Category: Dailies

Adventures in the Workplace

I decided that I needed something to blog about during the off-season, which is why I’ve held off blogging about my trip to Boston and New York. So, in the meantime, you’ll have to deal with my other ramblings.

For those of you that don’t know, I am now a working person. It’s not like I have an upstanding “adult” job or anything, but I guess I’ll take what I can get right now.

Aramark.jpgMy friends always told me, “Emily, you really need to get a job at Coors Field.” Well, in August, the concessions that go through Coors, Aramark, happened to be hiring. I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. Well, lo and behold, I was hired as a club level food runner.

I’ll tell you right now, it’s not the best job in the world, but the reason that I really love it is that I get to be at the ballpark everyday… well, everyday that the Rockies are playing.
Batting Practice.JPG
I get to watch the Rockies take batting practice. I get to see Matt Daley with his socks in the outfield during BP. I get to see the players messing around before the gates are open. I get to see guys from opposing teams hug each other because they’re old friends. I get to be there when homeruns are hit, when the most unthinkable plays are made. I love every moment of being at the ballpark. It’s not the job that keeps me coming back, it’s the Rockies.

Well, while working this fantastical job, like any job, it’s had its moments.

Clint Hurdle 0001.jpgOne day I was taking food out when I walked by this guy. I knew this guy, but I couldn’t place him for the life of me. The teachers and professors that usually stick out in my mind are my math teachers. I was trying to remember if I had him as a teacher in high school, I thought about my math classes. “Was that… Mr. Tolmachoff?” No, it wasn’t him; this guy wasn’t as heavy set. Who is it?! I couldn’t think, so I let the thought settle in the back of my mind. I left work, still thinking about how I knew this guy that I had walked by, in fact I slept on it. The next morning I woke up, still thinking. It was going to drive me crazy, this had been on my mind for the past 12 hours. Finally, it struck. I know who that guy was… it was Clint Hurdle! Yes, like a rookie, I passed by Clint Hurdle without even recognizing him. And if you’re wondering, Jeff, no, he wasn’t glowing orange. I couldn’t believe what I’d missed. Rookie.

Everyday, there’s a door that I walk by… twice. When I’m walking into work and when I’m leaving work I walk by this door. I know what’s happening on the other side of this door, but nonetheless, it’s got this huge lock on it. Some days when I’m leaving work, the door is just cracked open enough that you can see inside, the only thing you can see though is a wall of vines. I’ve dreamed of just walking in this door and visiting, perhaps if I was giving a lesson in “How to get a restraining order 101,” then I could just walk into this door.

Rockies Bullpen.jpgYes, when I arrive at Coors Field, I have the honor of walking by the Rockies bullpen (yeah, the picture is only a little blurry), obsessed with the opportunity to just go in and talk to my favorite relieving pitchers. “Hey Matt Belisle… your socks are pretty fantastic.” “Huston STreet, you’re such a phenomenal closer!” “Matt Daley… you’re like… my favorite reliever!” Yeah, but like I said: how to get a restraining order 101.

There was one day where I walked by the visitors bullpen door when the Rockies were playing the Padres and the Padres bullpen catcher and someone else were standing outside of it. I was very tempted to approach them and say hi, but then decided that it might be weird.

When I was waiting for my supervisor under the stadium, I once thought I saw Manny Corpas walking by. I have no idea if it was actually hiim or not, because it was when he was injured, so I don’t know what he’d be doing walking around the stadium and not dressed out. And if you’re wondering, no, I haven’t wandered around trying to find the dugout or the locker rooms; I do have some dignity.

Troy Tulowitzki 0012.jpgOh yeah, and did I mention that the Rockies are going to the playoffs?! Yeah, old news, but it’s Rocktober… take two!! You know what that means? The state of Colorado has decided that it’s okay to be a Rockies fan again,Jason Hammel 0002.jpg NLDS tickets are totally sold out, so if you’re looking to get into a seat for the post season, prepare to pay a boat load of money from scalpers!

Huston Street 0004.jpgA big crowd will be good for the Rockies esteem. Right now, the wild card seems to be a pretty good place for them. Although it would’ve been ideal to see them win the division and have home field advantage, the point is, we made it. What I love about the wild card is that it’s just that… a wild card! We’ll see what the Rockies are capable of when it comes to the game!

One more thing, I love getting to know people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter, really I do. But it’d be great if you could le tme know that you read my blog when you send out a friend request, just so I know who you are.

Number Four

Dear Emily,
Where have you been?

That’s a good question. As you can see, I haven’t blogged in quite some time.

Let me tell you, I’ve developed quite a larger respect for those of you who can work a full time job and write a halfway decent blog as well. I work a part time job and can’t find the time to do much of anything.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’d know that I spent the end of August in Boston and New York. Well, I took about 700 pictures at the Red Sox game and another 700 at the Yankees game. I, by some miracle, managed to edit the Red Sox pictures down to 214; however, I have yet to start on the Yankees pictures. So you must still await the time when those will be posted. But, here’s a quick preview with a couple pictures:

Jason Varitek.JPGDerek Jeter.JPGOkay, so my Yankees pictures didn’t turn out great, I certainly don’t claim to be a photographer.

After checking the latest leaders board, I was surprised to see that I had moved up to the lovely number four. It’s a HUGE honor to be among that number, I have the utmost admiration for the blogs above me and often lust after having the capacities to write as well as they do, I lust after being able to write as well as many of you out there. So, I figured that since all of you have helped me to attain number four, it was about time for me to stop being so lazy and actually write something up.

So, I thought about it… and thought about it… and thought about it. It wasn’t just work keeping me busy, it was writers block. “These people put me at number four, they’ve been reading my stuff, how can I possibly live up to their expectations?” I admired my last blog, it was written with heart, I could post up anything, and it just would lack heart, passion, and thoughtfulness. So I pondered over this more, “Think Emily, think.”

Finally, it struck. How could I have not thought of this before?

My blog is about baseball, mostly about the Rockies. The answer had been sitting in front of me the entire time. The Rockies were in a slump before this event occurred, I’m in a slump. The Rockies managed to get out of it, remember how?

It was none other than the new skipper, Jim Tracy.

Jim Tracy 0005.jpgBy a stroke of genius, the very man who helped get the Rockies out of their slump could helpJim Tracy 0004.jpg me get out of my slump, and it works out, he sits in the dugout with the number four sewn to his jersey.

Yes, a stroke of brilliance that I actually owe to our skipper.

I remember looking at Twitter when I read the news that Clint Hurdle was to be released by the Rockies. I can’t say I was surprised; rumors were swirling about the fate of his career. I haven’t ben a baseball fan long, so when Jim Tracy stepped up to the plate to take Hurdle’s spot, i had no clue who he was.

With that in mind, I won’t give you the history of Jim Tracy, his career, or where he’s been with his life. Instead, I’ll tell you how I feel about him. I’ve had about three and a half months to get to Jim Tracy 0002.jpgknow our dear new manager, and I immediately was in awe of him.

Despite the fact that he was at Coors Field and I was sitting at home, I could tell the demeanor in the dugout was different. Do you know what I mean? It’s like when you get bad vibes from someone, you don’t have to talk to them to be getting bad vibes from them, you just know. That’s how it was with Jim… only, not bad vibes, just aRyan Spilborghs 0005.jpg different feeling with the players in the dugout.

The best thing about Skip is the exuberance he shows for his team. When I look to a baseball team, I see brothers; they’re more than teammates, more than friends, they’re family. I love to see the joy in Jim’s face when the Rockies win it in a walk off. He doesn’t hesitate to show the love for his team, he’s genuine.

Troy Tulowitzki 0010.jpgDuring the post game show, you’ll see him talking to the press and he never fails to give credit to the other team when credit is due. “They outplayed us,” “we were outplayed,” “we didn’t play good baseball.” Tracy shows a large admiration for this amazing game, and I have grown to have the utmost respect for him.

He’s a powerful feature in the clubhouse. When he came in on May 29, I had no idea what to expect. A change in the middle of the season canJim Tracy 0003.jpg either make or break it, and fortunately for the Rockies, he made it. It was a whole new ball club, a winning ball club.

I can’t help but admire our skipper. He’s calm, collected, and that’s what’s important in the clubhouse. If you stress out down there, you’re going to be putting stress on your whole team. I’ve seen Jim thrown out once, and anyone could see that the Ump was wrong, even the other team had to know the Ump was wrong. He’s a legit guy, and I am absolutely a fan of this man and the demeanor that he brings to this team. It’s obvious he’s turned them around to be a winning team, one that is a threat and contender for the post season.

One last thing to note: I have quite the favorite relieving pitcher, and the numbers on his jersey happen to add up to four. So, I have to give a shout out to him as well. Since Tom Runnells is a bench coach and the Rockies don’t have a 13, it must be 31… MATT DALEY!!

Matt Daley 0004.JPGYes, if you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know that I have a special place in my heart for this pitcher. As I flew into LaGuardia Airport, I looked down and actually SAW Citi Field!! Then I thought of Matt Daley, I know, nerd. When in New York, I attempted to get into Citi Field, but apparently I do not know the lingo of scalpers (you’ll hear more about that later). Anyway, on April 25 against the Dodgers, I watched as this 27-year-old pitcher that I had never heard of pitch… like a weirdo.

Matt Daley 0002.JPG“Um… who is this guy?”

Have you seen the way Daley pitches?! It’s completely unconventional and completely phenomenal.

Matt Daley 0003.JPGI have so much respect for Matt Daley when I see him take the mound, I mean, the guy wears a pink Dora the Explorer backpack… and pulls it off! We also know that I’m a sucker for high socks and Matt is always rocking the high socks. Because of my love for Matt Daley, I know I have turned some of you into Matt Daley lovers as well.

Matt Daley 0005.JPGIt is times like these where we need to unite as fans of Matt Daley, and what better place to do so than on Facebook? An entire fan page devoted to the amazingness of Dora the Explorer backpacks, high socks, and unconventional pitching; a page devoted to the amazingness that is Matt Daley. I feel like after that sentence there should have been one of those like… sound effects and sparkles so it was like, “SHING!! Sparkle, sparkle.” I guess that’s how I’d spell out that sound effect.

So, I would encourage you to join this group, because Matt Daley, well, he’s fantastic.

“His Number is Divine.”

The other day I was looking through my profile pictures on Facebook. I came across one that I had posted on April 11th; it was Nick Adenhart.

Nick Adenhart.jpgMy heart felt heavy as I remembered watching the news on April 10th and learning of his death. Learning about his pitching, his 1-0 record, his 6.00 ERA, and his nine strikeouts.

For some reason, on this day, his death struck me with a surplus of grief. He was a few months younger than I was and he was living his dream.

I consider myself to be on a constant spiritual quest, while I don’t claim to be religious nor believe in a god, I contemplated the most pronounced features I knew about Adenhart.

adenhartsad.jpgHe wore number 34. Perhaps it’s a stretch, or merely coincidence, but the numbers three and four add up to seven. Being someone who once considered herself religious, I thought about the number seven and the context it had toward Adenhart, I stumbled across a website that explained it to me:

“When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number, four, and added it to the perfect divine number, three, and got seven, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven – the four square earth plus the divine completeness of God. So we have seven expressing completeness through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God…

“The whole Word of God is founded upon the number seven. It stands for the seventh day of the creation week and speaks to the millennial rest day. It denotes completeness or perfection.”

I sat and wondered if Adenhart had thought of these things, he pitched for the Angels, his number when broken down, was considered divine. Maybe he had, maybe he hadn’t. Had he ever considered himself to be a mark of perfection? I don’t think that anyone ever considers themselves perfect, I don’t think anyone ever considers themselves divine, but had these ideas ever crossed his mind?

Nick-Adenhart-memorial.jpgI pondered the man who had taken Adenhart’s life away from him, away from the Angels, away from us. Had he thought about these things? Did he think about the lives he’d impact when he got into a car with a BAC higher than 0.19? Had he considered what he’d taken away when he plead “not guilty”?

angels-pitcher-nick-adenhart-killed-in-car-crash.jpg I don’t claim to have been friends with Adenhart or even have heard of him before his death; but somehow, it struck a note with me. On some level, I’d like to have the belief that Adenhart’s team and number are no coincidence, and somehow he really does represent that of an angel, maybe watching over his team; but the skeptic in me wants to dismiss it.

The key phrase is “wants to.” There was something very settling about looking at Nick’s picture that day, a calming presence that simultaneously moved me to tears. Like I said before, maybe it was coincidence, or maybe there’s something bigger. Either way, despite not knowing Adenheart, despite not hearing of him until his death, I can’t help but think of him often, linger on what might or might not be, and think that maybe, just maybe, he’s watching over me too. Maybe it wasn’t coincidence that I wrote this blog, maybe it wasn’t coincidence that his number was somehow broken down in my mind, maybe we all need an angel to believe in, maybe Nick is that Angel.

Nick Adenhart 0002.jpg

Five Seconds of Glory

The average Rockies game contains about 20,000 to 30,000 people, probably more lately since the state of Colorado has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Of those 20,000 to 30,000 people, I represent one. I don’t expect that the Rockies or FSN will take note of the lowly asian sitting out in the Pavilion; in fact, I don’t expect really anyone to notice me out there, I blend in quite well with the blanket of Rockies t-shirts out there.

Of the, I have no idea how many, possibly thousands of blogs on MLBlogs, I represent one. One single Rockies blog in a sea of major league blogs; an average blogger whose writing is… well… average. I don’t expect to get noticed for it, although I wouldn’t mind if someone had talked to me before putting up that terrible picture of Matt Daley on the Rockies homepage.

Sleeping Daley.jpgAs a fan, I suppose in reality, we don’t expect to get noticed for our fanhood. We move through the crowds, maybe hoping to catch a homerun ball here or avoid a bat flying at our head there, be apart of the greatest game on earth somehow. As much as I would like for the Rockies to say, “hey, these are some good pictures, and this is a good blog, we should’ve talked to her before putting up that picture of Matt Daley where he looks like he’s sleeping,” the reality of ever actually getting noticed is slim. After all, for each of us as an individual, we are but one fan.

One fan sitting out in the crowd, one fan writing just another blog.

However, this one fan got their five seconds of fame for ten seconds. Make sense?

On July 5th, I received a few text messages from friends saying I had just been on television. That’s right, yours truly was standing in the crowd singing “God Bless America” and was shown on television next to a rather strange looking, “maybe I should stand uncomfortably close to you” dude.

Emily on TV.JPGOkay, so, he wasn’t that uncomfortably close, it just looks to me like he is.

It was my five seconds of glory, which I think we all kind of expect to get one day, the five seconds of catching a ball, the five seconds of screaming on the Rockies post game show and having Tom Helmer stick the microphone out toward the crowd, the five seconds of being the only fan sitting in the stands while it’s pouring and the game is still playing.

Not that I’m letting it go to my head or anything, but it was cool to hit a bar with my friends, JENN AND MARY, and have the bartender say, “Hey! You were on TV during the Rockies game!” (Not as exciting as it sounds, it was a bar that they frequent so the bartender actually kind of knows me.)

Yes, I had my five seconds of glory being on television, but, the fun didn’t stop there for me.

On July 25th, I went to the Rockies Fan Photo Day, which was amazing!! I stood in line waiting for my friends, JENN AND MARY who, to no one’s surprise, were late… and by “no one’s surprise,” I mean mine. A girl later approached me and our conversation went something like this:

“Are you Emily from MLBlogs?”

“Yes!”

“I read your blog!”

I was about to be really embarrassed if this was a person who had commented on my posts and I never commented on hers.

“Oh, really? Thank you so much, that’s awesome! Do you write a blog?”

“No, but I go through and read some of them.”

How did she recognize me?

It was the Garrett Atkins shirt and the Red Sox bag, my indistinguishable trademarks.

It was like one small step for me, one giant step for bloggers!

Giant Step for Bloggers.jpgSo, Emily was recognized by Emily at Fan Photo Day.

Emily squared.JPGIt was pretty spectacular, I was really stoked; and since Emily, I know you’ll be reading this, I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for reading, it’s greatly, greatly appreciated. I hope we meet up again at a Rockies game. Look for me in the Pavilion, that’s where I usually sit.

There it is, I had my five seconds of glory for ten seconds. The way I see it, that’s it, I’ve used mine up, so I probably won’t have any more moments of glory in my life.

With that in mind, thanks to everyone who reads my blog! I like writing them, reading and commenting on others, and getting comments. It’s cool to do.

Okay, so Rockies Fan Photo Day was AMAZING!!!

I got my picture with Garrett Atkins, as you may have noticed from my new profile picture. It went down like this:

“Oh my god, he’s coming!!!”

Garrett Atkins 0014.JPG“Hi…”

“Hi.”

Garrett Atkins 0015.JPG“You’re like… my favorite player in the majors…”

“Thanks.”

And that was it. Possibly the greatest five seconds of my life.

I expect that throughout the rest of that time, Garrett Atkins heard, “You’re my favorite player,” or “I’m your biggest fan” at least 400 times. I don’t expect that mine stuck out to him or that he would even remember me telling him. What’s important is that I know I told him, and I actually meant it. That’s not to say that no one else who met him and told him that that day didn’t mean it, but, well, I guess you all know how ridiculously crazy I am about him.

For the most part, Fan Photo Day was uneventful. It was: players come up, take a picture with you, leave. Some things to report:

Ryan Spilborghs is still elusive to me. I was so close to getting a picture with him and then the people running the event ushered him elsewhere. I couldn’t even believe that, he was like, five people away from me. It was a little heartbreaking.

Ryan Spilborghs 0004.JPGI met Tom Runnells, and he was hilarious. I’d heard that he was a really nice guy from Tommy, but Runnells now sticks out in my memory. He approached and I was so excited I was like, “Tom Runnells!” And he was like, “Yes?” And I said, “Oh… nothing, I’m just excited.” So I shook his hand and he was like, “You can stop shaking my hand now,” although I wasn’t really shaking his hand anymore, he was just shaking mine and then kept joking that I wouldn’t let go of his hand, even though it was the… opposite… or… maybe you had to be there.

Tom Runnells.JPGI accidentally stepped on Josh Fogg’s foot and had a mild freako
ut about it. It wasn’t really stepping on his foot, it was more like I kind of tripped on his foot. Anyway, he was cool about it.

Josh Fogg.JPGMy friend Jenn tripped and used Dexter Fowler’s jersey to help hold herself up. I find that far more hilarious that she used his own jersey.

Dexter Fowler 0001.JPGI really wanted pictures with Jason Hammel, Huston Street, Todd Helton, Clint Barmes, Brad Hawpe, and Omar Quintanilla, but they are now elusive to me as well.

Other stuff:

I have decided that I am in need of a vacation from not going to school and, until recently, unemployment. Therefore, I am headed up to New York to see my friend. I was trying to work it out so I could go to Washington DC first, but I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of heading there by myself and having to pay for my own hotel. It’s too bad airports don’t let you store stuff in lockers these days, or at least the ones in Washington DC don’t.

I curse Washington DC for not doing that because I have never been to another ballpark, let alone a ballpark that my boys are playing at! Oh well, plans didn’t work out for that, I’ll survive.

So, since DC isn’t happening, I will be headed straight to New York and once up there, straight to Boston. Up to Boston for what you might ask? A RED SOX / YANKEES GAME!!

Yes, I am going to witness the GREATEST rivalry in the history of sports. I am, in a word, stoked. I will cheer loud for the Red Sox and won’t worry about getting beat up since I’ll be in Boston. I guess the biggest concern is being in New York with my Red Sox jersey bag, maybe I’ll get beat up there. That may have sounded like I was too eager to get beaten up. Don’t be fooled, I am not eager to get beat up.

While in Boston, I hope to meet up with none other than Julia over at Julia’s Rants. It will be EPIC. As disappointed as I am that things didn’t seem to work out for DC, I’m pretty stoked to head up to New York and Boston. Any advice?

That’s my big news. I’ll leave you with Rockies pictures that I got from Fan Photo Day:

Aaron Cook:
Aaron Cook 0002.JPGChris Iannetta:
Chris Iannetta 0002.JPGIan Stewart:Ian Stewart 0004.JPGJason Marquis:Jason Marquis 0002.JPGJeff Francis:Jeff Francis.JPGJuan Rincon:Juan Rincon.JPGYorvit TorrealbaYorvit Torrealba 0002.JPGMatt Daley:Matt Daley.JPGJeff Francis and Seth Smith (quite possibly my favorite picture):Seth Smith 0004.JPG

An Open Letter

I wanted to write anther entry about Fan Photo Day and the awesomeness that ensued and about my upcoming trip to Boston and how I don’t get to go to Washington DC, but in light of recent events, this entry was, as Jeff Francis says to Ubaldo Jimenez in the Dodgeball commercial, “necessito!”

This started out as a regular entry, and then a lot of “I’s” and “you’s” kept showing up, so I ended up having to turn it into a letter, or else it’d sound like I was blaming all of you readers for the PED shenanigans.

Dear MLBPA,

You Suck.

Love,
Me

Just kidding.

Dear Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball,

There’s no doubt in my mind that by now you’ve heard all you can from the fans about the use of steroids in baseball. One by one, our heroes seem to be nothing more than a shattered, broken image. A once famous slugger, a once home run record breaker, a once respected player, now nothing more than a tainted record in the history books.

Odds are, you’re not too interested in hearing about my life, but I’ll tell you anyway. In 2004, the first time I came home from college, I arrived at a house where my father’s belongings were not. I found out my parents were separated and getting a divorce, and that was my welcome home from college. After that, I lived on my own for four years while going to school. Now, I’m living with my dad until I can find a place of my own.

I know that both my parents have worked very hard to provide me with what feels like a home, but neither house is; it’s either my dad’s house or my mom’s house, but not my home.

Since seventh grade, I’ve been in an uphill battle with depression. Since moving down to Denver, I can’t find a job, I have no friends down here, and I struggle with my happiness everyday. Most people you meet will wake up looking forward to the day ahead of them; I can barely get out of bed.

As ridiculous as this may sound, the purest joy that I get in my life comes from the game of baseball. I’ve never been happier than when I’m at Coors Field, the Rockies’ ballpark; even when the Rockies are losing, it’s where I’m happiest, it’s my favorite place to be, it’s where I feel home.

Baseball is like my love affair, it’s my light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the only thing that’s mine that I feel like I have truly fallen in love with. Some people fall in love with men, some fall in love with women, and I fell in love with baseball. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I don’t care about the list of 104 players from 2003; I care about the future of this sport, the future of the greatest game on earth. It’s become abundantly clear that the association is no longer striving to protect the players from themselves, their trainers, or their agents. It’s become abundantly clear that you, as the players association, don’t seem to care about the problem at all.

You and I, we’re a lot alike in the sense that when a problem arises, we tend to ignore it with the hope it’ll just… go away, at least that’s the sense I’ve gotten. Maybe the problem will take care of itself, maybe someone else will take care of it, or maybe sweeping it under the rug will disguise it from everyone else. The difference between you and I is that I’m not a union. I’m one person, I write a blog about baseball, I take pictures of baseball, and I want to stand against steroids. It can’t, and shouldn’t be the responsibility of the fans to take action; it shouldn’t have to be a fan who says, “enough is enough.” It’s time for the words “slugger” and “steroid user” to no longer by synonymous. It’s time that baseball and performance enhancing drugs no longer have a relation. It’s time for you, as the union, to feel the same way I do.

My uncle and I were having a discussion about lying, and he shared with me the quote, “I’m not mad because you lied, I’m sad because I can never trust you again.” I don’t want to have to feel that way about baseball anymore. So players lied, everyone lies, but trust broken can be impossible to gain back. I want to trust the players that I love, I want to trust the sport that I love, and I want to trust you, to keep that responsibility.

I don’t feel like I’m asking too much, I want a win to be a win, I want a record to be a record, and I don’t want to have to suspect either is tainted. I want you as the association to care, I want the integrity of my favorite sport to be in tact by the time I reach 30, and I want a future for baseball, the game that I love.

As far as I could tell, it was a game you were supposed to love too. It’s time to no longer let it be run by a drug that ruins bodies, minds, and records. It’s time for you to remember why you fell in love with baseball in the first place.

Thanks so much,

Emily

The Toddfather

This blog is long overdue, I apologize.

In this day and age, it seems harder and harder for us, as fans, to trust and respect a player. We hear commentators talk about future Hall of Famers like Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds. We hear the rumors of steroids, PEDs, and for some, fertility drugs. While it appears that this is a trend that the world of baseball cannot seem to escape from, every once in a while, we find a few shining stars.

Todd Helton 0011.JPGEvery once in a while, we’re lucky enough to find a player who lives up to the hype, lives up to the demands, lives up to the expectations of the fans – which for no player is an easy feat. We find a player who is a class act, one with a good work ethic, and one who would sacrifice their own stats to see the team succeed.

Todd Helton 0008.JPGThe Colorado Rockies are lucky enough to have a class act like Todd Helton as the player who represents those demands.

Todd Helton 0010.JPGOn July 22nd, 2009, Todd Helton joined an elite club as the 50th player to make 500 career doubles and the 19th player to attain this accomplishment with the same team.

After his 2000th hit, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight dismissed Helton’s accomplishments as a product of the thin air in the mile high city, not because of the phenomenal hitter that he is.

Todd Helton 0013.JPGIn reality, a player like Helton hardly gets the respect that he truly deserves. Although for most fans, when he arrives on the field, he commands respect, not because he’s a player who believes he is god’s gift to baseball, but because he truly deserves the recognition. Helton is a humble player, not one to make a play and strike a pose. If you were to pick up a paper and read about Todd Helton, the article wouldn’t start out as “Todd being Todd.”

Todd Helton 0009.JPGIn an article I read, someone mentioned that Todd Helton joined an even more elite group of Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Stan “The Man” Musial as the only players with 500 doubles, 320 homers, and a .325 batting average since 1900. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s well worth the mention if it is.

Todd Helton 0007.JPGHelton has had the power to return to the game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to relieve pressure on a bulging disc in his back. He’s not just had the power to return, but he’s come back as better than ever, and as far as anyone is concerned, he has more baseball in him.

Todd Helton 0014.JPGHe is the shining star of the Rockies, usually the only player that any bandwagoner can name, and now, he’s accomplished an act that only 49 others before him could. A class act like Todd Helton deserves more baseball, deserves more respect, and as a Rockies fan, it’s an honor to have him play for our team.

Todd Helton 0017.JPG

Hot N Cold

Just a warning, this will be a long one.

I think at some point, we all believe that there’s this one song that was written about us. It fits everything; it’s perfect in every way and describes your mood, the way you feel, like that song and that moment were destined to be together.

Like the lyrics:

Hot N Cold.jpgYou’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down

While I’m not a big fan of this song in the first place, it seems to reflect the way the Rockies are playing as of late.

I had the privilege of going to this entire series against Atlanta, and those lyrics pretty much describe exactly how the Rockies played during that series. So, let’s rewind to day one.

I was scheduled to meet Tom, we would catch some batting practice, and then head to the dugout to try and get some autographs. As usual, I was running late and got to the gate to find Tom waiting for me. We picked up some Rockpile tickets and headed inside. Batting practice was pretty casual, unlike Don, I’m not coordinated enough to catch a ball that isn’t coming right to me (or maybe even catch a ball in the first place, I haven’t been posed with that opportunity yet), so Tom and I just kind of hung out, but ready to catch a ball. They opened up the rest of the stadium and we headed over to the dugout.

It was Tom’s mission to get Todd Helton’s autograph on his picture of the 2000th hit. I had the fortune of being set up with a pretty amazing shot of Garrett Atkins, courtesy Mr. Walsh. Both of us were lusting after these players’ autographs, and lo and behold, neither of us got it.

We sat in some pretty spectacular $4 seats and sat back to watch the amazingness that is the Rockies.

Unfortunately, Cook was a little “cold” that night and was struggling to get outs. He would last 5.2 innings and give up nine hits. However, our hitting was “hot.”

Aaron Cook 0001.JPGTom and I were discussing Garrett Atkins and Ian Stewart, and Tom said that Stewart’s bat needed to come alive tonight, since it appeared he’d been struggling. Stewart didn’t fail to deliver, hitting a longball and driving in Tulowitzki. Well… guess Stewie overheard Tom.

Ian Stewart 0002.JPGIt didn’t take long while all this was happening for me to find none other than Garrett Atkins sitting in the dugout.

Garrett Atkins 0008.JPGYou should’ve seen this one coming.

The game rolled on, and for me, this next moment was the defining moment. Stewart walked, and a pitch hit Iannetta, then, Garrett Atkins came up. “Oh please, Atty, I know you’re good for it.” A lot of people have lost confidence in Garrett Atkins, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you would know that I haven’t, and you would know that I’ve said that over and over with the secret hope that Garrett Atkins will come across it some day.

Garrett Atkins 0006.JPGAnd Atty, well, he didn’t let me down. In the bottom of the eighth, he doubled to deep left and brought in Stewie and Iannetta. It was epic. No “FAIL” on Atty, take that world, Rockies are now ahead, and they would end it coming out on top. Also, as you can see, I was a little too excited for my own good that Atkins was up and couldn’t hold my camera still.

After the game, I couldn’t wait to get back to the ballpark the next day; I was practically counting down the minutes.

So the next day rolled around, and off I was to go meet Mr. Walsh once again. I was also meeting a couple of other friends there; it was a t-shirt giveaway of one of our All Stars, Brad Hawpe. My friends wanted to catch batting practice so we headed over to the Rockpile gate to meet them so I could give them their tickets. Well, there was someone working there who took their job very seriously and wouldn’t let us get in line with our friends. That turned out to be okay because it was necessary to try and get that Todd Helton autograph for Tom.

We got into the stadium and grabbed our Brad Hawpe shirt and headed down to the dugout. Iannetta, as usual, was the first one out. Tom gave me some points on being aggressive to get autographs, I’m way too shy for life. But, I managed to land three:

Chris Iannetta,

Chris Iannetta 0001.JPGClint Barmes,

Clint Barmes 0002.JPGand Ian Stewart.

Ian Stewart 0003.JPGThen, what was this? Garrett Atkins was in the dugout and appeared to be signing some things for people.

“Go over and ask him to sign your picture.” Tom had confidence that I could get Atkins’ autograph, I did not.

“Um… well…”

“Go quick! He’s signing stuff!”

Our conversation was somewhere along the lines of that. So, I headed over to the dugout and was way to shy to try and get Atkins autograph, then the National Anthem started and I was S.O.L.

“You probably coulda had it if you headed over like… five minutes earlier.”

Curse my shyness and me.

Well, yet again Todd Helton’s 2000th hit went unautographed, as did my picture. We headed over to right field to find my friends.

For the night, our pitching was “yes” but our hitting was “no.”

Ubaldo Jimenez pitched six innings, which doesn’t sound impressive, but had eight strikeouts during those six innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez 0002.JPGWe lacked in run support and our only run on the board came from a homer from ol’ reliable, Todd Helton.

Todd Helton 0006.JPGThe scary moment of the night wasn’t the lightning, but was when Alan Embree had a ball driven into his leg. He was on the ground, shaking and sweating. He was taken off the field and the Rockies were back to business. Embree ended the night, and possibly his season, with a broken tibia. Although Tracy said he’s making a go
od recovery and may even be back by the end of the season, it’s still up in the air. Get well soon, Alan.

Alan Embree 0001.JPGOn Saturday, it was time for the Rockies to bounce back, and they did… well… almost.

Jason Marquis was pitching, however, his pitching was “out” and hitting was “in”… kinda.

Jason Marquis 0001.JPGMaybe it was the All Star nerves, or the relaxation of being the first pitcher this season to get 11 wins, but Marquis was certainly not on his game. He struggled for six innings and ended the night with 97 pitches.

The Rockies runs didn’t come until the seventh inning, that’s when the bats started to come alive.

Troy Tulowitzki homered to deep left, that kick started the excitement.

Troy Tulowitzki 0008.JPGIan Stewart doubled into deep left center, after which Seth Smith would single to center, driving in Ian Stewart.

Seth Smith 0002.JPGGarrett Atkins singled moving Seth Smith to third and on a wild pitch, Smith made it home.

Garrett Atkins 0009.JPGThat would be the end of the rally, and yet again, the Rockies would take another beating from the Braves.

I went to the game with my mom that day and she scored us some Wells Fargo Club Level seats. Although it was nice to sit up there, I found the area to seem… off. The woman next to me had on pearls, and not that there’s anything wrong with wearing pearls, but they go with a specific type of outfit, so you can guess that she wasn’t in a baseball jersey. Not only that, but she was drinking wine. Maybe it’s just me but… really, who drinks wine at a ballgame? That’s like all those girls who come wearing CFM heels and mini skirts. Who does that?

Wells Fargo Club.JPGWhile I appreciated club level for what it was, I found the setting as a whole to be rather pretentious. Pretentious may not be the right word, but it’s the word that comes to mind. I didn’t really feel comfortable yelling at Jason Marquis or telling the ump he was clearly blind.

I went to bed Saturday night thinking that I wasn’t going to the game the next morning. My wonderful mother had other plans in store for me.

Thanks to StubHub, she had scored us tickets 16 rows behind the Rockies dugout. I arrived at the game, eager to find where we were sitting and see who was playing. To my surprise, Todd Helton was out of the lineup, and who was at first… literally, right by where I was sitting? That’s right, Garrett Atkins. It was… amazing. Having confidence that Atkins would be in the lineup, I wore my Atkins shirt four days in a row, and I was glad to see him so close to me.

Garrett Atkins 0011.JPGSunday was an afternoon that our pitching was “down” but our hitting was “up.”

Jason “Stop – Hammel Time” Hammel had found some great success with the club and was starting to get into the groove of things, except for that day. That day, he looked like an over zealous rookie.

Jason Hammel 0001.JPGJason Hammel pitched a total of three innings and gave up five runs. It was a rough afternoon for him, no doubt.

The Rockies lineup, however, would make up for it. Starting with our All Star Hawper who homered to deep left field.

Brad Hawpe 0007.JPGAtty would bring in Barmes.

Garrett Atkins 0012.JPGTroy Tulowitzki hit a longball to deep right.

Troy Tulowitzki 0009.JPGThe Rockies decided to put in Chris Iannetta and take out Yorvit Torrealba. In the meantime, Ryan Spilborghs did some catching… which looks weird. But, it was the closest I’ve ever been to Spilly.

Ryan Spilborghs 0002.JPGSeth Smith would hit a longball and bring in Barmes with him.

Seth Smith 0003.JPGRyan Spilborghs came into the game, not as a catcher, and doubled to deep right center, driving in Ian Stewart.

Ryan Spilborghs 0003.JPGIn the middle of the ninth, the game was all tied up. Huston Street came in to pitch, and he held off the Braves.

Huston Street 0003.JPGThe rest of the game, well, that was up to our All Star, and he proved why he is an All Star bringing Seth Smith home on a center field walk off double. It was a phenomenal game.

Brad Hawpe 0008.JPGWhat a way to see off Brad Hawpe.

Brad Hawpe 0009.JPGThe Rockies and winning and the Rockies and I, well, I guess it seems like, “we fight, we break up, we kiss, we make up.”

Rock pile 0001.JPGRock
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