Friday, July 13, 2007

Wealth building; Cuban Cubs; Dealmaking

Alex Rodriguez is a lock to soon start earning in excess of $ 30 million annually. And, just on skills and drawing power alone, he's worth it, no matter how many haters he might have surrounding him. He doesn't own the team trophies or sell the amount of merchandise that Michael Jordan did, which made MJ a bargain no matter what he was paid, but A-Rod, if he can avoid the Ken Griffey Jr. injury curse, will have all-around numbers like the game has never seen. He is dedicated to his profession, maximizing his talent and that alone should be respected. So, he's not a natural leader, who cares. Honestly now, in all fairness, does the man really have to sell hot dogs and popcorn too? Can't some other inferior-talented player be the leader or in New York's case, isn't Derek Jeter enough?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has applied to buy the Chicago Cubs. Regardless of his frat boy behavior, any franchise in any sport that has Cuban for an owner should do all it can to support his team. The man is what any fan wants -- someone who cares as much about winning as they do. Cuban wants to make money but like George Steinbrenner, he wants to win more. Much more. The Cubs should be so fortunate to have Cuban as their boss and I promise you the overwhelming majority of their fans would love to see this go down. Ah, and imagine the fun of Cuban in Major League Baseball with it's golf-like, old-conservatism mentality amongst owners.

Wondering, what would the Rockies look like with Pat Bowlen running the show?

More Mumbles, basketball

So who's going to win the stare down -- Kobe Bryant or the Lakers? L.A. can bust Bryant's cajones if they desire but this is a no-win situation for it. In the end, as painful as it is, the best move for the Lakers is to concede to an angry Bryant and dish him for the biggest bounty available. However, if the organization will reconsider its' previous stance and cough, cough up Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, which it hasn't shown it is willing to do, then Bryant would likely be receptive to staying, as such a move would bring a star-quality talent to tandem with Mr. Congeniality.

The Nuggets have been strangely silent in the offseason. Who knows, maybe they're accurate in assuming a healthy roster, given time to develop chemistry, can be a Western Conference power. The WSN doesn't really see any defensive magic on that team, or sufficient perimeter ability on offense. Please accept my condolences but, as of now, Denver, with all the breaks imaginable, wins one series in the playoffs, no more.

Oh, I stand naked and corrected -- Chucky Atkins is coming, Chucky Atkins is coming. Hey, wake up! Did you hear the news! Atkins is coming and Steve Blake is going. Atkins is older, smaller and not the passer or ball handler that Blake is. Atkins will be a better long-range shooter and slightly better scorer but does Denver really need another guy like that? This decision, maybe a money one, gets a D. The Nuggets are not better for it.

Orlando doesn't get it. Signing scoring forward Rashard Lewis away from Seattle will create more offense and make the Magic prettier but it doesn't help them win. Does Lewis rebound, pass or defend? That was one expensive cosmetic surgery in O-town.

Mumbling football

The Chargers scored in the supplemental draft getting cornerback Paul Oliver, who can, at best, be a solid starter, and at worst, a play-making nickel back. The Chargers blew it by firing Marty Schottenheimer without a proven replacement but their personnel decisions are rock solid.

The Ravens picked offensive tackle Jared Gaither as a supplemental pick and if general manager Ozzie Newsome thinks Gaither can be a force, then if I'm Baltimore fan I'm feeling pretty smug right now.

Is it just me or are the Broncos having more off-the-field problems this offseason? Brandon Marshall, David Kircus, Kenny Peterson and Sam Brandon. Think the team needs an assistant principal to start handing out discipline. The police aren't a deterrent. The NFL is doing it's part but what about coach Mike Shanahan?

Hook baited or not

Rumors are Houston could throw a line into the water to gauge interest in starting pitcher Roy Oswalt, fellow hurler and former Rockies arm Jason Jennings and reliever and Cherry Creek graduate Brad Lidge.

All are long shots to be be traded. Oswalt and Lidge will demand a premium price and Jennings just isn't good enough to get a quality offer.

So why is this news?

If the Rockies truly want to prove their love to their honeys (the fans) they would grip hard, and dish prospects from the top shelf for Oswalt, first and Lidge, second.

Oswalt is a horse who could anchor the staff, coupling with Jeff Francis for a solid 1-2 punch, also saving the bullpen as well as win, guaranteed, 15-16 games annually and Lidge, with his power stuff, a lot of it in the dirt, could be the closer Colorado desperately needs.

If all this requires giving up star prospects Greg Reynolds and Ian Stewart, and possibly big leaguers Aaron Cook and Brian Fuentes, then (lightning please), it should be done.

Farm hands get recognized

Earlier this season, Rockies minor league pitcher Brandon Hynick looked like a Greg Maddux-knockoff. Then he blended back into the crowd for a while but his last start re-lit his lamp as Baseball America listed him no. 11 on its' hottest prospect chart. Further down the ladder is pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who dominated Double-A last season but struggled in Denver and has done the same at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season. A recent turnaround, however, has earned him the no. 20 spot for Baseball America.

Gettin' dirty -- Jimenez will never make it in Colorado. He's proven that with a terrible year at Colorado Springs. Throwing hard is not enough to be successful in The Show. He's been slow to make adjustments and shows no signs, even subtle ones, of figuring out his challenges.

Hynick has been sterling since drafted but he still has a long ride to the majors. Time will tell. He's proving to be too hittable, even if runs are hard to come by off him, to be a star. He does look like a solid prospect but a lower-level two man or a high-level three in the rotation.

Final Salvo

I have to come clean, step out of the closet (again) to confess -- I'm unmoved by the hysteria regarding David and Victoria Beckham. No squeals or shrieks or hosannas in me.

Forgive me but I think I will pass on the made-for-America publicity and wait for college and pro football.

Color me boring.

Hope Beckham lights it up on the field and proves to be more than movie star-false important.

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