Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Scout Is Brave... Is Jeremy Guthrie?

Rockies pitcher Jeremy is a Boy Scout.  Literally.  No matter how bad his on-field performance, Guthrie always seems to make news off the field for being a great guy.  In fact, Guthrie was an Eagle Scout who continues to promote the Boy Scouts of America and its values.

A fundamental tenet of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Brave."  Well, now it's time for Guthrie to stand up and be brave.  There is no need to detail his desultory performance for the Colorado Rockies this season; I'll leave the statistics to the sportswriters of Denver, who do a great job of showing start after start how bad Guthrie has actually been.  And he's been historically bad, even by his lousy standards.

In layman's terms, when Guthrie pitches, his poor on-field performance almost always prevents the Rockies from having a chance at winning.  And this is from a guy penciled in from the outset as the Rockies' "ace" - their #1 starter.  He's certainly making #1 starter money - the Rockies will pay Guthrie $8.2 million for his 2012 performance, no matter how bad he is.  And realistically, he can't get much worse.

There isn't much to argue with Guthrie.  He's been awful.  Anyone could have told you he was going to be awful.  He led the American League in losses in 2011, and he's the only the second pitcher in baseball history to have TWO 17-loss seasons.  He's averaged 15 losses each of the last 4 seasons.  Flat out, no matter how nice a guy off the field Jeremy Guthrie is, he simply isn't a good major league pitcher.  Or even a decent one.  He's terrible, and he hurts his team nearly every time he takes the ball.

Again, anyone could have told you he was going to be awful.  Anyone other than the only person whose opinion really mattered, the supposed "best GM in baseball," Dan O'Dowd of the Colorado Rockies.  O'Dowd should be terminated for the Guthrie signing alone, let alone the many other terrible moves he's made, but of course he won't.  And he's also not making $8.2 million this year, either.

After one recent terrible outing, Guthrie beat himself up verbally, even questioning if his team should continue trotting him out there every day to be a batting practice pitcher and get lit up by nearly every team he faces.  Although Rockies manager Jim Tracy tried to boost Guthrie's confidence by saying the team's success (HA!) depended on Guthrie, it was obvious.  Jeremy Guthrie has realized he's not a capable major league pitcher, and he's given up.  The cap tips tonight to a Rockies crowd booing him for giving up a 6-spot to blow the 4-run lead his offense staked for him, and to an opposing player who launched a Guthrie pitch to the third deck of Coors Field showed it all.  All Guthrie has left is to be a nice guy; he knows he's not going to be an effective pitcher.

Herein lies the opportunity for Guthrie to live up to the Scout Law that "A Scout is Brave" and make even MORE off-field headlines for being a great guy.

Jeremy, give back the $8.2 million.  Stand up, be brave, and say simply, "I have not earned a penny of this money, and I'm giving it back."  Bob Knight did it once at Texas Tech after a season that was not NEARLY as bad as the one you are producing, and if you fail to live up to the moral standards set by Bob Knight, then you have really failed.  If the Rockies refuse to take back the salary you have obviously not earned, give it to a fund that disburses it to the poor souls who shelled out for season tickets to watch you fail again and again and again.  Sure, the player's union will balk at this, but being brave means standing up to people who may not be acting on principle.  Stand up to the player's union, Jeremy, and say, "I did not deserve this money.  I have not earned this money.  I cannot in good conscience keep this money when I have failed repeatedly at the job I was promised $8.2 million to do."  Just tip your cap again, Jeremy, and give back the money.  Even if you give back the $8.2 the Rockies owe you for 2012, you'll still be richer than nearly every single Rockies fan who pays to come see you fail at your job.

A Scout is Brave.  Is Jeremy Guthrie TRULY a Scout?  Or does he just talk the talk, pocket the money, and cowardly walk away from the expensive mess he's made in Denver?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tonight Can Be Coming-Out Party For Underrated Andre Roberson

For those who have watched the University of Colorado's men's basketball program closely, the inevitable emergence of Andre Roberson as a national name won't be a surprise. In fact, it might happen tonight, should the eyes of the college basketball world see Roberson emerge as CU knocks off an ESPN- and mid-major-darling Wichita State Shocker ballclub in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Note: Shockers a 9.5 favorite, according to Vegas. UniOf course, as luck would have it (can't CU beg for a schedule change in PR here?), the Buffs are up against a resurgent Bronco ballclub, playing the Thursday night national TV game at home against the Jets.

But for those who are NOT intimately familiar with CU basketball - and that's most everybody - the emergence of Andre Roberson will not be seen as quite so inevitable.

I've recently finished reading "Moneyball" - I know, I'm late, there's a Brad Pitt movie about it that I haven't seen - but Moneyball describes the late-90's/early 2000's baseball trend by Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane to identify talent using new methods of looking at tradition-bound statistical analysis.

The college basketball equivalent of Billy Beane, although not a general manager or even an affiliate of a single program, is Ken Pomeroy. Pomeroy's brilliant blog - www.kenpom.com - uses, in a nutshell, efficiency statistics to identify college basketball teams, and players, that are undervalued or who may be underappreciated and poised for breakout. When the pace of a game, and resultant statistics, is removed from statistical analysis, Pomeroy and his acolytes (of which I'm one) believe, TRUE value of teams and players can more closely be analyzed.

One of those people who won't be caught of guard by an Andre Roberson coming-out party is, you guessed it, Ken Pomeroy. In an analysis of Andre Roberson posted here in August - yes, in August - Pomeroy makes the brilliant arguement that, eventually, the college basketball world WILL know who Andre Roberson is.

In his analysis, Pomeroy first details Roberson's "absurd rebounding rates", showing Roberson's rebounding efficiency statistics (must be seen to be believed how many of all rebounding opportunities are claimed by Roberson) and THEN discussing comparable players. Further, Pomeroy then points out Roberson's pace-adjusted steal and blocked shot rates, which also are beyond impressive, if not "absurd."

However, the most interesting point discussed in Pomeroy's piece is WHY Roberson is so unknown, despite these remarkable efficiency statistics. Pomeroy posits Roberson's lack of blue-chip status, the fact that he was overshadowed by Burks and Higgins during CU's 2010-2011 season, and the fact that CU's offense last season didn't emphasize Roberson (nor should it have, with Burks and Higgins doing the heavy lifting on the scoring end.

But what Pomeroy does NOT speculate may be even greater. And there are two ways to look at this.

1. Efficiency statistics are not yet analyzed or even discussed by the mainstream media - read ESPN - and thus no matter HOW eye-popping Roberson's efficiency statistics are, the segment of the sports world who listens only, or even primarily, to the "worldwide leader" will never know the value of efficiency statistics in college basketball. Further, just as Billy Beane's unorthodox use of statistics were poo-poohed by the mainstream baseball world when he started using them and are now a part of (nearly) every team's scouting, it can be expected that Ken Pomeroy's brilliant analysis will similarly be embraced. Simply put, ESPN moves the college basketball needle more than anyone else, and as always, they are behind the curve. Talk to me in 2021 when efficiency statistics are so mainstream that the college basketball world laughs at the thought of ANYONE placing importance on a player leading the nation in scoring while playing for the rabbit-paced tempo of a novelty team such as US International or whoever the hell they were.

2. There is also the possibility that Roberson goes so unnoticed and underappreciated because the University of Colorado basketball program is irrelevant in the college basketball world... and makes little or no effort to become relevant. The appearances in the Maui tournament last year and the Puerto Rico tournament this year notwithstanding, CU's non-conference schedule - the part of the year when striving teams serve notice of their aspirations - is a joke. Its sports information department is regarded as inept within the industry, and its relationship with that entity that moves the needle - ESPN - never improves because the aforementioned inept sports information department continues to be insular and never finds a way to promote the great players that CU DOES have. Additionally, it's a 2010 world, and there are many opinion leaders on blogs, message boards, Twitter, etc., just like Ken Pomeroy. Does CU's sports information department embrace these buzz-makers? Nope - it sits idly by in a 1980's mentality, passing out paper statistics at halftime of games and failing to embrace those people (other than the worldwide leader) who really COULD build buzz for Andre Roberson... and for CU's program.

So when Andre Roberson inevitably becomes the star he is, he can blame two things that prevented that inevitability from presenting itself earlier. First, the underappreciation of efficiency statistics, such as those proffered by the brilliant Ken Pomeroy. And the backwards insular nature of CU's sports information department, which refuses to get onboard with modern methods of player and program promotion offered by the 2010's digital world.

Monday, July 25, 2011

At Their Heart, Rockies Are A Bush-League Operation

So Ubaldo was traded. I'm OK with keeping him, and I'm OK with trading him.

I'm not OK with letting him go out there an emotional wreck and be embarrassed for one horrifying, cringe-inducing, 45-pitch, 4-walk, 4-run 1st inning in San Diego before being pulled so he can be traded.

That's just bush league, Rockies. And I suspect you know it. Because we as fans know it.

If Ubaldo was to be traded, let Esmil Rogers (Ubaldo's replacement) start the game. Don't force Ubaldo to attempt to pitch while Rogers warms up in the bullpen.

Rockies brass looks like a monkey fucking a football, as was said in the classic "Days of Thunder."

Thanks, Ubaldo, for all the excitement - the no-hitter, the leadership, the fastballs, the miniscule first-half of 2010 ERA, thanks for everything. And best of luck in Cleveland.

As for the trade itself, it basically hinges on the long-term success of 2010 overall #5 pick pitcher Drew Pomeranz (who, because of contractual reasons, is the "player to be named later.") If Pomeranz turns out to be an ace, the trade was a wash. If Alex White turns out to be a long-term starter, the trade was a good one. And if Joe Gardner (P) and Matt McBride (OF) turn out to be contributors at all, then the trade was VERY good. But it all hinges on Pomeranz... and if he doesn't come up until 2013, it means Rockies management may have written off the 2012 season waiting on Pomeranz. Wonder if they will reduce my season ticket costs...

As for HOW the trade was handles, it could not have been worse. Rockies management, for whatever bullshit reason they will most certainly proffer in the coming days, humiliated a guy who gave the Rockies a lot of good moments, and gave Rockies fans a lot of good memories.

Godspeed, Ubaldo.

Shame on you, Rockies management.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blame Mike Bohn For CU's NCAA Snub

First, let's get this out of the way. The University of Colorado men's basketball team was ABSOLUTELY robbed when the mysterious "selection committee" left them out of the 2011 tournament. Given the lower-than-usual quality of the teams on the bubble, and given the expanded size of the tournament, there is absolutely NO excuse for Colorado to have been left out of the tournament, and without question, there should be a change in how the selection committee members are chosen, and how they do their work. Disgraceful is probably the BEST word to describe the decision.

But, there seem to be two reasons why the committee COULD have eliminated Colorado - one quasi-legitimate and one totally nefarious. And BOTH the fault of Mike Bohn.

Reason 1: CU's Pre-Conference Schedule Was Laughably Weak... and Mike Bohn Could Have Changed It

This is the reason most often cited for CU's exclusion, and there is SOME validity to this. The Buffs' pre-conference schedule was, and has been for several years in recent memory, embarrassingly weak. This pattern - which has been in effect for the tenures of at least three head coaches - is SO well-known that many CU fans eschew season ticket purchases to avoid the cost of buying tickets to so many lousy pre-conference games, preferring just to attend the one (or MAYBE two) worthwhile pre-conference games and then the Big XII games that follow.

So whose fault is it that the pre-conference schedule was so weak? Well, as good leaders will always proclaim, and as President Harry S. Truman said, "The Buck Stops Here." In this case, the buck SHOULD stop with the CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn. However, the buck apparently stops "over there"... as in Winston-Salem, NC. The university athletic department may want the public to believe that the 2010-2011 pre-conference schedule that probably cost the Buffs a trip to the Big Dance was the fault of former coach Jeff Bzdelik - an easy scapegoat since he's not around to defend himself nor did he leave a positive legacy with most Buff fans when he bolted for Wake Forest - but this type of scheduling was in place LONG before Bzdelik arrived in Boulder. After Bzdelik left in the spring, there was one person who COULD have changed the schedule had he wanted... Mike Bohn. Basketball schedules, unlike football schedules, are relatively fluid and not finalized until just a couple of months before the season begins, and had Mike Bohn wanted to, the schedule could easily have been beefed up. But he chose not to, and now the team is paying the price for his inaction.

But why would Mike Bohn NOT beef up the absurd pre-conference schedule, when he had the chance before the season?

It's simple. Mike Bohn didn't believe that this team had a chance of making the NCAA tournament. Rather, he runs the entire CU basketball program in a bush league fashion, with the obvious goal - based on his actions - of reaching the NIT rather than the NCAA tournament. Bohn and the CU Athletic Department can pay lip service to how the NCAA tournament is always the goal for the basketball team, but his actions belie his true beliefs. The pre-conference schedule this year - and every other year, by the way - was designed to get the Buffs to a final record over .500, thus making them eligible for the NIT. Load up on horrendous out-of-conference competition, then a 4-12 Big XII record doesn't drop you below .500, and you can get in the NIT. Clearly, this has been the scheduling goal of the CU Athletic Department for years, and now that bush league philosophy has caught up with them.

And given that Bohn didn't believe enough in this team to beef up the pre-conference schedule, thus costing the team an NCAA berth, Bohn owen an apology to the players. Of course he's too arrogant to make that apology - or any apology, including one for the Dan Hawkins contract extension 3 years ago - publicly, so I guess Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, Marcus Relphorde, and Alec Burks (who will almost certainly declare for the 2011 NBA Draft) will have to accept my apology. Guys, I'm sorry your Athletic Director didn't believe in you enough to provide you with a schedule copacetic with that of all other NCAA at-large teams.

So what's the solution?

Well, a VERY smart CU fan posting on a message board has boiled it down in detailed, accurate fashion that even Mike Bohn should follow. See the solution for future out-of-conference basketball scheduling here: http://www.allbuffs.com/showthread.php/59393-Basketball-scheduling.-How-do-we-fix-our-mistakes

It shouldn't come down to message board posting fans - who, if Mike Bohn agrees with Dan Hawkins, are the "scum of the Earth" - to tell a Division 1 Athletic Director how to do his job. But it has - and if Mike Bohn is smart, he prints that message board poster's suggestions and follows them EXACTLY in the future.

But it's worse than that. Read on:

Reason 2: Mike Bohn Gave A Double Middle Finger to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, Who Used His Role On The NCAA Basketball Selection Committee To Exact Revenge on Bohn

Here is the evidence: http://openeyecolorado.blogspot.com/2011/02/short-sighted-cu-athletic-department.html Over a month ago, this very same blog predicted the Big XII getting revenge on Mike Bohn, and the CU basketball program, for Bohn and the athletic department's decision to remove all Big XII logos from the Coors Events Center, and specifically from the arena floor.

Well, we were off the mark. While we assumed (erroneously, apparently) that it would be the Big XII officials who would get back at CU, based on the thin skin and petty grievances of new Big XII Director of Officials Curtis Shaw, apparently the pettiness and revenge-seeking extends even higher. All the way to Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe.

This is the same Dan Beebe who refused to go to Lincoln to honor the Big XII North football Champion Nebraska Cornhuskers - who, like the Buffs, are bolting the Big XII conference after the season - but then absurdly excoriated the fans in Lincoln by claiming that it would be unsafe for him to attend a game in Lincoln. Yet he sent his officials and a Big XII opponent to the "lions" in Lincoln. Just an absurd, classless statement for Beebe to make - and if you can make this blog actually DEFEND the Cornhuskers, you really have to stoop low.

Then Beebe stooped even lower when he OBVIOUSLY didn't defend the CU Buffs when fulfilling his role on the NCAA Selection Committee. Presumably tweaked by Mike Bohn's decision to give a double middle finger to the Big XII by removing those logos from the CEC, Beebe seems to have made SURE that CU didn't get into the Big Dance. If you believe that the NCAA Selection Committee members "leave the room" when their school/conference is being discussed, then you are a moron.

And so is Mike Bohn, for not only believing enough in the 2010-2011 University of Colorado basketball team to provide them with a tournament-worthy schedule, but for being short-sightedly bitter as his school exited the Big XII and removing all Big XII logos from his school's basketball arena.

The CU basketball players deserve an apology.

The CU basketball program deserves better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Short-sighted CU Athletic Department Gives Double Middle Finger To Big 12

With the announcement that the University of Colorado was moving its athletic teams from the Big 12 to the Pac-10 came cheers and kudos from CU fans, CU academic staff, CU alumni, and of course, the sycophantic local media.

And let's be fair... it IS a great decision. And it was a great, proactive move by CU's Athletic Director, Mike Bohn, who got ahead of the tectonic shifts in conference switching and ended up in a great situation - in the Pac-10, WITHOUT Texas and its sure-to-be-masturbatory ESPN TV contract, and in a Pac 10 division with BOTH Southern California teams. Considering the number of CU alumni in California, the number of current CU parents who are in California, the imminent new-media contract of the Pac-10, and the FAR more desirable travel destinations offered by the Pac-10 (Palo Alto vs. Ames? no contest), this clearly was a great move.

But CU, after some negotiation, had to play one more season in the Big 12, in both football and basketball. Clearly, Dan Hawkins's final football season was never going to be a success given the abject failure of a head coach the 2010 Buffs were saddled with for the first 9 games, but there was hope for the basketball team. A new coach, some returning experience, and the fortuitous return of Big 12 superstar Alec Burks all signalled good things for the Buffs. And when the Buffs won the first two conference games, both against ranked opponents, and surged to the top of the Big 12 standing, the outlook was rosy.

Then reality set in. Since its 3-0 start, CU has lost 4 of 5 games, several close, and several on the road. The games at Nebraska and Oklahoma were games the Buffs had NO business losing, yet somehow they blew leads and lost. But as CU was losing these road games, I noticed something.

CU has removed ANY reference to the Big 12 Conference from the Coors Events Center - including the Big 12 logo from the basketball court.

This is AMAZINGLY stupid and short-sighted, and represents a double middle finger to the Big 12 Conference. Every single other team in the Big 12 - yes, even Nebraska, also bolting the conference at the end of the year - has the Big 12 logo on its floor. Who made this decision at CU? And why? Don't they realize this will antagonize a conference office that already was exposed as petty and stupid when its commissioner claimed to be unable to attend a division-clinching football game in Lincoln because of fear of the Husker fans?

A primer on how basketball officials are assigned:

Each conference employs a coordinator of officials - in the Big 12's case, this is Curtis Shaw (new to the position this year). Shaw assigns game officials based on whatever criteria he likes. He can claim to review them, or to have a committee to review the officials' performance, but ultimately, whatever Shaw says goes. And the officials know that getting these plum officiating assignments hinges on whether they are able to effectively play the political game and kiss the ass of the conference assigners. In other words... if you are an official and you want to work Big 12 conference games in the 2011-2012 season and beyond, start kissing Curtis Shaw's ass NOW.

So for the rest of the season, CU should EXPECT to get the short end of the officiating stick, as officials try to kowtow to Curtis Shaw and his arrogance in his future assigning duties. Basketball, more so than ANY other sport, has a lot of calls that "could go either way" - and which way do you think they will go in a Colorado game?

Why? Because the Big 12 conference office - which staffs small, petty men like Curtis Shaw in powerful positions - has to have noticed what I noticed. That the CU Athletic Department gave the conference a double middle finger on its way out by actively removing the conference logo from the Coors Event Center floor.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dan Hawkins's 5th Year at Colorado... What It REALLY Means For Dan Hawkins

At the end of his fourth season as University of Colorado head football coach, Dan Hawkins sported a dismal 3-8 record and was facing a season-ending home game against the heavily favored and CU rival Nebraska Cornhuskers. Approaching the end of a season which began with a shameful home loss to Colorado State and a humiliating road loss to Toledo and never really improved, Dan Hawkins was ready to do what he does best... blame someone else for his own failings.

What Is The Significance Of A College Coach's Fourth Year?

In major college sports, a fundamental axiom of coaching success is that a coach is best measured in his fourth year. During that year, a successful coach is still riding a wave of enthusiasm over his "newness" and a failure of a coach can no longer blame a previous regime's players since he has 4 year's worth of his own players. In fact, former Colorado basketball coach told a booster group, "If we aren't winning in our fourth year, there is no one to blame but Jeff Bzdelik." Sure enough, Bzdelik headed to Wake Forest following his third year in Boulder.

But back to Hawkins and his fourth season at Colorado. Clearly an on-field failure, it was time for Hawkins to be fired. However, with a cash-strapped athletic program facing a nationwide financial recession, Chancellor Phil DiStefano, it is believed, overruled Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn, who had made the decision to fire Hawkins and enter 2010 with a new coach. Some people close to the program even believe that Bohn actually TOLD Hawkins he would be fired, but the always-charismatic Hawkins made his case to Bohn's boss DiStefano, and Bohn was overruled. It was likely during this period where Hawkins thought he was being fired that he made the unfortunate "burned to the ground" comments.

What Do Hawkins's Comments Say About His Character?

From Hawkins's first days on campus in Boulder in 2006, those who knew him least liked him most. He brought enthusiasm, a sunny attitude, a Boulder-friendly "Zen" approach to coaching, and a commanding 54-11 record from his previous stop, Boise State. Fans, the media, Boulder locals, boosters... they all showed what came to be knows as "Hawk Love." But for those closest to Hawkins, "Hawk Love" faded and "Hawk Hate" prevailed before Hawkins had even coached a game. Off the record, even those boosters closest to the program said that Hawkins was arrogant, shirked alumni relations duties, was aloof during meetings with potential boosters, and even spent an entire in-home "get to know you" session with prominent donors on his cell phone. "A true asshole" was how one person close to the program described Hawkins... before he had even coached a game.

As the losing seasons mounted, Hawk Love dissipated even in those not-so-close to the program. Attendance at Hawkins booster events dwindled as tension as those events grew. Rather than make nice with boosters, Hawkins chose public venues to argue with and criticize those people who wanted nothing more than to see the same thing Hawkins supposedly wanted... to see the University of Colorado football team win. Late in the 2008 season, Hawkins's third at CU (and third losing season), Hawkins responded to online critics - often the most passionate, vocal, and knowledgeable segment of a fan base - by painting them all as "internet scum."

And as his 4th season became yet another failure, Hawkins resorted again, as is his wont, to cheap shots lobbed from the balcony when he made the now-infamous "burned to the ground" comment. People close to the situation believe that Chancellor Phil DiStefano, immediately before Colorado predictably lost its final 2009 game to Nebraska, was wowed by Hawkins's charisma, enthusiasm, and unfortunately Hawkins's most prominent characteristic, his excuse-making. There is even a belief in some quarters that Hawkins presented to DiStefano an elaborate PowerPoint presentation to lobby for a fifth year, a presentation allegedly seen in other venues by other folks who say it includes myriad excuses for Hawkins's failure, including the previous regime, the bad luck of close losses, the loss of key players due to injuries, and even a rationale of how firing Hawkins could financially sting the CU Athletic Department. Of course, no mention of on-field success was made by Hawkins. And he got his fifth year.

What The Fifth Year Means For Dan Hawkins

Hawkins's fifth year at Colorado has been, predictably, more of the same. Embarrassing home losses, a complete failure on the road, 5 straight conference losses, and the biggest blown lead in school history in a loss at inept Kansas. But his record isn't what will stick with Hawkins - everyone already knew he was a failure as a major college coach. His off-field performance IS what will stick with Hawkins as he attempts to seek work in the future.

Here's how Dan Hawkins failed OFF the field, and why no reputable athletic director will ever hire him again:

1. Refusal to Take Responsibility - rather than own up to his failings and be classy about his exit from CU, Hawkins chose to blame the past by saying the program was "burned to the ground". Hawkins will probably continue to blame everyone other than himself for his obvious failure as a football coach at CU. Conversely, if the next guy is successful at CU, expect to see Hawkins claim that he laid a great foundation...
2. Lack of Respect - Hawkins has repeatedly shown a lack of respect for boosters and fans, as discussed above. Further, Hawkins has showed the media extreme disrespect by acting like a boor on Big XII conference calls, and in his shameless, curt dismissal of CU Announcer Mark Johnson during a postgame interview at Kansas.
3. Lack of Perspective - Hawkins, in the face of everything obvious, continue to believe that his team is "close" to achievement, and claims illogically that success was only "a few plays away". In reality, even Hawkins's 3-9 2009 team, the key fourth year team, was 2 plays away from a dismal 1-win season, although Hawkins never admits that, instead claiming insanely that his team was "10 plays away" from a bowl.
4. Lack of Class - Hawkins, an obvious failure, has not only failed to resign and set an example for his players and for young fans of the program, he has demonstrated that he is willing to do ONLY what he is contractually obligated to do to retain his bloated salary. Curt, actually rude, contractually obligated media appearances have become the norm as a small, selfish man does the bare minimum to get paid. And recruting? Forget it... Hawkins has done almost nothing, truly leaving the talent cupboard for the poor soul who replaces him in 2011.

Remember, athletic directors are a fraternity...

Do You Think Anyone Will EVER Hire Dan Hawkins Again?
Probably Not... and It's Because He Got A Fifth Year at Colorado

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why Couldn't Mark Kiszla Write This In May?

It must really suck to have Mark Kiszla's luck. Over and over (and over and over) he makes an ass of himself with his self-serving and bizarrely craven attempts at prescience in the Denver Post. Recent example: http://www.denverpost.com/kiszla/ci_15834757

Kiszla, never one to pass up a cheap shot at anyone, took on Todd Helton in the above column, and Helton had REALLY struggled all year. In spite of Drew Goodman's constant insistence that Helton had transformed himself from the power hitter Rockies fans knew for years into a singles and doubles hitter, it was obvious. Todd Helton's best days were behind him. In nearly every offensive efficiency category, Helton was last or second-to-last in the league among first baseman. Helton was not only diminished, he was probably hurting the Rockies on the field (his superior defensive skills notwithstanding) and given his salary, he was DEFINITELY hurting the Rockies off the field.

The Rockies did what they could do to protect Helton, who is one of the rare baseball players in this era to spend his entire career with one organization. The team places Helton on the DL with a "sore back," an ailment so vague in nature that it brought to mind Barry Bonds's inane DL assignation of "side." Of course, this comparison insists that the question of steroids, which has haunted Bonds his entire career (and retirement) must be asked of Helton, whose astronomical offensive numbers coincided with the steroids era, but that's a column and question for another day.

Back to Kiszla, who proclaims in his Denver Post column HEADLINE that it's "Time for Helton to hang 'em up." How does Helton respond? With a 7-game stretch in which he hit .429, raising his anemic batting average more than 15 points. Additionally, in that week following Mark Kiszla's column, Helton doubles his season-long total of home runs (from 2 to 4) and RBI (from 5 to 10). A 4-for-4 game in Coors Field vs. Atlanta ignited the Rockies, and Helton had key hits in several other games.

In short, without question, the guy that Mark Kiszla wanted to retire responded by performing as the team's most valuable player in the week following the Kiszla column.

Does Kiszla have terrible luck? Terrible timing? Or is he a moron?

And why couldn't he have written his column in May? Or better yet, why can't he write another one about Clint Barmes, who has become an automatic out?