Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mile High Musings: 11 Denver Points to Ponder

A banner day in the 303, if I do say so myself. Here are 11 notes from a truly Super Saturday:

1) Ubaldo for Cy. Ya heard it here first. I can't wait to buy his jersey in June (and name my firstborn son/daugher Ubaldo/a Champ Brenner in 2018). Throw in the fact that his No. 38 jersey makes it impossible for me to blow a bucket of money on the roulette tables, and my man-love for UUUUUUUUU is pretty much complete.

2) I've watched the 7th-inning replay about 20 times. And I'm still absolutely befuddled as to how in the world Dexter Fowler caught that baseball. Not quite DeWayne-esque, but pretty damn close.

3) A few friends from here in Davenport and from afar have commented on the somewhat-unfortunate timing of Ubaldo's no-hitter in regards to national coverage, since Saturday was the opening act for the NBA playoffs and featured that 20-inning offensive crapfest in St. Louis. Yeah, too bad he couldn't have the show all to himself. But since I dig on ESPN all the time, I must commend both the Worldwide Leader as well as for giving Ubaldo his fair due.

Special shoutout to for providing free live look-ins on big baseball happenings such as a no-hitter or walk-off situation. In Paris Hilton talk, "that's hot."

4) Yeah, Ubaldo walked six guys. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?

Look at it this way: let's say you often frequent the same steakhouse, and you're rarely disappointed. Then one time, you go in there and your waiter presents you with THE PERFECT PORTERHOUSE. This baby is the way steak is supposed to be made; it's the chef's finest moment. Now let's say the mashed potatoes are a little mushy; the asparagus was a touch undercooked; your water was a little too lemony and the waterboy spilled ice cubes all over the table because those damn pitchers don't know how to store ice cubes properly.

You gonna remember ANY of that secondary stuff? Of course not. You're remembering THE steak. That's why the six walks don't matter much to me. Nor does the fact that Ubaldo needed 128 pitches to get through nine. This was his shining moment.

5) One final note: anyone notice who was behind the plate for the no-no? That's right: Miguel Olivo. He's also caught the Rockies to a 4-2 record with a .348 average. Meanwhile, the Rox are 2-3 with Chris Iannetta behind the plate, who sports a .190 average. I nominate the new guy for full-time catcher. My patience with CI is wearing thin.

6) Welcome back to the Roller Coaster Otherwise Known As The Denver Nuggets.

Is this what it's like to date a schizophrenic girlfriend? Can't this team just decide whether it wants to be great or terrible and get on with it? Simmons writes the other day in his NBA playoff column that Utah has a better team, and in light of the San Antonio/Phoenix debacles, I completely agreed at that time. Now I think he couldn't be more wrong after the Game 1 victory. That Utah team cannot score with Denver.

7) Melo offered to Holly Rowe a parcel of the following postgame quote: "...we passed, we played defense..." I only heard those five words. Didn't need to hear any more.

This is an official request to the Nuggets' video coordinator to clip those five words, copy and paste together 100 times in one of those remix tapes, and show it to the Nuggets in their next team meeting until they get sick of hearing it. HAMMER THOSE WORDS INTO THEIR FREAKING HEADS. Pass. Play defense. Pass. Play defense. Pass. Play defense. They do those two things, they CAN and WILL beat any team on the planet. They don't, and they lose to the Knicks, the 76ers, and perhaps even the Butler Bulldogs. That's how these things work. After a nifty give-and-go with Afflalo and Chauncey that resulted in a Double-A 3-ball, Doris Burke (who did a wonderful color job on the game, by the way) pointed out perfectly on cue that in the Nuggets' wins, they average 23 assists; in their losses, 16.

This isn't rocket science, fellas. Pass. Play defense. Win.

8) The fourth quarter spurt is exactly why we're never trading JR Smith. We're stuck with him, or better or worse, through sickness and in health, until death do us part (a couple of 28 percent shooting seasons would do it too)

9) I have zero expectations for these playoffs. And it is pretty darn liberating. A lot less stressful. I wish I could feel more excited about the Nuggets' chances to put it together for six weeks and make a fantastic playoff run. But without George Karl at full pace, we're screwed. This spring of 2010 has completely, 180-degree reshaped my beliefs that NBA coaches don't matter.

10) So the 8th-seeded Avs were 32 seconds away from taking a 2-0 lead back to Pepsi Center. Expect nothing less from those playoff-underachieving Sharks. Either way, it's a great time to be a Denver fan. The proud Avalanche tradition is looking up.

11) Buh-bye, B-Marsh. We hardly knew ye. Don't let the door hit you on your egotistical ass on the way out. Anyone wanna start a "How Long Until Marshall Gets Suspended For Being Shenaniganalicious In South Beach" Pool? I'm in for Week 10 of the 2010 season.

Have a good one.


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