After long debating and not being able to resist the call of my computer, I have opted to blog rather than to study for my final… that is tomorrow… at 8 am. And if you knew anything about me, you would know that I am definitely not a morning person. But, instead of thinking about people’s personality (I’m a psych major), I find myself thinking about the Winter Meetings. How could I not? It’s only going to assist in deciding the future of the club that I so freakishly obsess over. So, let me begin by… complaining. Doing probably what I do best when it comes to my thinking about what the team is doing.
Glendon Rusch. Really? You really want to resign that guy? He’s not that impressive. With an ERA of 4.78 last season, he’s really nothing special. I understand this need for lefties, really Ido. But you don’t want to find your lefty in Rusch. Especially not for a starting role! The Rockies can just do so much better. And if you’re asking yourself “how can they do better?” I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve seen Glendon Rusch play, and while he can pull off a win, it’s like an anomaly. Okay, maybe I’m stretching the truth slightly. Pitching takes talent, and while the Rockies aren’t a big club that can go after big names, they can certainly get somebody better than Glendon Rusch. There are a lot of free agents out there, the Rockies have to be able to afford at least one of them. Come on.
The next thing is trading Huston Street. It’s like this is “make all the decisions that can ruin Emily’s life” day. Did anyone payattention last season? Did anyone see how Manny Corpas performed? If not, I can answer that question: not well. In fact, he lost the closing role because he performed so poorly. We have
some good relievers: Ryan Speier, Jason Grilli, Luis Vizcaino, and Taylor Buccholz (who is ridiculous awesome). Granted, of those, no one is a lefty. Not the point. Since Brian Fuentes has given the “thanks but no thanks” shenanigans to the Rockies arbitration offer, they now definitely need a closer more than ever. And if you recall, Corpas
was not anything to brag about. So unless a deal comes along that pretty much says, “if you refuse this deal, you’re clearly an incompetent idiot if you don’t trade Street” comes along, there needs to be someone there competing for that role. Now, who knows? Maybe
Corpas will astound us all and play the way he did during the 2007 post season. That’s how everyone expected him to operate this year, and that’s why everyone’s expectations were let down. Okay, so I’m a jerk, and I’m probably wailing on Corpas far more than he deserves. But really, even Greg Maddux had some unpredictable set backs throughout his career, and I’m just making it a point to be prepared. And, it could go the same way for Street, maybe he’ll just end up screwing us all over and I’ll have to go back and say how sorry I am for being all mean and not having any kind of faith in Corpas.
The next thing, I won’t go into too much detail about because I’ve been incredibly repetitive with my thoughts. It is time to get rid of Willy Taveras. If a team is interested, send him off. The guy is good, but giving Ryan Spilborghs a starting role will be very beneficial to the team. I really haven’t talked very much about the complete amazingness that Ryan Spilborghs is. So, let me just go off that for a little while. He’s not a big slugger, and his injuries last year set him back. However, he still finished the season off with a .313 average. And yes, I can picture my friends who think that I need an intervention reading this and thinking “she’s just saying that because she’s completely in love with the guy.” No, that’s not true… well… not entirely true… Ryan Spilborghs has amazing potential. He performed phenomenally when he was coming off the DL and playing for the Sky Sox.
So after all my complaining, I have a thank you to make. Thank you to whoever got that picture that Garrett Atkins should NOT be traded. Man, what did I have to do to get people to realize that we needed to keep our slugger? Why was there even talks about him being traded in the first place? Why did that have to happen?!?! People having to scare me about trading Garrett Atkins. Man. But, now that talks of him staying seem to be rising, I don’t have to worry as much… as much, being the key word… s. Words. Although Jeff Blank has gotten the ball rolling about keeping Atkins in Colorado, there is still no guarantee of that. So, hopefully a multi-year contract will be well on it’s way, and I can rest in peace that my other favorite player (Spilborghs being the first) will stay in Colorado for some time to come.
Let’s get one thing straight, I don’t really expect people to read my blog. In fact, when I get comments, I pretty much freak out with excitement. With the news that I’ve just read, I’d think that someone was reading my blog, like someone who can make executive decisions. I wish, but still, I’m totally stoked!
I’ve recently read an article about, guess who? Garrett Atkins. Surprise, surprise, considering I’m always blogging about the greatness that he is, or at least I think he is. So what am I so excited about? Atkins is open to a multi-year deal. After losing one our biggest hitters, it’d be awise and smart decision to keep one, right? Right. Garrett Atkins is one of our big hitters. He’s capable, great at what he does, and is all around amazing. I’ve thrown stats out before, so I won’t do it again. Even though Atkins hasn’t agreed to any kind of deal, the point is, he’s open to the option. He wants to stay in Colorado, and the fact that his agent is 1. the guy who started it, and 2. NOT Scott Boras, tells me that there’s hope. His agent is the one who opened up the idea, and although talks have not actually been in the works, it’s a way to get the ball rolling. So, maybe some how, through my hoping type vibes, Garrett Atkins agent, Jeff Blank has heard them and is like, “hmm… I should start up some talks about keeping Garrett in Colorado.”
So no, no talks are in the works. But now that the ball is rolling, hopefully I’ll see Garrett Atkins here for much longer than I had hoped.
As December falls upon us, the holiday spirit is on the mind of most
people. Buying all those lights to put over your house that make it
look like a perfect row of icicles. Or those giant inflatable snow
globes they have with Santa flying around the world. Or digging out the
menorah and placing it in the window for everyone to see. Yes, the
holiday’s are upon our minds. Not mine, however.
The one thing that is usually always on my mind: baseball. That’s
right, I’m skipping out working on a paper that I desperately need to
write to graduate in order to blog. Man, I need a life. As December
looms over us the only thing that’s on my mind are the Winter Meetings.
The Rockies are looking for a left handed relief pitcher,
and they’re hoping to find one while
hanging out in fabulous Las Vegas. While GM’s from all over will be staying in the
beautiful Bellagio, I’ll be sitting in finals and worrying who they’re
going to trade. The Rockies have shown interest in many left handers
and may be willing to pay up should the right one come along. There are
many players that the Rockies are considering offering in such a deal.
These players include center fielder Willy Taveras, catcher Yorvit
Torrealba, relief pitcher Huston Street, and third baseman Garrett
Willy Taveras is a good player to offer. In the entire major league
this season, he had the most stolen bases with sixty-eight. No one was
even closer to him. The man was practically invincible when it came to
stolen bases. Not only that, but baseball is very much a mental game,
and having a runner like Taveras on base makes any pitcher nervous and
puts thedefense on edge. His speed is practically unmatchable and, if I
recall correctly, was successful almost 92% of the times he attempted.
When looked at it from this aspect, anyone would want Taveras. However,
there’s a catch, and that is probably what would be holding a team up
for wanting him. As I’ve said before, everyone’s stats went down this
season, but Taveras’ seemed to take a hard hit. As the lead off man, his job was this: get on base. Not only that, but he had to be able to work the count as well. Neither of these, Taveras seemed to be very good at. His OBP dropped to the lowest it’s been in his entire career. So what can Taveras do? Bunt. He’s got enough speed that he can make it to the base while the pitcher, catcher, or third baseman are trying to make it to the ball. He’s got that going for him. However, this creates yet another problem. Taveras is very predictable. He’s not a major league hitter, over his career he’s had seven homers. Most people know that he’s going to bunt because his batting isn’t anything impressive. But Taveras can often make this up with speed. In fact, I tried to find a picture of this but couldn’t, Barmes and Taveras are running home and Barmes slides in and Taveras is right in after him. He caught up to Barmes and (assuming this is right in my memory) had to run 90 feet more than Barmes. His speed cannot be matched, and he can score that extra run.
Yorvit Torrealba could be a good trade as well. Torrealba’s stats are nothing too impressive
either. In fact, we have a great catcher, his name is Chris Iannetta. Now, I know that no catcher ever plays all 162 games. That would be ridiculous and they wouldn’t last very long at all. Iannetta is a great player though. He was came in third for home runs this season behind two of our best: Brad Hawpe and Garrett Atkins. Also, and I may be wrong about this one, he didn’t make a single error this past season. So I’ve been bragging about Iannetta a lot, which doesn’t appear to have a whole lot to do with Torrealba. And, well, not only did Torrealba’s stats suffer this past season because everyone’s did, but he was also on the DL for… something. Something with his knee,
right? A tendon? I can’t quite remember. While
Torrealba was gone, Iannetta got to prove what a phenomenal player he was. But, Torrealba’s healthy now, so now he does have trading value. He was the one who played in the post season of the NLCS in 2007, he’s not a bad player. His trading value is high and we have someone who can easily come in and take his spot. And, sorry to say, someone who (in my opinion) is better than Torrealba. He’s younger, and is already putting up some great stats, so from here, Iannetta will hopefully move up.
Everyone’s also looking for a reliever. Huston Street’s has put up good numbers, and I would have no problem with seeing him stay on the team. I’ve given you my reasons before, the
biggest one being that I just don’t like Manny Corpas. Unfortunately though, with everyone searching for a reliever, the Rockies, I’m sure, will be willing to give him up. He is a good player and a right handed one. So, the Rockies, my guess, would be more likely to get rid of him because they’re in need of left handers, not right. We’ll see what happens with Street. I wouldn’t be completely crushed if he left, but if I got to, I would vote for him staying with the Rockies club. But, what needs to be done needs to be done. The only lefties we really have right now are openers: Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Francis, and Greg Smith. And please, please, I’ll beg the club not to resign Glendon Rusch. He doesn’t do anything. In fact, I feel very much towards Rusch the way I feel towards Corpas. Hmm…
The last thing to bring up is Mr. Garrett Atkins. Now, I won’t go into the lecture on how I
believe that we need to keep him and how I believe he’s vital to the team. Mostly, I just wanted to put his picture in my blog and talk about how great I think he is. Because he is. Granted, he’s a more seasoned player compared to his young competition, Ian Stewart. But he has great moments, and man, well, I just am pretty crazy about the guy. I really do hope that he stays with the Rockies, not just because I’m crazy about him, because he’s a leader, a great player, and reflects, with heart, what a privilege it is to play this awesome game.
Originally, I thought I would write a blog that didn’t have anything to do with baseball. Just something that was about me in all my glorious awesomeness. Ha ha, not really glorious, just regular awesomeness ;-). But I thought after blogging nonstop about baseball, maybe it was time that I write a “normal” blog. One that’s more about me rather than the ramblings about what I think about the Rockies. So I started one, then I published it, then I deleted it. First of all, it was like, the worst thing I’d ever written in my life. My blogs, when I write them, I’m passionate. Can you tell? I hope so, because a lot of thought, thinking, debating goes into my blogs. I write about what I feel about baseball in my blog. I write about my love (or obsession) of a team. The blog that I had written about me, it felt empty. It lacked passion, there was no heart. As I was writing this, I had an epiphany; not that I needed it though, but it was: I can’t live without baseball. I thought I already knew this, my friends always make fun of me and are considering seeking professional help for me. At least, last I knew, it was still only at the “considering” phase.
Back in high school, I was completely obsessed with hockey. It was my life, I knew everything about the Avalanche, and I would never miss a game. After the lockout, there was a void in my life. I never quite got back into hockey, although I’m trying to now. But it just wasn’t the same, plus, I couldn’t get the channel that it was played on. So, there was just this emptiness where I couldn’t devote my fanhood to anything. Then, baseball came along. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t jump on the Rockies bandwagon once they made it to the NLCS. I was still a Red Sox fan. Now, to anyone out there thinking I am a traitor for being a Red Sox fan, I’ll have you know… that’s ridiculous. I was indifferent when it came to the World Series. It would have been so freaking amazing to see the Rockies win for the first time, but if the Red Sox were to win, I wouldn’t complain. In fact, there wouldn’t even be this “rivalry” had neither team made it to the World Series, so technically, my belief stems from this idea that there isn’t a rivalry at all. People just hate Boston and call them the new Yankees, which they are NOT. But that’s a different tangent that I shouldn’t go on about.
The point was this, I can’t live without this sport, this past time, whatever you want to call it. It’s what I breathe. I’m now searching for a job in sports psychology, my dream: working for the Rockies. I can picture some cynical person trying to make a snide comment like, “why not go work for your precious Red Sox?” Well, the fact is, they’re not in need of it. And this isn’t supposed to come off like, “Oh the Rockies are so terrible, they obviously need my help.” Right now, I’m interning at a domestic violence safe house. My goal in life is to help people achieve their very best, it’s what I want: to see other people succeed. I would love nothing more than to see the Rockies succeed and I want to be part of the reason they do. Even Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all time (and yes, he’s a Red Sox player) said that 50% of hitting is above the shoulders. That means it’s mental. You couldn’t ask me about any time when Ted Williams played, by the way, I wouldn’t know… something like the… 30’s…? That’s a guess. Anyway, I have a lot of respect for the guy, is the point. One of the best of the best, in fact, someone who is considered the best of all time, will (or would have, he’s dead now) tell you that at least part of the game is mental. That is why I want to be a sports psychologist. To help people become the best of the best.
I’m in the computer lab at my school, and I’m hearing people talk about being a school psychologist. I believe that’s all well and good, and I could devote my time to something like that… that is, if I actually knew what to do with children. But as I said before, I can’t live without this. I can’t go a day without thinking about baseball, without wondering how that California weather is treating Garrett Atkins, without wondering if Ryan Spilborghs is worried about playing Left Field, without pondering if Huston Street is preparing for the challenge of fighting for closer. Yeah, these are things I think about. This is what I breathe, it’s what I live for, it’s what I do. There’s nothing in this life that I think about more than baseball… school comes close though… er… sort of. But I know, for certain, this is what I’m destined for.
Now, this, this blog, that actually has passion in it, but also tells you about me, this is worth publishing.
When it came down to the 2009 season, the Rockies realized they had a decision to make: Matt Holliday or Garrett Atkins. They didn’t choose Matt Holliday, but they didn’t choose Garrett Atkins either… at least, not yet.
What I had originally thought was the whole reason for the discussions of those trades was because the Rockies didn’t have enough money in their budget to resign both players. Well, now they’ve gotten rid of one, and in return, they received an unstable closing pitcher, an injury prone starting pitcher, and an outfielder who may be sent down to AAA. Now, in my opinion, they could’ve gotten something better for a big name like Matt Holliday. So the Rockies traded away Matt Holliday, but they still haven’t officially chosen Garrett Atkins.
I thought that was the problem that they were facing when it came down to who they wanted to stay… or get rid of… or trade away. Whatever the case, it sounded like the Rockies could only keep one, and from the way they were putting it, they actually wanted to keep one. That’s not the way it sounds so much anymore… but shouldn’t it be?
This may sound repetitive to my previous blog, but I just can’t get over what I keep trying to figure out. It’s something that I keep thinking about and that I have dreams about. Yeah, it is a little sad; fanhood can be sad though.
Todd Helton is recently coming off the DL. In a season of 162 games, he played 83 of them; about half. At this very moment, he’s in a serious rehab training trying to get back into shape. His rehab training is incredibly restrictive, he hasn’t done any weight training yet, just tread mills and bikes. He has plenty of time though, spring training is a little more than four months away. But he does have a lot of work to do, even he will admit that. I’m not a doctor, so everything I know about the surgery that Helton had either came from my making it up, or things that I heard. One of the good things about arthroscopic surgery is that since it’s not very invasive, the recovery time should be faster, but like any surgery, it’s dependent on the person and where the procedure itself took place.
The basic hope is that Todd Helton will be back to his normal self come spring training. He is the epitome of a leader. Like Rod Smith of the Broncos and Joe Sakic of the Avalanche, his leadership skills are reflective both on and off the field. Like I said before, it’s a hope that Helton will be back to normal, the question is, will he be? What would happen if he wasn’t? Well, we’d probably have Ian Stewart at third, Troy Tulowitzki at short, Clint Barmes at second, and… who would be at first? Omar Quintinilla typically is seen at short or second. The problem doesn’t come just defensively, but also offensively. Essentially, what is necessary is a player who can commit in both fielding and batting. Not only that, but by losing a player on the field like Helton, it’s necessary to have a leadership role. That would have been Holliday, but now he no longer exists in the lineup.
I’m pretty much going to have to say it again, but the best leadership role is Garrett Atkins. Of the team last season, he had the most at bats, led the club in RBI’s, comes in second for HR (behind Brad Hawpe), and is ranked third in batting average in the club. He’s a good player. I’ll just sum this up with a question that’s been plaguing my mind: we just got rid of one of our very best players for some injury prone, inconsistent, possibly AAA worthy players; why get rid of our next best?
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.
This day was bound to come. In the slightly skewed words from V for Vendetta, “Remember, remember, the eleventh of November.”
It’s time for Rockies fans to say goodbye to that famous number five uniform. After hearing about the talking, the dealing, the speculation for so long, the day has finally arrived. Imagine seeing one of our biggest stars put on an Oakland A’s uniform for the first time. The new face of the Rockies will now be nothing more than a memory and a phenomenal player in a green uniform. The A’s have no idea how lucky they are.
In this exchange, we’re receiving three players from the A’s: Greg Smith, Huston Street, and Carlos Gonzalez. We’re in desperate need of starters. Greg Smith could be an excellent addition to the team. Although he has an ERA of 4… something, he’s young. The fact is, we’re not just in need of starters, we’re in need of pitchers in general. Huston Street could be worth it, despite that the Rockies are talking about trading him away as well. In fact, if you’re going to keep a reliever, it better be Huston Street over Glendon Rusch. In my opinion, Rusch isn’t anything special, and Huston Street is a better prospect than he is. Carlos Gonzalez is a very young player, and very new to the scene. He could easily be molded into a great player.
To search for the silver lining in such a deal almost seemed impossible. Yeah, we were getting three guys for one, but that one is one of the best in the business. Ryan Spilborghs, who I have to admit is one of my favorite players, will hopefully be put into a starting position in left field. With more playing time, that could develop him into a better player; one that, could never replace Holliday, but be good in that position. The next thing that I have to keep telling myself is that free agency is just one year away. There’s possibilities that we’ll realize we made a mistake and want Holliday back. He’ll come at a price, but it’ll be for one of the best in the business. If we don’t get him back… well, I’d prefer not to think of that. But maybe he’ll take the EY approach and retire here, not that he’s anywhere near retiring. It’s really early to start thinking like that.
The title, maybe it was a little over dramatic, but it’s also true. To see one our best players go, it hurts. But there’s hope in the future. I’m excited to see one of my favorites, Spilborghs, play at a full time position. We’re in need of pitchers, and free agency is one year away.
Oh wait… there’s more. With all this buzz in the air about the one and only Matt Holliday, what will happen with Garrett Atkins? The best hope is that he’ll choose to stay with a fine franchise and will develop into an even better player than he is now. The prospect feels small, with Helton returning after surgery and Ian Stewart not backing down at third, will there be a place for Atkins? The man has only shown improvement throughout his career, the very thought that he might be in a trade deal almost seems… ludacris. To loose one our best was bad enough, but two? Yeah… it would definitely be like dying a litle inside.