Author Archives: Mark Tinsley

One of Baseball’s Best People is Calling it Quits

By Mark Tinsley


Lost in all of the NFL news, and the pennant races in baseball, one of the greatest hitters announced he would retire after this season.


Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies announced he is calling it quits after 17 years with the team. Helton spent his entire career in Colorado, and will retire as the leader in almost every hitting category. Helton leads the team all time in games, at bats, runs, hits, homeruns, rbis, and walks, amongst other categories.


Helton played in an era marred by steroids and scandals, but has always been clean, never coming up in steroid talks or discussions. Whenever you do baseball trivia, specifically hitting, Helton is usually the guy who always goes unnamed. He has never been looked at as one of the great hitters, mostly because he has played his whole career in Colorado, where balls tend to fly out at a high pace. Never the less, in a sport where people are always trying to find people to look up to, the guy may have been in the mountain state the whole time.


Helton played football at Tennessee, when a local legend also played there. That legend wore 18 for the Indianapolis Colts for a while, you may have heard of him.


Helton played in the 2007 World Series, going down to the Boston Red Sox in four games. Playing in all four games, Helton hit .333, but was otherwise very quiet in the team’s only trip to the Fall Classic. Luckily for Helton, you’re not judge so much for World Series titles as you are in basketball or football.


With that being said, I still believe Helton will be presented a bust in the Hall of Fame one day. The way the baseball Hall of Fame has worked, it is unlikely that Helton will get in on his first year of eligibility, but I believe he will get the call.


Since Major League Baseball expanded and the Rockies were integrated, they are one of the few teams with no Hall of Fame members, they have also never retired a number as an organization. With Helton retiring after this season, both of those will more than likely both come to an end.


Probably more impressive than the hits, and the homeruns, is Helton’s loyalty to the team that drafted him in the first round 17 years ago. This can also be said for the organization, which has showed great loyalty to their best player in franchise history. We see so many times when aging superstars are on bad teams, the team dumps the player for prospects, rather than paying the superstar a boatload of cash.


Helton never complaining about playing on losing teams, he never demanded to be traded, never became a locker cancer, the way we have seen so many players in other sports become. Loyalty in sports is a thing of the past for the most part, and this year we had two of the longest one-team streaks end. Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera also announced that this would be his last year.

Todd Helton will not go down as one of the greatest players of all time by any means, but as I said before, in an era full of scandal and dirty players, we should celebrate careers such as Helton’s, never flashy, but very effective. Now days, we parade for the flash, and forget the guys who show up to work get the job done, and head home. In an era that saw one of the flashiest players in Ken Griffey Jr., we also had one of the quietest stars in Helton.


Celebrate while we can baseball fans, players like this do not come around like this too often.


Mark can be followed on twitter: @marktinsleyjr

Fantasy Football Hour

by Mark Tinsley

UnknownJulian Edelman was the number one receiver for the New England Patriots on Sunday. Let that set in for a minute. Starting today, and every Wednesday forward, I will offer my best advice for your fantasy football team. Do you sit Maurice Jones-Drew? Do you sit Chris Johnson? What do you do with Eric Decker?

Sit Maurice Jones-Drew against the Raiders:

I know Jones-Drew is the Jaguars best offensive weapon. I also know he is one of the top running backs in the league when he is healthy. “Mo Jo” is healthy, however, his team is anything but. Also, the Oakland Raiders defensive looked good against the run on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. I know Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw aren’t Jones-Drew, but the Colts have more weapons which should’ve opened the door for the backs, and didn’t. Sit Jones-Drew if you have an above average flex running back.

 Sit Chris Johnson against the Houston Texans:

Johnson didn’t do much for fantasy users week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now CJ2K travels to Houston to take on JJ Watt and the Texans. Brian Cushing is also back for the Texans who look to improve to 2-0 on the season. Johnson’s value is low this week for some of the same reasons it is for Jones-Drew. Jake Locker doesn’t scare you at quarterback. The receiving core is better in Tennessee, but still not enough to make you take guys out of the box against the run.

Start Darren Sproles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

New Orleans has plenty of fantasy options, but Brees’ favorite target is still Sproles. He is the security blanket, and gets plenty of touches in their high-powered offense. Unless your team includes Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, and Alfred Morris on the same team, start Sproles at running back or flex. Sproles is never going to get tons of carries, or the goal line opportunities, but he gets a lot of receiving yards with potential for big plays.

Start T.Y. Hilton against the Miami Dolphins:

Hilton had horrible fantasy stats against the Raiders in week one, probably causing his fantasy owners to panic. Do not panic with T.Y. the Colts tried to prove they could line up and run the ball, employing a lot of two tight end sets, which takes Hilton off the field. Expect offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton to get Hilton more touches this Sunday. Last year against the Dolphins, Hilton had a huge game going for 102 yards on 6 catches, and a touchdown. The only cause for concern is Cameron Wake coming rushing off the end against the Colts, but I expect Hilton to bounce back.

Start Stevie Johnson against the Carolina Panthers:

This one is pretty simple, Johnson is E.J. Manuel’s favorite target, and the Carolina secondary while much improved is still shaky against the pass. Johnson isn’t going to get tons of catches, but the big play ability is there. Johnson caught a touchdown last week against the Patriots, and Carolina gave up a long touchdown pass against Seattle.

Some guys worth a waiver claim pickup:

Julius Thomas, Tight end, Denver Broncos

The tight end looked great against the Baltimore Ravens, and Peyton Manning looked his way a lot.

Marlon Brown, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens

Brown emerged as the number 2 receiver for the Ravens after Jacoby Ford went down with an injury, caused by his own teammate.

Find a replacement if you have:

Brandon Pettigrew, Tight End, Detroit Lions

Pettigrew had two catches against the Minnesota Vikings, for 6 yards, and he had a fumble. Pick up one of the tight ends on your waiver wire if Pettigrew is your starter.

Montee Ball, Running Back, Denver Broncos

Ball was drafted high in most rounds, but he didn’t produce anything for the Broncos in week one. The Broncos are going to throw it around, and Ball by all accounts isn’t great in pass protection, which is key with Peyton Manning.

Follow Mark on Twitter @marktinsleyjr