Tonight, Rockies third baseman/love of my life Garrett Atkins proved why he belongs in the majors.
Recent articles had me speculating if Atkins was going to be traded or sent down to the Triple-A Sky Sox.
Earlier today, my friend called me to wish me luck on my job interview. I told her that my stomach was hurting me, but I wasn’t sure if it was because I was nervous for my interview or because I had just read about the possibility of Atkins heading toward the Springs. Earlier I felt fine, I wasn’t nervous for my interview, I was prepared, and once I read that news, I actually felt sick.
The very name Garrett Atkins used to strike fear into the pitchers he faced. He was the guy who pitchers would walk to get to the five hole. Not the case last night. Last night, Brad Hawpe was walked not once, but twice, so that pitchers could get to Atkins, who struck out both times.
However, tonight was the Garrett Atkins before his season long slump. Tonight was the Atkins that struck fear into the pitchers he faced. Tonight Garrett Atkins played like… well… Garrett Atkins.
When Atkins hit his first longball, I was stoked, practically dancing around like a giddy school girl. FINALLY!! The last time he hit a homer was back in April, April 25th. It was one of the most deserved hits to ever come to a player.
The second homerun, I was elated, euphoric, ecstatic, any other word that is synonymous with those. I was in awe of my favorite player, it may have been just as big of a moment for him as it was for me; most of Colorado may have turned their back on Garrett, but I held the faith. Before this, it was getting to the point where I would have sold my soul to get Atkins back on track. You think I’m joking… I’m not.
Now, by no means is Atkins “cured” of his season long slump, but now he has the confidence that he still has the power to hit a homer. I feel like his problems are similar to those of David Ortiz. The slump that both players have dug themselves into raises the “self-doubt” question in their mind. They know what they need to do, but they’re unable to execute a play, leaving them wondering if they’ll ever get a hit, a double, a homerun, anything. If Atkins keeps this up, he’ll get out of whatever slump he’s in.
The Rockies could’ve lost tonight, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t. But it was just as important to me to see Atkins hit those longballs. Had they lost, I still probably would have been as excited as I am.
Now, two homers in a game doesn’t by any means really make Garrett Atkins a triple threat. In fact, really, I just tried to use that as kind of a play on words, that’s about as far as my creativity spans. Since his slump, I’ve been reassuring myself that Atkins is just keeping me waiting for that perfect moment where he’ll hit a grand slam or he’ll do like he did today and get two homeruns. I talk about how much I am in love with him, but I really do value Atkins for the player that he is. In his past seasons, he’s never failed to deliver, and his slump this season makes it difficult. Players go through slumps, and it’s because he’s such a big slugger that it’s like he’s not allowed to. But I trust, through thick and thin, that Atkins will get back to his old self and raise his average to above .200. How unthreatening did that just sound? To above .200? Wow…
Tonight, the 10-3 victory over the Astros was a collaboration of the entire Rockies team. Jason Hammel looked great out on the mound; he’s been struggling in the past, but looked great tonight. Run support needed to come from somewhere besides Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe, and it did. Every position player had a hit tonight and every position player played like they wanted a win. Ryan Spilborghs, my other favorite player, hit a longball and tracked down a ball up the hill of Minute Maid Park.
Tonight was exactly what the Rockies needed, a win.
Finally, I’ve been having problems getting online. I was finally able to get online to log into MLBlogs (fortunately, I don’t have to be connected to the internet to just type), had to go unplug and replug my router in order to upload pictures (I actually had to unplug it and plug it back in for each picture), then had to unplug and replug it in again to publish it. I swear I want to read your blogs, but I can’t get online for more than five minutes. Hopefully a new router is on it’s way and then I can catch up on everything I’ve been missing.
Photos courtesy: baseball photos
Parking for the Rockies game: $10
Price for the seats we were sitting in: $35 (for whoever actually had to pay for them)
Nachos with questionable cheese: $5.25
A day at the park with the Rockpile Ranter: Priceless.
When I e-mailed Don about hitting up a game together, he had an extra ticket and told me he’d give me the “real Coors Field experience.” Let me tell you, he absolutely didn’t fail to deliver.
It started out with a meeting outside the Rockpile gate. I eagerly walked up to Don excited to go into the park and start my day. He presented me with a glove, this glove:
My first ever glove!! Good thing it’s all broken in, because I wouldn’t have any idea what to do. We headed into the ballpark where the people who check bags actually complimented me on my Red Sox jersey bag. WHOA! That blew my mind right there. This was totally going to be a good day because for the first time, I wasn’t harassed about it. We ran up the stairs and were on our way to some batting practice.
Don gave me some tips for catching balls:
- Don’t catch it right in front of your face because if you miss it… it’ll hit… well… your face.
- Try to stay between the bleachers, you’ll have easier access toward hits.
- Catch it in the pocket between your thumb and index finger, because if it hits your hand… it’ll hurt. Bad.
I also learned that there are certain unspoken rules to snagging balls. For example, Don was about to get this ball when some guy stuck his glove right in front of Don’s. Don’t do that. I have more unspoken rules to learn, but I’ll get there someday.
So we’re just hanging out standing there, nothing really coming my way. I stayed in the area where I was because I for sure wasn’t coordinated enough to keep my eye on the ball and climb stairs. Anyway, I’m watching when this homerun batting practice ball comes a few bleachers in front of me. “No way I’m going to get this ball.”
I have a lot to learn about catching a ball first of all. I have no idea what I’m doing. Going down stairs is kind of a big deal because I’m trying to keep my eye on the ball, but there’s stairs… and I always have to watch when I’m going down stairs or I’m going to trip and eat it… hard. So this ball is coming and it bounces off one of Don’s friend’s glove and lands right in front of me. I out race two dudes (not children) and grab the ball. My first batting practice ball that I, myself got… ever! A day in history!!
Don would also snag a ball and practice would end shortly after that. It was off to the first base line to try and grab some autographs. I really, really, really wanted Garrett Atkins’ autograph, but no dice. In fact, I didn’t get anyone’s autograph. It’s possible I’m too passive aggressive to actually successfully get an autograph. People just kind of cut in front of me and I just kind of let them, plus I don’t just want to shove my baseball in some players face, so I failed to get anyone’s autograph. No big deal, I was standing so close to Clint Barmes, it was amazing (the pictures were taken with my phone… so… they kind of suck).
I could see Garrett Atkins getting stretched. What I wouldn’t give for that job…
Some where along the lines, Don got a ticket for seats up by the third base line (the phone doesn’t even do the seats justice)… where a certain, favorite third baseman plays… ehem… So we sat there and I admired Garrett Atkins… I mean the certain, favorite third baseman.
However, for the first two innings, I couldn’t even focus because of how excited I was about the ball that I had gotten… like… two hours earlier. Yeah, I was still excited about that.
The game was pretty tame toward the beginning and Don snagged some great pictures. Unfortuately, he was still moving and had to head out during the seventh inning, so I hung out by myself. At that time, the Padres were leading 6-4. In the bottom of the seventh, the Rockies would tie it up. The ninth inning was where the magic happened.
Huston Street gave up a run and the Padres were leading in the top of the ninth. He was able to shut down the inning, and the Rockies came up to bat.
At first it didn’t look too good. Dexter Fowler struck out looking. Clint Barmes came up, who was moved to the two spot and, by the way, has done great there. He singled to left field after which he would steal second. Next up was Sweet T, not to be confused with Sweetie. Helton would ground out to third. Two outs, next up to bat was Atkins. I could only hope that my Atkins shirt would ensure him that he had at least one fan left. Atkins singled to shallow center and drove in Barmes. The score is tied 7-7. Brad Hawpe comes to the plate, Atkins on first. Brad Hawpedoubled to center, and Garrett Atkins scored!!! At this point, I was screaming like a tween at a Jonas Brothers concert. I was so excited and was text messaging with my friend Mary the entire time. I watched as the Rockies celebrated and then Garrett Atkins was pulled off to the side for quick interview.
I told my friend Mary that he was being interviewed, and she responded with:
“I know! He is talking on TV right now. He said all thanks goes to his best fan Emily.”
Even though it’s pretty obvious he didn’t say that, I smiled the whole walk to my
car… which I ended up searching for for like… ten minutes (I wasn’t smiling during that part).
Don had left me a voice message during the game, but it was way too loud to answer. He heard that Atkins got his hit and I was going to call him back and tell him how amazing it was, but I was actually a little hoarse from screaming.
So, there it is. My real Coors Field experience, all courtesy: The Rockpile Ranter.
Photos courtesy: me
Video courtesy: TheRockpileRanter
Earlier, I was starting to think that I was the jinx of the Rockies. I’ve been to four games, and the Rockies have lost at every one. I think it would help if I went to more games, then maybe I’d increase my odds of being at a winning one… or decrease the Rockies chance of winning… one of those. However, after these games against the Pirates, I can practically rest assured that I am NOT the jinx of the Rockies.
The good news, on May 14th I attended a game and snagged some great pictures of Garrett Atkins. Despite the fact that he’s going through possibly the biggest slump of his life, Clint Hurdle started him. I’d like to think that it was for me… ya know, whatever gets ya through the day, right? I was literally less than twenty feet away from Atkins. I could’ve screamed louder than a tween at a Jonas Brothers concert… but I didn’t.
Fortunately for me, I attended the game with my mom. Now, my mom isn’t much of a cheering section, in fact, for the most part, she has no idea what’s going on. I have two friends, however, that would have loved to be at that game with me, sitting less than 20 feet from one of my favorite players.
It’s not because they would care that I was sitting so close to the man that I’m practically in love with or that we were in possibly some of the greatest seats ever or even that you’re so close to the action you practically breathe in nothing but baseball. No, my friends would have loved to be there for a different reason.
They seem to be sad that I don’t give them their props in my blog, so, let me begin by going way back to last season. My friend Mary and I were at the game sitting in the pavilion in row four. Ryan Spilborghs was playing center at the time. I don’t remember if he was batting or made a great catch or what happened, but I yelled (and I am 100% sure of this) “GO SPILLY!!!!!” That’s Ryan Spilborgh’s nickname that pretty much everyone knows and just about everyone calls him. So, I yelled “Go Spilly!” and my friend looks at me and says, “What did you just say?!?!” And I looked at her and said, “Go Spilly…?” and she was like, “Oh, I thought you said ‘Go Sweetie.'” NO! I would not even say that… ever.
Since that moment, whenever my friends, Jenn and Mary, talk about Spilborghs, he apparently must always be referred to as “Sweetie.” It’s no longer Spilly or Spilborghs, but Sweetie. But wait, it gets worse.
I was recently at a game with my friend Jenn. We were talking about the fact that in the club house, Todd Helton’s nickname is “Sweet T.” Well, if you say it fast enough, it kind of comes out as “Sweetie” (a little bit of a stretch, but close enough). The conversation shifted from that to what players wives or girlfriends call them. Like if Todd Helton’s wife calls him Sweetie and then in the locker room he gets called something that sounds similar to that. My friend also thought up Todd “The Bod” Helton… Anyway, here we are discussing what a player’s significant other calls them. Well, being the Garrett Atkins fanatic that I am, I thought up the name “Gar-Bear” and then just about threw up. It was the most disgusting name I hadever thought of. I then made the mistake of telling it to my friend. So now, Garrett Atkins is forever “Gar-Bear.” Does that not make you throw up? Seth Smith? They come up with “Sethipoo” because they have a friend named Seth and that’s apparently what they call him. I really like Seth Smith… I don’t like their friend “Sethipoo”… so now, bad associations there. We used to have the nickname for Matt Holliday, Matt “Everyday’s a holiday with you, Matt Holliday” Holliday. Well, since the trade, my friend Mary decided that she needed to think up a new name that is far too long and ridiculous, so she came up with Brad “You make my heart stop” Hawpe. Yes… these are my friends and yes, it’s okay for you to be embarrassed for me.
Anyway, so should they have been at that game with me, less than 20 feet away from Garrett Atkins, I would’ve been subjected to two people yelling next to me, “GO GAR-BEAR!!!” Yeah… good thing they weren’t.
So, here are a few pics that I shot while I was there, enjoy:
This one’s probably the best because there’s the ball flying toward Atkins and then there’s Brad Hawpe and Ryan Spilborghs sitting in the dugout.
There are more on Facebook… in which my friend commented something like “Gar-Bear is Emily’s Care Bear.” Yeah…
Last thing: look what Sue from Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts sent me! It’s even got a tattoo… a Rockies tattoo!!!
1. Photo courtesy: me
2. Photo courtesy: baseball photos
3. Photo courtesy: me
4. Photo courtesy: me
When I was younger, I always imagined that by the time I was the age I am now, 23, I would’ve been discovered. I would’ve been an actress or a musician or something amazing like that. I could sing and I could dance and like every kid out there, I was sure that I was destined to be famous, and that “one in a million” that agencies are looking for.
Do people ever say to you that they were x in a past lifetime? Or if you do y then you were x ina past lifetime? Back in the day, I could’ve sworn that I was a singer, I knew that I was going to be discovered by someone, it wouldn’t be long. The reality of the situation is that I was a tone deaf seven year old who thought they could sing along with things like Aladdin or The Little Mermaid. If you want to make a technical argument, I’m still tone deaf, I’m just no longer seven years old.
So, I think I have all these images of who people are… or were… in a past lifetime. Another example, is that I’m starting to think that Jay Cutler was related to Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton in a past lifetime. He’s been in the news quite a bit lately and will be traded. I say “will be” like I’m 100% sure, and although I’m probably 97% sure that he will be, there are no guarantees in the issue. I mean, the whole thing could have been avoided if both sides would have been honest and manned up by saying that they both made mistakes and handled the situation wrong. Josh McDaniels seemed to be the one who wanted to make peace, but Cutler instead decided to call the “wha-mbulance” and let down not only his teammates but a lot of Broncos fans in Colorado. He just can’t seem to get over himself and needs to quit acting like a spoiled, rich heiress.
I would like to think that Michelle Obama was Jackie Kennedy Onassis in a past lifetime. Unfortunately… the time periods don’t really work there. Maybe we can think of it as Michelle Obama’s time as first lady was Jackie Kennedy’s time as first lady in a past lifetime. I think a lot of people feel that way because of Michelle Obama’s poise, personality, and elegance. Not only was Jackie O incredibly beautiful but she was gifted with intelligence as well.
Anyway, the point is, after mulling things over for a while, I’m starting to think that one of my favorite players was a model in his past lifetime. Can you guess who?
Yes, I’m pretty sure that in a past lifetime, Josh Beckett was some sort of model. I mean, what baseball player do you know that poses like that? I kind of just think like the little girl in the end of this commercial:
Ha ha. Super delicious. I find that hilarious. Most guys you see look like this:
Yeah, I have a sweet spot for Garrett Atkins, no one really understands why, they all think he’s really goofy looking. Can’t help myself though.
Kind of like no one really understands my other love affair with Wall-E. It’s become one of myfavorite movies. Like… I’m not a cuddler at all, I’m the personal space type, but that movie is the kind where I can just picture myself being a cuddler. It’s like my would-be date movie. I can’t resist that little robot.
Anyway, so since I obviously was not a singer in a past lifetime, I’m trying to decide who I was in a past lifetime. Any ideas? And for that matter, who were you in a past lifetime?
1. Photo courtesy: www.ew.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.mouseinfo.com
3. Photo courtesy: www.sportingnews.com
4. Photo courtesy: www.mirror.co.uk
5-10. Photo courtesy: good question, I just have a lot of pictures of Josh Beckett…
11. Photo courtesy: another picture in my arsenal of baseball player pictures
12. Photo courtesy: www.disneydreaming.com
Video courtesy: tmobile
Anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time would know that I am absolutely, hands down in love with this man.
Garrett Atkins is, without a doubt, my favorite baseball player. I think he puts up good numbers for the team, is one of the veterans, and has seemed to be an all around good guy. Between the team’s top players, he has the most at bats, is second in OBP, and third in slugging. Yes, he is absolutely my favorite player.
Recently, six Rockies players filed for arbitration: Clint Barmes, Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Grilli, Huston Street, Taylor Buchholz, and Atkins. All have reached a one year settlement with the Rockies, except for Garrett Atkins. First, I understand the need for pitching talent, however, Huston Street has never actually played with the team so it’s questionable about how he’ll mesh with the rest of them. Now, I’m all for signing a different closer because most people also know that I don’t much care for Manny Corpas. With De La Rosa, from the first pitch, you know exactly what kind of game it’s going to be. When the guy is on, he’s on, but when he’s off, he’s way off. I’m all for the settlement’s reached between Clint Barmes, Jason Grilli, and Taylor Buchholz; I really like those three. We’ll see how De La Rosa and Street end up performing, I mean, in my opinion Buchholz could even take on the role of closer, but ya know, whatever. Anyway, Atkins is asking for $7.95 million and the club countered with $6.3 million.
I wrote a blog titled A Luxury, and on it, I received a comment from Ryan over at Prose and Ivy who talked about salary caps and baseball players, like the rest of us, having the right to make as much as they can out of what they do. I couldn’t agree more with that. Like the Joker says, “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Baseball players do deserve to make the most that they can for what they do.
I understand Atkins being a veteran and being well worth the investment, however, I feel like for a one year deal, he’s asking for a lot. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really do believe that Atkins is worth a lot of money, but $7.95 million? Atkins request was the third highest behind Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder. Recently, Jonathan Papelbon, someone I would consider one of the best closers in major leagues, settled for $6.25 million. I consider Garrett Atkins good, and there’s no question that I’m crazy about the man, but I can’t help but compare one of the best closers who strikes fear into the batters he faces to a third baseman that no one outside of Colorado has ever really heard of.
The Rockies have mentioned that there’s possibility for a multi year contract, in which case, yes, I would absolutely approve as long as they didn’t make the same mistake as they did signing Todd Helton to such a large deal where they couldn’t keep other players. To see Garrett Atkins in a Rockies uniform for years to come would be absolutely wonderful, because, well, I love him, oh, and he… ya know, brings talent.
I guess what it comes down to, is that what a player makes is really none of my business. I would hope that most athletes out there are honest (ha ha, I mean, look at how honest Barry Bonds is… (oh… that was a low blow, I’m mean)), but if Atkins believes that he deserves to make $7.95 million, I would like to believe that yes he does deserve it. I mean, trust me, if I had all the money in the world, I would give it to him in a heart beat. Unfortunately, I don’t have all the money in the world, and neither does the club. I guess it’s just my hope that in these economic times, players are understanding that only clubs like the Yankees… and… I guess… the Yankees are it, have enough money to give out a $200 million payroll.
If I were to write a letter to one of Colorado’s most longed after prospects, it would go something like this:
Dear Tim Redding,
If you were to come to Colorado, I would approve.
With Redding’s agent Tom O’Connell saying that Redding is expressing interest in Colorado, maybe we can add some pitching talent. Although it’s not the way that the Rockies desired, with Taveras out of the way, we could put Ryan Spilborghs into center. Anyway, with our pitching rotation consisting of Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Jeff Francis, Redding would be a welcome addition. While each pitcher is incredibly talented, they all have their weak points as well: Cook has injuries, Jimenez can lose control, and Francis needs to learn how to command the field. Redding’s six years of experience behind him will help out when it comes to pitching. Not only that, but with all the possible prospects: Greg Smith, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh, it will demand everyone to step up their game.
One of the things that is on my mind is Manny Ramirez. I was watching Around The Horn,
definitely one of my favorite shows, and they were talking about how no one has stepped up to the plate (yeah, baseball pun) on grabbing for ManRam’s contract. Although the Dodger’s had expressed interest, they revoked their offer to him. In his fifteen years of experience, he’s come out with 527 home runs. In my personal opinion, I can’t help but think that there’s not too much of a surprise that no one is leaping at the opportunity to sign him to a contract. I can certainly tell you right now, that the Red Sox fan in me doesn’t much care for him. In fact, I think that if it hadn’t been for David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez would have been the DH. There was this one incident in 2004 that always makes me laugh: it was during the ALCS, but I can’t remember exactly what happened, there was a long ball that I think Johnny Damon ended up getting, and he went to throw it to short (I think short) and Ramirez made this diving catch to cut it off. It was kind of like, “what are you doing?!” Then after that, Manny Ramirez caught a high fly ball and then ran up and high-fived someone in the crowd. It’s kind of hilarious, actually. Anyway, his attitude has never impressed me, and so, I can’t blame people for not taking up his contract. I don’t, repeat do not think that he is a bad player. He’s incredibly talented, in fact. But, his agent is Scott Boras (yet again, I must mention his name) and that means that they’re looking for the bucks. Anyway, I’m sure that someone will pick up Manny. He’s expressed that he doesn’t want to retire until he’s hit at least 700 home runs. He gives fans what they want, and I guess, as long as he has a good time doing it, that’s what matters. Does that sound contradictory to what I’ve been saying? I don’t know. I guess my thoughts are that the guy just made $20 million this past season, so if it’s money he’s looking for, he should… well, knock it off.
The last thing that I would like to say is that I’m about to graduate. I feel as though I should be more excited for it. Not excited that I have to be there at 8:15 in the morning (it’s called sleep people), but at least have some kind of nerves or be slightly emotional. Anything. I’m on Facebook, something that has potential to be a cult, and I wrote in my status that I was more relieved to see Garrett Atkins’ name remain on the roster than to be finished with school. Hmm… obsesso much? But I feel like I should be exhilarated, anxious, something. I’m about to go out into a terrible job market and hope that my letters of recommendation get me a job (preferably one with the Rockies, but… hmm…. we’ll see). Shouldn’t there be something about me that’s scared? Or should something have been like… a punch in the face telling me that this is real? I have some kind of head chest cold weird thing, and I should probably go to the doctor before my insurance runs out. Should I have taken this as a sign? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m graduating. Maybe it’ll take the ceremony in and of itself for me to be like, “oh crap, now I’m graduating and have to go get a job.” I don’t know. But I guess we’ll see after tomorrow’s ceremony… tomorrow’s two-hour, horribly boring, 8:15 in the morning ceremony. Looking forward to it.
No, no, no, no, no. The Rockies cannot I repeat, cannot, get rid of Garrett Atkins. The idea that they’re re-thinking it is completely ridiculous. They’re about to close a one year deal with Glendon Rusch, for what? Some mediocre pitching and a lack of real talent? As I’ve stated before, I understand this need for pitching, but pitching isn’t going to get you everywhere if you don’t have the hitting talent to back it up. You get rid of Atkins, you’ve gotten rid of two of our BIGGEST sluggers. The idea is absolutely ludicrous that getting rid of Atkins is even a prospect. Now, the Rockies have said that they are going to need a killer deal in order to get rid of Atkins, so if he goes, I’m going to expect the Rockies to win a World Series this upcoming season. Yeah, so, no pressure.
Here are our next biggest sluggers: Brad Hawpe, Chris Iannetta, and Jeff Baker. Brad Hawpe and Chris Iannetta have multi-year deals with the Rockies. Jeff Baker was someone who I would have put up for trading value, but whatever. Hawpe tied Matt Holliday this season in home runs with twenty-five. The next closest (if you exclude Atkins) is Iannetta with eighteen and Baker with twelve. I’ve also highlighted this point before, but Todd Helton’s health is in question. He could get out on the field and realize, “oh crap, I’m not totally healthy.” What then? You can draft up the minor leagues, but they’re not going to put up the runs that a big slugger can. Man, for once, I thought that someone might be listening to me. What was I thinking?!