in the right offense. Is Jacksonville that place? Maybe. Couch is not Ryan Leaf-type arrogant or lazy so the WSN is in his corner hoping he can stick on the roster.
The Broncos are giddy right now with hope of playoff success in 2007 and they should hold on to those good feelings. The reasons for the optimism start with Jay Cutler, work their way through the skill talent on offense, the return of Matt Lepsis at tackle and the recently stocked pond on the defensive front for new defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who is coach Mike Shanahan's latest roll of the dice to get an advantage on that side of the ball. Denver has big time potential to score and prevent scoring but too much has to go right for the Broncos to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and the likelihood of all that lining up in some Cinderella story is nothing more than fantasy.
Denver needs help at wide receiver and Randy Moss was available at draft time. The powerful Patriots, of all teams, snagged him. The Broncos, however, did the smart thing. Terrell Owens was supposed to be a good soldier when he landed in Philly with Donovan McNabb and coach Andy Reid. Owens played well but was a cancer. Moss isn't Owens as a person but he's not a true professional either. Never was and never will be. The Broncos were wise in not upsetting team chemistry with the former Vikings superstar.
Former Broncos running back Tatum Bell is talking up his talent in Detroit, saying it doesn't matter when Kevin Jones returns, that the starter's job is his, not Jones. Bell is no longer a Bronco for a reason -- he couldn't stay healthy or prove himself the man beyond the shadow of a doubt. What makes him think things will be different in Detroit?
Boulder Fairview graduated quarterback T.C. McCartney going to LSU just doesn't seem right until you hear the Les Miles connection and the fact that the Tigers' talent base allows for a walk-on of McCartney's risky potential, while at CU, Dan Hawkins just can't take as many chances because his margin for error on the field is so much smaller.
As written here before, Forsberg ain't Forsberg anymore. The Avalanche might be interested in bringing back Pete but now word on the street is that the Red Wings, of all franchises, might be a destination for Forsberg. That might be too much to stomach for die-hard Avs fans. Of course, all this is worthless talk if Forsberg is not healthy. That said, him in Detroit is distasteful.
Former Rockies pitcher Jason Jennings is not marketing himself well for a big free agent payday by giving up 11 runs in two-thirds of an inning, as he did Sunday against San Diego. Maybe he should try fake being hurt, so as to not expose his shoddy work.
Last year I heard someone refer to Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba as Horrealba. Wonder if they know the guy, over the course of two seasons, has hit 12 homers and driven in 73 runs as a catcher in just 132 games? How many backstops have hit as well in a Colorado uniform?
Jeff Francis is living up to his contract, a rarity for a Rockies pitcher.
Ubaldo Jimenez, who the WSN is predicting to bomb out because of control and command issues, is embarrassing me right now with his highly competitive pitching. He's tough to hit, keeping the ball in the park and his strikeouts are overcoming the walks he issues. It's a good start. He has scoreboard on us for now.
Clint Hurdle turns 50 years old today and Arnold Scharzenegger is 60.