Now that the trade with Matt Holliday is pretty much official, there’s another thought looming over the minds of Rockies lovers: what will happen to Garrett Atkins? Nothing official yet. He still has two seasons in his contract, but the odds that he’ll be sticking around here seem to be slimming as the days drag on. The prognosis of this situation: well… not good. But that’s not how it should be. In fact, keeping Garrett Atkins would be optimal for the Rockies.
I understand the need for pitching. It makes a lot of sense, in fact. Pitching is like 90% of the game. But do you really want to get rid of your strong players? The one’s who brought you to the World Series? That seems ridiculous. And Garrett Atkins has been an incredibly strong player. His stats reveal it. Like all players, he’s had his up and downs, but his career stats are beyond stunning. In 2005, he had 89 RBI’s. Ten less than he had this season. But this season was pretty bad for everyone. As you know, the Rockies fell from being the NLCS champions to ten games behind. 2006 was absolutely his best season, he had 120 RBI’s and 29 home runs. Not only that, but his OBP .409 and his slugging average is .556. Amazing stats. His 2007 stats fell a little, but not much. With 111 RBI’s, 25 home runs, and a slugging average of .486. This was the season that the Rockies went to the World Series. This past season, his stats took a small beating. Made 99 RBI’s, 21 home runs, and a slugging average of .452. Yes, his stats fell, but that doesn’t make him an inconsistent player.
What you’re losing is so much bigger than just a player. Garrett Atkins was signed into the organization as an amateur. It was through this very organization that he grew into such a phenomenal player. For me, getting rid of Atkins is getting rid of a piece of history. I know what you’re thinking, “in 2004, getting rid of Larry Walker was getting rid of a piece of history, and some how fans got over it, you’ll get over this.” That is where you’re wrong. This team compromises my life. There’s nothing that I know better than this team, it’s my life, it’s what I can talk about with people, it’s why I started a blog dedicated to this very subject.
Maybe Atkins was being nice when he said that he wanted to spend his entire career here. Who wouldn’t? A great club, great friends, and thousands of fans who love you. Trading Atkins away is something that I’d never get over. Losing Holliday was bad enough, and yeah, it was like losing a piece of my soul, but Atkins would take a far worse toll on me. It would be like losing a part of my life. Once again, I can picture you saying, “oh, don’t be so dramatic.” But it’s true. Garrett Atkins and Ryan Spilborghs compose my wallpaper (on my computer, just to clarify; it’s not like I’m one of those teenage girls who puts their posters all over my wall… although if they made them… ha ha, just kidding). Any one who knows me knows that this team is my life, these guys are what I know.
We’re in need of a closer. Why not keep Huston Street? Manny Corpas has proven that he is not going to be a good option for a closer. Taylor Buccholz, although a good option, lacks the experience to be put into such a high pressure position. Huston Street has the experience, and despite the set backs he experienced last season, he would still make a better closer than Manny Corpas. It sounds like the Rockies are looking to trade away Huston Street and possibly throw Garrett Atkins into that deal. Boo. That’s all I have to say to that.
You’re throwing away a player who has spent his entire career with the Rockies. Even Clint Hurdle said it was ridiculous to think that we’d be getting rid of two of our strongest players. That’s right, our strongest players. Yes, it’s “part of the business” to trade players and move them around, but it’s also true that you’re getting rid of a piece of history; someone who has spent their whole career with a franchise. Someone the fans know and love.
I don’t expect Garrett Atkins to read this and be like, “oh, someone out there loves me.” No, that’s a completely stupid idea. As much as I would love for him to realize how much he means to his fans, it’s not going to happen. Just like Dan O’dowd won’t read this and be like, “hmm… this person’s right, Atkins is a great player.” No, that’s just as stupid. But I wouldn’t mind if someone realized it. I just want to reassure myself, I guess, that if Garrett Atkins goes, he left leaving at least one person with a heavy heart. Bleh, what a chick thing to say. If Atkins goes, it’ll be yet another devastating move that O’dowd makes to a team that has already suffered a huge loss.
So I did want to dedicate a blog to Garrett Atkins, which may sound pathetic. But I wanted the world to know, that yet another piece of Rockies history may be lost this off season. And whoever will pick up Atkins, if and when he is traded or a free agent, will be one luck son of a… gun.