Yesterday, I was ecstatic when I got a telephone call from Mr. Tom Probst. He is the medical director for the Colorado Rockies. I couldn’t even believe that he had returned my phone call, especially after I left him such a horrible message that went, something like this:
“Hi Mr. Probst, my name is Emily and I’m about to graduate college. I was wondering if you could provide me any information on… um… um… what your field is… um… yeah. If you could give me a call back, my number is ____________ or you can e-mail me at mars7799, ‘m’ as in… … … … … … … … … ‘m’ as in… … … … … … … … … … … … ‘m’ as in mark…” et cetera.
It was probably the worst message I’d ever left anybody in the history of messages I’d left people. And no, that wasn’t an exaggeration of how bad that message was, that was the actual message, practically transcribed verbatim. Sad, I know.
Anyway, so he returned my phone call, and I was completely excited, however, I was also very disappointed when I heard that the Rockies already had a sports psychologist that has been with the team for nine years, and they’re not looking for anyone new. Not even an understudy. That sucked to hear. But, I’m 23 years old, I have my whole life ahead of me to do exactly what I want to do, and trust me, I won’t stop until I get exactly where I want to be.
So, that’s the news with me. In other news, it would appear that the Mets are in discussions with free agent and former Rockies closer, Brian Fuentes. Since I really haven’t heard anything about the Rockies talking with Fuentes, it leads me to believe that there really haven’t been any. So, it sounds like the battle is on between Huston Street and Manuel Corpas. Stats aren’t everything, but let’s take a look at some, shall we? Last season, Manuel Corpas had four saves in thirteen opportunities and an ERA of 4.52. Nothing very impressive, the season before that, he had much better stats. The year he helped take the Rockies to the World Series, he had an ERA of 2.08 and made 19 saves in 22 opportunities. What a difference between a season. Corpas began having the closer position, but was quickly kicked out of it after he kept missing out on saving the game. Now, I’m not a big fan of Corpas, but I’ll give him this: everyone’s stats last season were pretty bad. No one was too impressed by the team as a whole, dropping from NLCS champions to ten games behind.
Let’s take a look at Huston Street. Last season, Street had eighteen saves in twenty-five opportunities. He had an ERA of 3.73, now keep in mind, he had an off season as well. The season before that, Street had sixteen saves in twenty-one opportunities and an ERA of 2.88.
So, I just threw a bunch of statistics at you, that, for the most part, might not actually mean anything. But here’s what I’m looking at, and, it may be totally wrong, and it may not make any sense in any one else’s brain but mine, but it’s the way I think about things. Having an ERA of 2.88 and dropping to 3.73 versus an ERA of 2.08 dropping to 4.52 looks just a little bit better. Now, I understand, should Street stay with the Rockies, he will, ultimately, be fighting for the closing role. And Manuel Corpas isn’t letting down and will be fighting for closer head on. Hopefully Huston Street is currently doing the same thing and pondering about what his future might hold. I guess what it comes down to, since neither one was all too impressive last season, is “picking the lesser of two evils.” I put that in quotes because, that wasn’t really the way I wanted to phrase that, but it was the only one that came to mind.
My blog is where I get to voice my opinion. Pitching is hard, especially the closer role, the amount of pressure is inconceivable. So understand that when I say “neither performed well,” I don’t actually mean that they sucked. There’s a lot to think about as a pitcher and a lot to execute as well. So, here’s what my final personal thoughts are on the subject: I don’t know if Dan O’dowd is still considering trading Huston Street. If he can get someone better, then why not? But to have someone who, at the time, seems to be unreliable, you would at least want someone else that you know you can count on as a closer, and that’s why I think that Huston Street needs to not be traded and highly considered for the closing role.
And that is that. Also, this is my first blog where I actually became bold enough to try and figur eout how to put pictures in, so I hope it works!
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.
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.