Wednesday, February 22, 2006

 
A BUZZ COMING FROM COLORADO SPRINGS
 
By DinoCosta
 
February 22, 2006
 
Denver-
 
While there is a general sense of mediocrity going on at the Pepsi Center this season with George Karl's Nuggets - things are much different 45 miles down I-25 in Colorado Springs, with Denver's former head coach.
 
Jeff Bzdelik is on the verge of leading the Falcons to the most wins in school history, and the very real possibility that an NCAA Tournament invitation could be in the offing.
 
Tonight The Force won their 22nd game of the season - downing New Mexico 51-46 at Clune Arena.
 
Air Force has matched the previous school record of 22 wins set back in the 2003 season.
 
This Saturday the Falcons can set a school record with their 23rd regular season victory if they can beat UNLV at home.
 
With San Diego State losing at BYU tonight, the Falcons have closed to within a single game of the Mountain West Conference lead. The
 
Falcons are 10-4 in conference play.
 
Anyone see Nick Welch lately? Of course not, at least not on the basketball court.
 
Welch is a terrific player and would have been a strong candidate to win MWC player of the year honors if he could have played this year. But Welch has missed the previous 27 Air Force games...and still the Falcons are 22-5.
 
How'd this happen?  Where did they come from?  Who expected this?
 
Just a few people.
 
Jeff Bzdelik.
 
And his players.
 
Bzdelik was cast adrift and thrown out of the Pepsi Center like yesterday's news when the Nuggets foolishly let him go.
 
Not enough people got to know Bzdelik here while he was in Denver - in fact most of the local press here treated Bzdelik like they knew more about basketball than he did.
 
If George Karl happens to think that my questions to him following Nuggets losses are too direct - then he should have been around here when Bzdelik was peppered with one outrageous question after another while he was coaching the Nuggets.
 
The difference however, was in how Bzdelik would patiently answer each and every question posed to him - how he would ignore the digs thrown his way with consistency - and still maintain the dignity and class that has always defined Jeff Bzdelik.
 
Bzdelik, just like George Karl, has forgotten more about basketball than I or anyone else who covers the Nuggets will ever know. But Bzdelik didn't and doesn't carry the holier than thou personality that has come to define Karl in each of his NBA job stops.
 
Bzdelik lacked the necessary support from the Nuggets general manager, as well as from the owner Stan Kroenke, when he was with the Nuggets.
 
I can relate.
 
Folks if you don't have the support of the general manager, the district manager, the supervisor, or in my case, the program director, then eventually you'll run into trouble that will result in a breach - which causes you to be looking for work somewhere else sooner rather than later.
 
However Bzdelik has all the support in the world at Air Force.
 
He's respected and admired as a man who knows the game of basketball inside and out - and his opinion is given more than just cursory consideration.
 
Had the Nuggets been smart enough to realize they had a more than capable head coach when Bzdelik was there -  the chances are good that Denver would be many more games over the .500 mark than the mere 3 they are right now.
 
Then again, Bzdelik would have insisted that his team play two way basketball...and with this current Nugget bunch you have seen that playing defense most night's is an optional exercise.
 
Bzdelik has good kids on his Air Force squad, kids who are enthusiastic about playing for him - and have played for him very well in close games.
 
Air Force with their win tonight is now 6-2 in games decided by less than 5 points.
 
That's a mark of good coaching.
 
Air Force comes into games well prepared, they execute most nights, and have shaken off losses to come back strong the next game all season long.
 
It's been a very good year for Bzdelik and the Falcons.
 
Undefeated at home.
 
A 12 game winning streak earlier this season.
 
The first team in the MWC to ever defeat an ACC team - as The Force defeated Georgia Tech earlier this season 54-46.
 
They swept both games against pre-season conference favorite Utah.
 
They split their season series with current conference leader San Diego State, who on paper, have much more talent AND size, than Bzdelik's Falcons do.
 
Two games left in the regular season.
 
UNLV at home.
 
CSU in Ft. Collins.
 
24 wins?
 
Holy Macaroni.
 
Not too many other schools around the country have as many victories as Air Force this season - look around for yourself.
 
San Diego State, despite their loss tonight, will probably hang on and win the MWC, with games remaining at home against Wyoming - and then with South Dakota State.
 
The Aztecs should clinch.
 
However they're no lock to win the conference tournament.
 
Talk about sweet irony?
 
Starting March 9, the MWC Tournament tips off at of all places...The Pepsi Center, in Denver.
 
Bzdelik's former home.
 
How satisfying do you think it would be for Bzdelik to win that tournament - and to cement a spot in the March Madness 64 team dance at the same time...in that building?
 
No Nick Welch?
 
No problem, he'll probably be back next season.
 
So will Jeff Bzdelik - who obviously has a much more difficult time recruiting quality players to the Air Force Academy for reasons you should be able to figure out for yourself.
 
However if I'm the parent of a high school senior though, there aren't too many other names I can think of that I would rather hand my son off to than to a guy like Jeff Bzdelik.
 
He's a decent man.
 
He's a winning basketball coach.
 
Denver will see him again.
 
Soon.
 
dc
 
 
 
 


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

 
 
By DINOCOSTA
 
TERRY FREI COMING UP IN HOUR NUMBER TWO...thoughts on Barry Bonds, and the CU situation with all of those nasty rumors and issues that make CU...pretty much like the rest of America in a lot of instances...
 
(2-21-06) 12:08 PM


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Monday, February 20, 2006

 
Rockies Will Provide Fun This Season
 
By DinoCosta
 
February 20, 2006
 
Denver-
 
82 wins.
 
80 losses.
 
The Rockies will finish the season with that record and be a very pleasant surprise to many people in Colorado who have forgotten that Denver is the home to a Major League baseball organization.
 
Last year that record would have won the NL West.
 
This year it won't.
 
But the Rockies will be in it right until the final few weeks of the season - in fact I'm picking the Rox to finish in second place this year to the division champion Los Angeles Dodgers who will win 88 games to take the West flag.
 
Yes the Rockies will have to score more runs this season to win more games (and they will), but the key for me is a pitching staff that has an opportunity to be better than just about anyone in their division.
 
What I like about the Rox pitching staff is that every guy in the starting five could finish the season with double digits in victories.
 
Jason Jennings could end up with the ball on opening day at Coors versus Arizona - but the best pitcher on their staff is Aaron Cook.
 
Still Jennings is a guy that I like to mature into a pitcher this season who should show more of what he did in winning the Rookie Of The Year award by going 16-8 back in 2002 - than in finishing 6-9 during an injury plagued season last year.
 
I expect Aaron Cooke to pick up this year where he did last season - after coming back form a life threatening injury to finish up at 7-2, and sometimes overpowering opposing hitters.
 
With Jeff Francis and BK Kim slated for the 3 & 4 spots in the rotation, I like the Rockies being able to throw a lefthander with a deceptive delivery, followed by a submarining righthander who has showed flashes of brilliance since leaving the bullpen for the starting rotation.
 
What's more, Rockies followers should be very encouraged that the top three pitchers in the starting rotation have a combined 47-26 career record at Coors Field, clearly evidence that these pitchers aren't intimidated by throwing the ball in the mile high air.
 
The Rockies have never had a 20 game winner, but the potential exists with at least two guys this season in Jennings & Francis.
 
The number 5 spot is up for grabs and any one of a number of candidates could claim the spot with a solid spring in Tuscon.
 
Zach Day, Sunny Kim, and Josh Fogg, are the three primary pitchers thought to have a shot at securing a rotation spot - and whichever ones don't get it will only add to the Rockies bullpen depth, which again, has the potential to be very good.
 
I know you are reading this and thinking that I'm looking at this through purple colored glasses folks, but even the most objective observer would have to be encouraged by the Rockies potential to have a group of guys that can offer a lot of depth from the starters through the last guy in the bullpen.
 
Jose Mesa arrives in camp in excellent shape and still has plenty of pop left on his fastball. Mesa is an experienced hurler who should give Clint Hurdle a few less anxious moments this season in getting through the 8th inning and then on to Brian Fuentes in the 9th. 
 
I'm more confident in Mesa succeeding than I am in Ray King - but the veteran lefthander knows his role will be as a situational lefty, who will need to get key outs in big spots against the likes of players like Barry Bonds, Luis Gonzales, and other tough lefthanded hitters.
 
The sleeper in the Rockies bullpen is righthander Scott Dohmann - who possesses nasty stuff and a bulldog personality. Dohmann could be a future closer and his work in middle innings this season will obviously be a huge factor int he Rockies success.
 
Other reasons the Rockies will definitely be a much better club this year than many are predicting:
 
>They got off to a 6-15 record through 21 games last year. During that stretch Colorado's bullpen was tagged with seven of those losses - including 5 blown saves. These things are very unlikely to repeat themselves two years in a row.
 
>Last season they didn't discover their closer out of the pen until the end of May with Fuentes, who was their lone all-star representative. This season of course Fuentes arrives to spring training as the shut the door specialist the Rox didn't have for the early part of last season.
 
>The development of Matt Holliday should be fun to watch. Provided he stays healthy Holiday has an opportunity to finish with 30-100-290 numbers. I expect Holliday to finish the season with better offensive numbers than any other left fielder in the NL West...including you know who.
 
>Garret Atkins will also get better because he's not even close to being satisfied with where he is right now. Right now Atkins is pretty decent - and played a much better defensive third base than anyone in the Rox front office could have hoped for a season ago. At the plate Atkins, much like Holliday, is only scratching the surface of his ability.
 
>Corey Sullivan. Not only did Sullivan prove he could chase fly balls down on a par with anyone in the National League a season ago - but in addition, Sullivan has showed glimpses of being able to be the table setter the Rox very much need him to be. The Rockies will encourage Sullivan to concentrate on making more contact this season, hitting the ball more on the ground, and taking advantage of his above average speed.
 
>Clint Barmes is healthy. He could eventually wind up at second base by the end of the season, but a healthy Barmes with his winning and fiery personality is what the Rockies need in the middle of their infield. Barmes played winter ball and concentrated on shoring up his glove work - Barmes will be counted on for a full season of being the quintessential number two hitter in the Rockies lineup.
 
>Todd Helton is back. He's re-energized. He's primed to have a monster season. This year with the injuries behind him, don't be surprised at all to see the real Todd Helton re-emerge onto the scene at 20th & Blake. Helton is hungry, he's excited about the quality of what he perceives to be some young players with some real ability, and the opportunity to be the key cog in the Rox resurgence.
Helton's professional work ethic will only make the other guys around him push themselves to be better.
 
>The NL West. Like the Nuggets playing in the NBA Northwest, the Rox are in a division with no clear cut favorite. No team in the division enters the season with a roster that is guaranteed to run roughshod over everyone else. The Giants are old and creaky, and beyond Jason Schmidt & Matt Morris have question marks with their starting staff. The Dodgers head into the season with a middle infielder playing first base, an outfield full of unanswered questions, and a starting rotation with no pitcher having won more than 12 games a season ago. The Padres aren't scaring anyone out of their cleats, although Jake Peavey could throw a no-hitter anytime he takes the mound. San Diego has a questionable offense, a catcher who can't throw anyone out, and a suspect bullpen. Arizona is in the midst of still remaking their team, they're bullpen is very inexperienced, and they have more than a suspect starting five.
 
The Rockies haven't arrived yet, they are still very much a work in progress, and the best Rockies baseball will be played in the years 07,08, 09.
 
The Rox played much better on the road the second half of last season and I expect that theme to continue this year. In addition I think they'll play much better in their home park than they did a season ago.
 
The maturation process of everything connected to the Rockies should allow them to make significant improvements in all areas this year.
 
Provided they don't begin the season by falling off a cliff like they did last April - I have a good feeling about this years edition of Rockies baseball at Coors Field.
 
I sense 82 wins, and a second place finish in the NL West.
 
dc
 
 
 
 


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NOW IS THE TIME - TO JOIN THE CONSTITUTION PARTY

(DINO COSTA Is a member of the Constitution Party)
 
NOW IS THE TIME
 
by James N. Clymer
Constitution Party National Chairman
 
With a new election year upon us, opportunities abound for the Constitution Party.
 
Last fall brought unprecedented attention to our party in connection
with the Jim Gilchrist campaign in California. The erstwhile party of
limited government, strong defense, protection of innocent human life and laissez faire economics has morphed into the party of big government, fascist "public private partnerships", corporate welfare, binge spending, open borders, police state tactics and corruption.
 
Meanwhile the party that used to pride itself in protecting the rights of
the working man, guarding our borders and preserving individual liberty, has embraced the nanny state, the abolition of private property, global
government, free trade, a state determination of who should have the right to live and corruption. Do you see a pattern here? It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the positions of one party from the other.
 
Consequently, we are hearing calls from many quarters for a party that truly puts the Constitution first, by those who are tired of the obfuscation of principle among the Republicans and Democrats. To all of those people of goodwill and who love liberty we say, come and join us in our epic effort to re-enshrine the United States Constitution, that oft-ignored document that offers us the best government ever devised.
 
Unfortunately, too many people who believe in the principles of the
Constitution Party are holding back because they entertain hope that
somehow, sometime, the Republicans will come to their senses. They want to back a winning cause, and it's hard to blame them.
 
This is why it is so critical that we resolve as a party that 2006 will be
the year that we turn the corner. We must not only run candidates coast to coast, for offices in every level of government, but also get some of those candidates elected to local, state, and federal offices.

We all know the odds stacked against us: a rigged electoral system that
flagrantly favors the Republicans and Democrats, imposing very challenging ballot access requirements on so-called "third parties," a severe disadvantage in funding relative to the Republicans and Democrats, a near-total media blackout on our activities, and a host of widespread misconceptions about what we stand for.
 
Once upon a time, another fledgling political party in America faced similar odds. Founded by a handful of people in the tiny town of Ripon, Wisconsin (near Oshkosh) in 1854, the Republican Party was nobody's pick for a force that would completely overturn the order of things. Yet only six years later, the Republican Party swept to victory in the White House and both houses of Congress. Not only that, by 1860 the governor of every northern state was a Republican.
 
Of course, times have changed. In the 1850s, America was in the midst of political ferment not seen before or since, ferment that led to a great war that resulted in major tears to the fabric of our Constitutional Republic.
In our time, we too are faced with many dire challenges to Constitutional
government of such magnitude that people throw up their hands in despair.
 
From abortion to drugs to illegal immigration to the threat of national
insolvency, among many others, we seem to be drowning in a sea of
calamities.
 
We have the solution! We stand on the principles that will restore what the locusts have eaten. But only by growing can we ever have hope of achieving our party's objectives. To grow, we need to sell our party better. And nothing sells like success.
 
For this reason, we must commit to running candidates in every race possible where the principles of the Constitutional Party are not being advanced. But more than that, we need to put aside the excuses and the inferiority complexes and resolve to win elections this year. We need to focus our campaigns on issues that resonate with voters, issues like illegal immigration, job losses, abortion, government corruption and the foundering economy - while raising high the almost-forgotten standard of the U.S. Constitution and the values it enshrines. We must take action now to ensure ballot access in as many states as possible, and to publicize our party's platform and candidates as widely as we can.
 
We cannot expect to undo all of the ills of generations of government abuse in a single electoral cycle. But we can start moving in the right direction by gaining a toehold in elected offices across the land.
 
My vision for the party, then, is onward and upward! I have great confidence that this year will bring unprecedented successes, because of the unprecedented opportunities and because of the timelessness of our party's message. But perhaps the most important reason we will be successful is because of the people of virtue, integrity and honor who are stepping forward to say in this election year, "Here am I, send me".
 
What about you? Are you willing to pledge your life, you fortune and your sacred honor for the cause of liberty? Will you stand behind those who do?
 
ACTION ITEM: I encourage you to contact your State Chairman of the
Constitution Party to get involved in the state party's activities.
 
Click HERE to find how to contact your state leaders.
 
Please plan to attend your State Convention this year and also sign up as a
candidate to run for public office, because without candidates we are
nothing more than a discussion club.


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Sunday, February 19, 2006

 

BRING BACK THE KIDS

Bring Back The Kids!
 
By DinoCosta
 
February 19, 2006
 
Denver-
 
I haven't watched a second of the Olympics thus far - and don't plan on doing so unless I accidentally run into some event while channel surfing.
The results of the Olympic hockey tournament aren't surprising to me at all.
 
When teams are put together in such a haphazard fashion, with little or no practice time, no exhibition games, no chemistry developed, why should there not be final scores that in another environment and setting would be considered very surprising? 
 
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm much more interested in seeing if Jaromir Jagr can spearhead the next Rangers Stanley Cup - than seeing if he can lead his native country to a Gold medal.
 
Frankly speaking, at least in terms of my personal interest in the United States and their medal chances, I'm bored with the whole thing.
 
Give me the collegiate kids - who would have been together for at least an entire year, playing in exhibitions, developing the chemistry needed to succeed in most cases -and hopefully hitting a peak and stunning the rest of the world with a tremendous showing that would lift spirits everywhere.
 
No, the re-duplicating of the 1980 Miracle On Ice team would be impossible for a myriad of reasons - but it could get close to that certainly.
 
While others manufacture the interest to see the U.S. team possibly win a Gold medal under the current system of professional NHL talent filling out the roster...I'd rather take home a Silver Medal with a team captained by Phil Kessel.
 
Going with the old system would also allow the NHL to continue its season instead of shutting down the league for a few weeks.
 
As to the notion that by playing the cream of the crop in the Olympics this helps to foster more awareness in the game, please, give me a break with this.
 
As I have insisted since I first realized what a terrific game ice hockey was, those who don't like the game for whatever the reason, aren't going to start liking it all of a sudden because the Olympics suddenly opened their eyes to something they were previously unaware of.
 
A few more thoughts:
 
I'm flabbergasted to read in today's edition of the Denver Post that I am making more per year than the position of Governor of Colorado.
 
Criticize all you want to about the current White House administration - but please, shut up about the VP shooting incident, will ya? It was a mistake plain and simple...let it go and remember all of YOUR mistakes you have committed.
 
Jim Rome is at it again. Rome says that he may give up radio again and go at it full time in television. If Rome had any common sense he'd realize that he's deficient in both areas and get out of the business completely. Rome of course is angling for a new contract from Premiere...and unfortunately rather than to introduce a new voice onto the National landscape (like me), they'll cave in and reward Rome with another new deal. It's called a lack of vision...and not understanding a talent whose parade has already passed by years ago.
 
Thank you, Dick Kreck.
 
Dusty?
 
Minnesota certainly brought the DU Pioneers back down to earth in a hurry, eh?
 
Jeff Bzdelik is a slam dunk as the Mountain West Conference coach of the year.
 
The Nuggets called by the way.
 
Me, not Jeff Bzdelik.
 
The two best shooters in college basketball are white guys. Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and J.J. Reddick of Duke - are picture perfect, deadly, and lethal, jump shooters.
 
I only mention that those two guys are white because if the two best scorers in the NHL were black, you'd be reminded about it every other day.
 
Right?
 
Oh yeah, anyone have a suggestion for me as to who the best player on the PGA Tour might be the last few years?
 
Phil Mickelson?
 
Try again, pizza breath.
 
The Mets will win the National League east this season.
 
But don't bet the house on the above thought - I'm the same clown who predicted the Jets would win the Super Bowl last season.
 
I've thought long and hard about this, and after considering all of my options, I've decided to raise Hereford Cattle, when I open my ranch in Northern Colorado later this year.
 
Caplis & Silverman had their producer call me the other day to appear on their radio program. Then they let the air out of my balloon by going in another direction. There went my chance to finally get on a Clear Channel station.
 
Kenyon, has not called.
 
Yet.
 
I've decided to become a Utah Jazz fan. Brian Tripp a producer with FSN Rocky Mountain is a Utah Jazz fan. I have no idea if this has anything to do with him being from Utah. But if the Tripper is a Jazz fan, then so am I.
 
The WebGuy has been very ornery lately.
 
If he keeps it up that'll be the last time I'll ever get him onto a television program.
 
The Rockies?
 
82 wins.
 
Write it down now.
 
Alright, go ahead and bet the house on it.
 
Who won today's NBA All-Star game?
 
More later...
 
dc



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BRING BACK THE KIDS

Bring Back The Kids!
By DinoCosta
February 19, 2006
Denver-
I haven't watched a second of the Olympics thus far - and don't plan on doing so unless I accidentally run into some event while channel surfing.
The results of the Olympic hockey tournament aren't surprising to me at all.
When teams are put together in such a haphazard fashion, with little or no practice time, no exhibition games, no chemistry developed, why should there not be final scores that in another environment and setting would be considered very surprising? 
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm much more interested in seeing if Jaromir Jagr can spearhead the next Rangers Stanley Cup - than seeing if he can lead his native country to a Gold medal.
Frankly speaking, at least in terms of my personal interest in the United States and their medal chances, I'm bored with the whole thing.
Give me the collegiate kids - who would have been together for at least an entire year, playing in exhibitions, developing the chemistry needed to succeed in most cases -and hopefully hitting a peak and stunning the rest of the world with a tremendous showing that would lift spirits everywhere.
No, the re-duplicating of the 1980 Miracle On Ice team would be impossible for a myriad of reasons - but it could get close to that certainly.
While others manufacture the interest to see the U.S. team possibly win a Gold medal under the current system of professional NHL talent filling out the roster...I'd rather take home a Silver Medal with a team captained by Phil Kessel.
Going with the old system would also allow the NHL to continue its season instead of shutting down the league for a few weeks.
As to the notion that by playing the cream of the crop in the Olympics this helps to foster more awareness in the game, please, give me a break with this.
As I have insisted since I first realized what a terrific game ice hockey was, those who don't like the game for whatever the reason, aren't going to start liking it all of a sudden because the Olympics suddenly opened their eyes to something they were previously unaware of.
A few more thoughts:
I'm flabbergasted to read in today's edition of the Denver Post that I am making more per year than the position of Governor of Colorado.
Criticize all you want to about the current White House administration - but please, shut up about the VP shooting incident, will ya? It was a mistake plain and simple...let it go and remember all of YOUR mistakes you have committed.
Jim Rome is at it again. Rome says that he may give up radio again and go at it full time in television. If Rome had any common sense he'd realize that he's deficient in both areas and get out of the business completely. Rome of course is angling for a new contract from Premiere...and unfortunately rather than to introduce a new voice onto the National landscape (like me), they'll cave in and reward Rome with another new deal. It's called a lack of vision...and not understanding a talent whose parade has already passed by years ago.
Thank you, Dick Kreck.
Dusty?
Minnesota certainly brought the DU Pioneers back down to earth in a hurry, eh?
Jeff Bzdelik is a slam dunk as the Mountain West Conference coach of the year.
The Nuggets called by the way.
Me, not Jeff Bzdelik.
The two best shooters in college basketball are white guys. Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and J.J. Reddick of Duke - are picture perfect, deadly, and lethal, jump shooters.
I only mention that those two guys are white because if the two best scorers in the NHL were black, you'd be reminded about it every other day. Right?
Oh yeah, anyone have a suggestion for me as to who the best player on the PGA Tour might be the last few years?
Phil Mickelson?
Try again, pizza breath.
The Mets will win the National League east this season.
But don't bet the house on the above thought - I'm the same clown who predicted the Jets would win the Super Bowl last season.
I've thought long and hard about this, and after considering all of my options, I've decided to raise Hereford Cattle, when I open my ranch in Northern Colorado later this year.
Caplis & Silverman had their producer call me the other day to appear on their radio program. Then they let the air out of my balloon by going in another direction. There went my chance to finally get on a Clear Channel station.
Kenyon, has not called.
Yet.
I've decided to become a Utah Jazz fan. Brian Tripp a producer with FSN Rocky Mountain is a Utah Jazz fan. I have no idea if this has anything to do with him being from Utah. But if the Tripper is a Jazz fan, then so am I.
The WebGuy has been very ornery lately.
If he keeps it up that'll be the last time I'll ever get him onto a television program.
The Rockies?
82 wins.
Write it down now.
Alright, go ahead and bet the house on it.
Who won today's NBA All-Star game?
More later...
dc


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