Monday, July 2, 2007

Rockies star, Avs kick up ice, Helton in love

Matt Holliday got what he deserved -- being named to the National League All-Star team by his peers. Brian Fuentes, despite a recent meltdown of epic proportions, was chosen too in spite of it all. Maybe Barry Bonds "homered" Holliday because the game is in San Francisco but the players, managers and coaches know who's better these days. Fuentes may be a rollercoaster ride but no Rockies pitcher has been to the game more than him. "Scoreboard," Fuentes says.

The Avalanche looks like it wants to play with the big boys again, signing free agents Scott Hannan and Ryan Smyth. Hannan is here to shore up the Colorado ole' defensive effort while Smyth is in town to be the gutty winger who can make things happen around the net. The Avs always had the public's attention with bold power plays off the ice. Maybe these moves aren't Patrick Roy or Ray Bourque but they are signs of competitiveness. No Chris Drury but it's still hope. Colorado got off the couch and did something again.

Maybe today Kobe Bryant was able to poop again, the stress all gone. After all, the Lakers did just extend Luke Walton for six years. O.K., maybe Bryant is still planning an escape from his own private Alcatraz.

Todd Helton is offering up kisses for former manager Don Baylor in a Troy Renck column, and you can just see the subtle backhanded slap, despite any future denials, at current manager Clint Hurdle and his, um, cough, cough -- flaws. Shhhhhhhh...let's keep it between us.

CU graduate John Douma played some pinball golf in winning the Colorado Open, bouncing a ball off the fence on the 18th, making par and going home with the biggest check of the day. Just not sure if he called bank shot to get it close for the putt.

By the way, think it's time for Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd to realize that with no moves his pitching staff is going to continue to resemble a forest fire this summer and Colorado is going to have some long losing streaks in the second half of the season. No excuses, just do something. Anything.

Nuggets Noise

Denver did nada in this year's NBA draft thanks to previous trades depleting their selections.

So, the question now is are there patchwork players out there who can help repair the holes on this team? thinks there might be.

The publication lists journeyman scorer Jerry Stackhouse as a possibility as well as long-range shooters Matt Barnes, Matt Carroll and DeShawn Stevenson.

Stackhouse would not bring the intangibles to town the Nuggets need. He's a runner and a scorer and not much else at this stage of his career. Barnes and Carroll could help as they would be outstanding limited minute players. Stevenson, a former Kansas Jayhawk commit who bypassed college to become the top draft pick of the Jazz, has never blossomed as expected yet is improving his game. He could provide size and athleticism and more predictability than wild horse J.R. Smith. Stevenson's shooting is also improving.

The WSN dirty lowdown? Here are two players of interest that could breathe some playoff life into the Nuggets, both of which would require some sign-and-trade wizardry -- Milwaukee point guard Maurice Williams and Charlotte scoring swingman Gerald Wallace.

The Nuggets need playmaking and backcourt point production balance and those two could provide it. Problem is that antiquated salary cap. Some massaging of the numbers would be necessary to bring either of those two cats a mile high.

Try to believe this if you will

Here we go again.

Someone trying to blame head injuries or steroids or just a fat, easy life for criminal, deviant, ugly behavior.

This time, the father of a former Purdue football player says concussions likely were the reason for his son twice putting on a homemade mask and then attempting to rape women.

The facts, after all the lying has been stripped down is this -- Kyle Williams, 21, a former elite recruit, simply chose to be a sexual opportunist and predator.

Case closed.

Just because I'm a man

Caught a feature on ESPN on Miami Dolphins star defensive end Jason Taylor, last season's NFL defensive player of the year and just have to say, his wife, Katina, well, that may have been his most impressive sack.

If I remember correctly she is the sister of teammate Zach Thomas.

But all that glitters is not gold.

Upon further review, the Taylor's marriage was on the rocks in the last year and the penalty for upsetting the Mrs. was going to be severe. So, for now, all is o.k., but subject to change. Fame doesn't protect one from very real human problems.

On the outside looking in, Taylor has a beautiful life full of career success, an attractive wife, healthy children, and charitable purpose but on the's reality and skeletons, just like the rest of us.

Happy Birthday

Celebrating today are Richard Petty (70), Billy Wagner (36), Jose Canseco (43), Karl Malone (44) and Joe Thornton (28).

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