I apologize that this blog is somewhat tardy.  Normally, I attempt to get one out every 7-10 days.  Between the All-Star break and a visit from my 85-year old mother, the blog got pushed to the side.  Time to make amends.

This is being written just before first pitch in the opener of a 4-game set with the Miami Marlins.  Walt Weiss believes his club needs to re-establish its dominance at Coors Field, and the Rockies got off to a good start on this 10-game homestand by taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs.  The Marlins, with 9 rookies on their active roster, have the poorest record in the National League, but that doesn’t mean it will be a walkover for the Rockies.  More than any of the other major sports, baseball is the game where, regardless of record, any team has a chance to win each game, particularly if they get good starting pitching.  Miami will send 2 excellent young pitchers, Jose Fernandez and Jacob Turner, to the mound in this series, and the Rockies are well aware of the need to take care of business when opportunities are presented.  It will be the same this weekend against Milwaukee.

Speaking of the Brewers, they were having issues even before Ryan Braun’s suspension was announced this afternoon.  I wonder if Braun decided not to appeal his penalty since his team is struggling.  Had an appeal been filed and he lost the case, Braun might have faced an even larger penalty.  Needless to say, it is likely that more suspension will be handed out as a result of the investigation of the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida.  I am happy that MLB is trying to be proactive in dealing with performance-enhancing drugs, although they won’t be able to eradicate drugs completely from the game.  Nevertheless, they are doing the best job of it among the major sports, in my opinion. 

My only complaint is that I don’t think the penalties go far enough.  There would be even better control of these illegal practices if the teams were also penalized beyond just the loss of a suspended player.  While a team would feel the loss of that particular player—especially a star of the standards of a Ryan Braun—a replacement takes over and things continue.  My suggestion would be that not only would that player be suspended for the length of his penalty, but that his team would be forced to play with one less player on their active roster for the duration of the suspension.  Further, it would have to match, meaning if it’s a position player or a pitcher, that’s what the team would have to do without.  Don’t you think there would be even greater vigilance by the front office, coaching staff, and teammates if that were the penalty?  Think about it.

Before I give you my latest CHECK IT OUT, one last look back at 3 Rockies in the All-Star Game.  It was wonderful to see all that purple on the baseline for the introductions of the NL squad.  The best sight, however, was watching the fun Michael Cuddyer had during the Home Run Derby, particularly the interaction with his son, Casey.  It was priceless.  Now...Check Out "Blind, Crippled, and Crazy" by Delbert McClinton and Gene Clark.  Two grizzled blues veterans have put out an excellent disc.