HEADLINES

Cheers/Jeers: Larry Walker gets Cooperstown call, but Rockies are a mess

Jan 24, 2020, 6:00 AM

Take pity on those who claim themselves die-hard Colorado Rockies fans, for this week has been a rollercoaster of emotion.

But the mess that’s brewing at 20th and Blake and the party that’s set for this summer in Cooperstown are just two pieces of what happened this week in Denver sports.

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CHEERS | Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Walker

On his 10th, and final, chance to be immortalized in Cooperstown, Larry Walker squeaked by the 75 percent line of demarcation for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this week.

Walker, who joins New York Yankees all-timer Derek Jeter, earned 76.6 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America, joining Ferguson Jenkins as the only Canadians in the Hall.

The long-time patroller of the Coors Field outfield also becomes the first Rockies player inducted as well, as former teammate Todd Helton received just 29.2 percent of the vote on his second ballot.

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JEERS | The rift between Nolan Arenado and Rockies management

What once was an interesting offseason storyline has now turned into a full-on soap opera at 20th and Blake.

Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich ended the only offseason action involving the Rockies this year by saying on Monday that the club had ended trade talks involving Nolan Arenado. The star third baseman then followed that up by saying he’s received “a lot of disrespect” from the front office.

Then, in another twist to the situation, Arenado released a statement on Wednesday saying what he said was “out of character” but that “a lot of stuff” has been going on that “nobody knows about.”

Basically, right, the Rockies and its likely future Hall of Fame infielder are in a battle of he-said, he-said, and if both sides don’t grow up a bit and face their differences, it’s about to get really ugly down at Coors Field this season.

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CHEERS | Broncos DE Adam Gotsis raising awareness and money for Australia

Adam Gotsis has a lot to worry about this offseason, most notably recovering from knee surgery. But the Broncos defensive end has taken his personal time to raise awareness and money for something near and dear to his heart: the fires ravaging Australia.

The Aussie has established a fundraising effort to aid those affected by the massive bushfires in his home country, telling DenverBroncos.com:

It’s devastating. We’ve got such a beautiful country, beautiful land, animals, all that stuff — and for it to be ripped apart by these fires is pretty devastating, just to see all those communities out there, rural Victoria, New South Wales, destroyed, it’s tough. It’s tough because we don’t have a lot of help.

If you’d like to make a donation or just learn about what’s happening, head to GreenAndGoldUnite.org.

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JEERS | Shelby Harris switches representation to Drew Rosenhaus

It looks like Shelby Harris’ days in Denver are numbered, as the Broncos defensive lineman has fortified his efforts heading into free agency by joining up with super agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Harris, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, set himself up for a sizable payday with a career year in 2019. The defensive lineman started all 16 games for the Broncos, setting career marks in passes defensed (9), forced fumbles (1), sacks (6.0) and tackles (49).

Well, at least it was good while it lasted.

***

CHEERS | The NHL All-Star Weekend

OK, sure, it’s standard practice for all sports enthusiasts to dog on the phony, imitation events that are all-star games. But, there’s a soft spot in my heart for the NHL All-Star Weekend.

Maybe it’s because it’s the only such event I’ve ever attended — 2001 when the Colorado Avalanche hosted it at Pepsi Center — but from the skills competition to the game itself, it entertains better than most (except the MLB All-Star Game, because that’s legitimately good television).

Here’s proof of my NHL All-Star Game fandom, as explained by former Denver Post scribe Benjamin Hochman:

JEERS | The Pro Bowl

… But, on the other side of the all-star game coin, the Pro Bowl is hot garbage.

Aside from that one time that Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor laid out Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman, the game and its ancillary events are pretty toothless.

Basically, the game itself is a glorified training camp scrimmage, just where everyone’s a star and trying to avoid serious injury.

And the Skills Showdown, with its Scouting Combine-esque drills and large-scale dodgeball game, seems better on paper than it is to watch.

At least it’s held every year in Hawa … oh. This year it’s in Orlando? Yikes.

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