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August 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm ET
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The Toddfather Has No Answers Left To Give


According to Thomas Harding, and many others I’m sure, the absence of Todd Helton indicates the Rockies are a rutterless ship.テつ A car with no engine.テつ An I-Pod with no music.テつ A team with no direction.テつ A team with no leader.

I thought his back gave out, I didn’t think he was dead.

Why is it impossible for a guy to assume a leadership role while not playing?

According to Todd…

“It’s very hard, because you want to lead by example. I’m not going to tell somebody how to do something if I’m not going to do it myself.”

You’ve been doing it for 12 YEARS, you’re qualified to have thoughts and lend advice.テつ Being on the disabled list prevents you from playing, it doesn’t prevent you from speaking, teaching and leading. You don’t lose your identity, reputation or voice when you’re injured.

Be Todd Helton.テつ Talk.テつ Teach.テつ Lead.

“I probably could,” Helton said. “But it’s hard for me to critique the team when I don’t really feel like I’m out there doing it. If you’re on the outside, you become not a part of it. Therefore it becomes criticism.テつ I can say we stink if I’m out there playing. But if I say we stink now and I’m not out there playing, well … It’s like saying, ‘You stink.'”

Alright, so now that we’ve established Todd Helton is unable to lead this team from the trainer’s table, we need to establish something else.

The Rockies don’t need Todd Helton’s leadership!

This roster boasts a bona fide MVP, an uncrowned rookie of the year, a workhouse/darkhouse Cy Young candidate, a 3-time all-star closer, two catchers with strong personalities, and Ryan Spilborghs.

If those guys can’t function without Todd Helton, and the others can’t function – as the recent 3-7 homestand may or may not indicate – with those guys leading the way, we have bigger issues here than Todd Helton’s back.

“I don’t know if there’s a secret formula he (Helton) brings to the table,” relief pitcher Brian Fuentes said. “You can’t say, ‘If Todd was here, the season would be different.’ Do I wish he was here? Of course. Everybody wishes he was here in the locker room. He’s not, so we have to move on and we have to play hard until he gets back.”

There is no secret formula.テつ Todd Helton’s mere presence in the locker room does not make Clint Barmes mentally and physically better at playing the game of baseball.テつ There’s nothing left for Todd to teach his toddlers that they haven’t already learned and experienced themselves.

Harding: Colorado, 22-19 without Todd Helton, is nonetheless lacking his veteran presence.

I understand the sentiment in acknowledging Todd.テつ He’s been through it all with this franchise, and as I’ve said many times, 2007 was 100 times more special because he was a part of it. No one will wear the #17 at Coors Field once he decides to hang it up, and there’s at least a decent chance he’ll be the first player to wear a Rockies hat into Cooperstown.

It’s time to move forward with the healthy pieces that are in place to establish something different and new.

This team wasn’t very good in 2008 with Todd Helton on the field and leading in the clubhouse. 22-19, while still below what the Rockies are capable of, is a marked improvement and a sign there is life after Helton.

No, Todd Helton is not dead.テつ His legacy in Denver will never die.テつ However, his days as the face of the franchise, problem solver, babysitter, leader, are over.

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