Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
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2005-05-30 15:22
by Mark T.R. Donohue

No matter how short a trip lasts, it always feels as if you've missed something at home when you return. Such is not the case with the Rockies headlines, which are the usual lamentations. Whither the rotation? "We have been anything but consistent off the mound," says Clint Hurdle, who ponders replacing Jamey Wright as a starter with Byung-Hyun Kim. This in my view is sort of like standing over a raging campfire with a can of gasoline, thinking better of it, and chucking a can of bug spray in instead. Except I never weighed Kim vs. Wright at Boy Scout camp.

The Post profiles catcher-in-waiting Danny Ardoin, who is much older than I thought (30), and is therefore like recently recalled Eddy Garabito a complete waste of the Rockies' time. Mike Klis oddly describes the Cardinals as "gritty." The White Sox are gritty. The Brewers are gritty. The Cardinals have superior talent, a wonderful veteran core, the best right-handed hitter in baseball, and a Hall of Fame manager. I'll get back to them a little later today, when I explain why the Cardinals have a better team than they did last year, yet will win fewer games.

Todd Helton has no idea, either: "I am going to be all right. I just need to hit the ball hard for a change." He apparently feels that no curse of Wayne Hagin is in effect, as he does not wish to speak to the Cardinals' broadcaster who implicated him as a steroid user. "Now that's a really stupid question," Helton said when asked. Interesting note here (fourth item) about Colorado players' chances to win, place, and show in NL Rookie of the Year voting. J.D. Closser is not in the running but seems to be reacting well to the Rockies' weird decision to evaluate him on practically an at-bat by at-bat basis.

Clint Hurdle on the upcoming stretch of games against St. Louis and Chicago AL: "I look forward to it. We will be able to take a litmus test and find out where we are." Uh, Clint? You don't need a strip of funny paper for that. A regular one with newsprint will do just fine. You're 16 games back. Also, Tracy Ringolsby (second item) notes that Mark Prior and Brad Hawpe's paths have crossed before.

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