Tagged: Rockies

Rocktober?

Not quite, in fact… it might even be better.

Well… better isn’t really the right word, but if your average Colorado bandwagon fan’s faith is being restored, you know that the Rockies are doing well… or sensational. In the last 17 games, the Rockies have won 16, and it’s been glorious. Sweeping St. Louis, Milwaukee, Seattle, and now Pittsburgh, the Rockies have been on fire!

Colorado Rockies team.jpgAfter an 11 game winning streak, the Rockies suffered a loss to Tampa Bay, but that didn’t slow them down, winning every game since that, the Rockies seem to be an unstoppable force.
Jonathan Papelbon.jpg
Huston Street17.jpgHuston Street has 16 saves in 17 opportunities, despite a very different ERA, those are the same numbers as Jonathan Papelbon (someone who I would consider one of the best closers in the majors).

Seth Smith has become a clutch player with the best pinch hitting BA in the majors with a .455;

Seth Smith.jpgIan Stewart has some spectacular defensive plays as well as a few homers to back up his offense, he leads the Rockies in longballs (also, look at this hilarious picture… at least it’s hilarious to me);

Ian Stewart Peek a Boo.jpgClint Barmes has been sensational since he moved to the two hole with eight RBIs in the last ten games;

Clint Barmes2.jpgTroy Tulowitzki’s bat has started to warm up;

Troy Tulowitzki05.jpgand Ryan Spilborghs has made some incredible defensive plays, and with some consistency, can do some pretty staggering things with a bat.

Ryan Spilborghs32.jpg
So… who has been taking notice? Not a whole lot of people, especially when it comes to the strides our players have been making.

For example, without a doubt, Brad Hawpe should be on that All Star roster, but do you see his name?

NL Leaders.pngDidn’t think so. I voted 250 times, I sat at my computer, unchecked all my friends e-mails for “send me information on my team” (or at least I tried to) all 25 times, and voted 250 times… and I didn’t make a dent in that All Star roster.

Brad Hawpe27.jpgLast I checked, Brad Hawpe was batting somewhere in the area ofBrad Hawpe16.jpg .414 with runners in scoring position, the best in the majors. He’s got 36 extra base hits, 1.005 OPS, seventh best BA in the majors with a .332, tenth best on base percentage in the NL with a .406, and fourth best slugging in the NL with a .599.

So… let me get this straight, Manny Ramirez, a fertility drug taking, Brad Hawpe23.jpg27 game playing, cheater is number six on the list, and Brad Hawpe can’t even make it into the top 15?! Does anyone pay attention?! It’s notBrad Hawpe17.jpg going to be the All Star Game, it’ll be… like… “here’s some people you voted in who don’t  necessarily deserve to be here, but are.” I just want to make a note that I was almost tempted to say “All Star lame,” then I was like, oh god, those would be some of the worst words uttered from my mouth.

Brad Hawpe25.jpgThe point is, I’m aware that the All Star Game is kind of a popularity contest. It was like being in middle school where you knew who the class president was going to be because they were the most popular kid in school. So… is everyone who’s voting still in middle school? It’s called talent, and it’s something that the Rockies have a lot of, and yet, everyone is continually overlooking them, overlooking their capacity.

While the Rockies may be playing like their ’07 counterparts, apparently, it’ll take so much more to get the attention of anyone.

Papelbon photo courtesy: www.sonsofsimmons.com

Emily Tries to Meet a Player… FAIL ensues

FAIL:

Soccer Fail.jpg
Tackle Fail.jpgPhillies Fail.jpg
Catcher Fail.jpg“Come meet Ryan Spilborghs at Honda of Greeley at 10:30 this Saturday the 13!”

Honda of Greeley.pngI always stop whatever I’m doing to watch any Rockies commercial or any commercial with a Rockie in it. So when a Honda of Greeley commercial came on and I discovered I could have the chance to meet one of my absolute favorite players, I practically peed my pants. I could meet Ryan Spilborghs?!?! It was too good to be true.

My friends and I checked the Honda of Greeley website and there it was, saying we could meet Ryan Spilborghs. That was the plan, we were stoked for Saturday.

Tulo2.jpgI fathomed that it would be crowded in the beginning, so we decided to go around 11:30. When Troy Tulowitzki came, he was there for about two hours, so I knew we would be okay if we showed up around that time. We got there and looked around, there was a tent and lots of cars with Ryan Spilborghs on them, but no Ryan Spilborghs.

Maybe he’s inside…

We took a quick peak inside, no Spilly. On our way out, I asked someone if he was here, he asked another guy and the second guy said, “Nope, he left a few minutes ago.”

“Oh…”

“Now, I can’t sign a baseball, but I can get you into a new car.”

“Um… no thanks, I’m far too poor to afford a new car right now. I just really wanted to meet Ryan Spilborghs. The ad said he’d be here at 10:30”

“Well, he’s got a game tonight.”

You incompetent man, do you think I didn’t know that?!
Ryan Spilborghs34.jpg
The high pressure car salesman continued to talk. “Yeah, he came early this morning, and he brought his puppy too. A pit bull named Gibson. He was here for about three hours or so. If you’d’ve woken up earlier, you would’ve met him.”

Are you freaking kidding me, Mr. High Pressure Salesman, who now I think is mean for telling me about how awesome it was when Spil was here and now he’s not?!

Ryan Spilborghs43.jpg“Well, we didn’t sleep in, but we figured he’d be here for at least an hour after the ad said he would.”

“Yeah, he came early.”

Hmm… no kidding.

“Okay, well… thanks.”

“Yeah, you shouldn’t’ve slept in,” he called to us after we were walking away.

Apparently he didn’t get the message that we didn’t sleep in and came when the ad of his dealership said that he would be here.

I managed to meet Matt Holliday before he was traded away (and get a lovely autograph on my Holliday shirt), and so with all the trade rumors about Spilly, I thought it absolutely necessary to meet him.

Ryan Spilborghs is without a doubt one of the coolest players the Rockies have, or so I’ve heard. At this point in time, I can really go off speculation based on the testimony that I’ve been told. Apparently he’s incredibly genuine, charismatic, funny, and really cares about his fans. I would have loved to meet him, but… FAIL. It was probably more like an Epic FAIL:

Cup Fail.JPG

Eleven=Heaven

The 2009 Rockies have now tied their club record for longest streak. For those of us who remember, it was back in 2007 when the Rockies had that run. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Rockies fan… well, that isn’t quite phrased right. Sometimes it’s hard to be a Rockies fan because nobody really seems to appreciate the Rockies. When it comes to this team, getting the attention of the media is like a white person picking out a Korean among Chinese people (I can only make that reference because I know), it just doesn’t happen.

So when I saw this:

Nine Streak.pngI was stoked!

The Rockies are on a phenomenal streak! Two games below .500 and they’ve worked their tail off and are entirely deserving.

It’s unfortunate though that it takes a firing of a manager, an eleven game winning streak, and a team that has some All Star players to get some attention.

Eleven Streak.pngIt’s amazing to see the Rockies on an incredible run! Garrett Atkins was finally in the lineup today, and it seems that all that bench warming gave him some thinking time. Atkins had a pretty successful day of hitting, he looked more like a contact hitter than a power hitter, but right now, a hit is a hit. I’m glad that he’s getting back on his feet and hopefully will have a more consistent swing. I’ve been pulling for him for a while now, it’s about time he showed me that he is still a power hitter.

Garrett Atkins70.jpg

Emily Goes to a REAL Coors Field Experience

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:

Emily and glove.jpgMy 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:

  1. Don’t catch it right in front of your face because if you miss it… it’ll hit… well… your face.
  2. Try to stay between the bleachers, you’ll have easier access toward hits.
  3. 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!!

Emily's first BP ball.jpgDon 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).

Barmes.jpg
Barmes2.jpgI could see Garrett Atkins getting stretched. What I wouldn’t give for that job…

Atkins stretching.jpgSome 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.

Ball park seats.jpgHowever, 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.

Rockies May 2009 081.JPGHuston 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 HawpeBrad Hawpe15.jpgdoubled 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

It was déjà vu…

… Only a different seat, sitting with different people, and different players in the lineup.

Let’s rewind to “Emily goes to her mock opening day,” take one.

So, there I was walking down to Coors Field on Friday, late as usual; I was going to meet up with Tom Walsh from Rocky Mountain Way at the game. I arrive at Coors and look around to find no one who really resembles who I might consider Tom. So, I drop my friends’ tickets off at will call and wait, looking for Mr. Walsh.

First, let me tell you that if you’ve ever been over to Tom’s blog, you’ll know that there are no direct pictures of him. It’s like when it comes to pictures, he becomes all emo or something and you can’t ever see his whole face. So, in reality, I’m clueless as to whom I’m actually looking for. So, I’m waiting around for him and let me tell you, people are very misleading. Lots of them walked by, gave me a smile, and then passed right by me, like it could’ve been Tom approaching me and then it was like, “psych.” Thanks misleading people. For a short period there, I was worried that Tom was this creeper who kept lurking around me; and I certainly wouldn’t want to go up to the creeper and be like, “Um… excuse me… weird question… but is your name Tom and not Creeper, like I’ve so adequately named you?” Anyway, so eventually the creeper went away and IPhoto 9.jpg continued to wait. I waited and watched as the staff brought over the Ubaldo Jimenez t-shirts that I was definitely going to have to snag and thought, “If tom doesn’t get here and I don’t get an Ubaldo shirt, he’s totally going to get a punch in the face.” So, alas, the elusive Tom shows up and we enter Coors Field… and I get my Ubaldo shirt; can’t leave that part out. I suppose I should also not leave out that Tom was not a creeper and looked quite normal when he showed up. Anyway, so, once inside, I took in a little batting practice, Photo 10.jpgwhen who should I spot?!?! None other than the Rockpile Ranter!!! He immediately greets me with a big hug, but then it’s back to business; snagging balls is very serious. He catches a BP home run and without hesitation hands it off to me. Let me say that that was, without a doubt, one of the nicest things ever. I mean, I really just met the guy and immediately he hands me off a ball. So, thank you so, so, so, so much D!!! So, there it is, my first major league ball ever!! Don was gracious enough to give it a quick appraisal, but then it was back to snagging. So, my ball isn’t labeled with anything associated with batting practice, and it’s got a nice big spot on it from where it was hit. Tom asked me if I was going to get it autographed, I said I wouldn’t even have any idea how to do that, and he said it’s easy for girls. So I’ll have to work to get it autographed someday.

On another note Don, thanks for the offer with the nachos, but that game was far too close to get up and wait in line for food that will clog my arteries and eventually be my demise. We’ll have to wait for a more secure lead in the game. 

So, let’s give a quick wrap up of the game. It didn’t start out too well for Cook. He gave up twoAaron Cook.jpgruns in the top of the first and the thought that immediately went through my mind was, “oh no, it’s like a repeat of the April 18th game.” However, after some struggles, Cook closed down the inning and the Rockies came back to score in the bottom of the first. They scored again in the third and the fourth inning and were leading the game!… which didn’t last long because the Dodgers would score in the fifth. The game was pretty quiet until the eighth inning when the Dodgers would drive in two runs and the Rockies responded with two runs. All tied up, 5-5. Into the ninth, the game is tense, but a win is coming. I swore I could’ve felt it, it was my opening day, the Rockies owed me. Dodgers hit a line drive between AtkinsGarrett Atkins20.jpgand Tulo bringing them up a run. As much as I love Garrett Atkins, and trust me, I love Garrett Atkins, I really feel like if Ian Stewart were playing third, he might have been able to make that play. Last season, Stewart made some amazing plays, he had a fielding percentage of 0.944 while playing third. So, no offense to you dear Atkins, Stewart’s just a little more agile than you are. Either way, the Dodgers would win it 6-5. Some good things that happened during that game, Iannetta would raise his BA to above 100 and Atkins would get an RBI. Both of their stats have been suffering this season.

Oh, let me also say that I didn’t even use my Asian intellect during that game at all. Since I walked down to Coors Field, I had to leave my house early and it was warm outside, so I didn’t bring a jacket. Well, that was stupid of me, because the sun went down and it got cold… and so did I.

A score of 6-5 and a lack of intellect. Well, I didn’t like that too much, so I was headed back to Coors Field the next night.

So, we were going to try this again. “Emily goes to her second game where they will hopefully win and she’ll replace that with the awful memory of how they lost on her opening day,” take… two… kind of.

All right, prepared for the cold weather this time, I had on my ball cap, a scarf, gloves, two layers of shirts, plus my Rockies spring training jersey. Bring on the weather and bring on a win!

So… there I was, sitting in the Pavilion watching as Ubaldo Jimenez gave up not one, not two, not three, but four, he gave up FOUR runs. My first thought, it was like watching, it was the April 19th game against the Dodgers, except Ubaldo gave up all the runs a little earlier. Thanks, why don’t you let them score a little more.

That game, I discovered many things… that’s kind of a sentence fragment, but whatever. Onestadium.GIF thing I discovered… I hate the wave. Everyone loves the wave, why? It’s annoying, it totally distracts from the game. For example, everyone was so busy doing the wave and looking for where it was in the stadium that no one noticed that Glendon Rusch struck out Manny Ramirez. Manny Ramirez, who, by the way, was struck out three times. Take that Manny Ramirez, face.

Next thing, I’ve been told twice that Colorado has the worst fans and the most bandwagon fans. I don’t even believe that, but last night, I can guarantee you, I had the most incompetent woman sitting behind me. So, obviously Ubaldo gave up six runs. They brought in Glendon Rusch who, I know I hate, but did really well. So this woman sitting behind me was like, “oh, he’s much better than Ubaldo, they should’ve started him.” Okay, lady, he’s pitching like two innings, did you even see him last season? He wasn’t anything special. Fast forward a little more, Matt Daley coming up fresh from the Sky Sox enters the game. First thing he does, strikes out a guy. Then the woman behind me is like, “he’s clearly the better pitcher, he should’ve been pitching the game.” WOMAN! Do you know what you’re talking about?!?! No, you obviously have no idea. GAH!
The incompetence surrounding me!!!

Garrett Atkins21.jpgSo, we’ll rewind a little bit because I must give credit where credit is due. Who got a home run?!?! That’s right, Mr. Garrett Atkins! He was due for one too. I told him when he came up to bat, because I trust that he has super sonic hearing and can hear everything I say to him, that if he didn’t do something, I would cry… not at the field, but in the privacy of my own home, I would wallow in my misery. So, a home run was exactly what he needed. Unfortunately, his stats don’t represent that of a cleanup hitter, but he’s been doing much better with a bat than it appears.

The game ended with yet another 6-5 loss. It hurt bad. So today I will be watching the game from the comfort of my couch. They better win this one, no more of this sweeping shenanigans.

Also, don’t forget to vote for your All Stars!!! I’m having some difficulty voting for mine though. I’d like to see Todd Helton at first, but gotta do what’s best for the team which means also voting for Albert Pujols. I keep hoping Iannetta will come alive with the bat… so far, no dice. I still have like… 15 votes, I may have to start voting someone else in. In the spirit of doing what’s best for the team, same goes for the Red Sox, Mike Lowell is my old man, but… well, he’s old. Evan Longoria would look much better at third. It’s embarrassing to be voting for Dodgers players after all that… but when push comes to shove…

all Star ballot.png 

1., 2. Photo courtesy: me
3. Photo courtesy: I have no idea. It was just in my previously uploaded pictures.
4. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection
5. Photo courtesy: www.bottomlayer.com
6. Photo courtesy: my baseball photo collection

My lineup

It’s almost here!!! Spring training!!! I am so ready. Sports, my usual life, some how betrayed me: A-Rod and steroids, 103 other players and steroids, Michael Phelps and the whole marijuana thing, Roberto Alomar being sued for not telling his ex girlfriend he has AIDS, Miguel Tejada charged with lying to Congress, I mean, when will it end?

To pass the time, I got a pet. Not as cool as it sounds. I got one on my ipod, and I named his Dustin Pedroia.
Pet.jpgThere he is! My pet, Dustin Pedroia. It was that or Jacoby Ellsbury, those names fit him more than anything else.

I was recently reading an article by Thomas Harding who was talking about the projected lineup for the Rockies. Here’s how he laid it out:

1. CF: Ryan Spilborghs
    BA: 0.313, SLG: 0.468, OBP: 0.407
2. SS: Troy Tulowitzki
    BA: 0.263, SLG: 0.401, OBP: 0.332
3. 1B: Todd Helton
    BA: 0.264, SLG: 0.388, OBP: 0.391
4. 3B: Garrett Atkins
    BA: 0.286, SLG: 0.452, OBP: 0.328
5. RF: Brad Hawpe
    BA: 0.283, SLG: 0.498, OBP: 0.381
6. 2B: Clint Barmes
    BA: 0.290, SLG: 0.468, OBP: 0.322
7. LF: Seth Smith
    BA: 0.259, SLG: 0.435, OBP: 0.350
8.  C: Chris Iannetta
    BA: 0.264, SLG: 0.505, OBP: 0.390

I like it, it’s a good batting order, which is one of the most crucial elements in offense. However, I thought about it and decided that if fate allowed me, I would develop my own:

1. CF: Ryan Spilborghs
2. 2B: Clint Barmes
3. 1B: Todd Helton
4. 3B: Garrett Atkins
5. RF: Brad Hawpe
6. SS: Troy Tulowitzki
7.  C: Chris Iannetta
8. LF: Seth Smith

I didn’t change a lot, but enough that I think it would change things. And I’d like to explain to the world why I did what I did. I really only think Rockies fan would care about this, I’d be interested in hearing about what you think the projected line up should be.

I put Ryan Spilborghs first. It’s very common for him to be the lead off man, however,Spilborghs.jpg he shared his position with, now Reds player, Willy Taveras. I think there will be added pressure for him to perform being in a full time position, and I do admit that I have my concerns with him. He better not perform like he did in the Mexican Pacific League, he ended the season with like… a 0.209 BA. Something very unimpressive. However, I didn’t base my decision off how he performed then. His 2008 season was overall good, Spilborghs is a good slugger and can work the count, an important trait. His biggest fault? He’s no Taveras when it comes to speed, Spilborghs isn’t known for his base stealing ability.

Barmes.jpgClint Barmes is a great player, and he proved it. After he got sent back down to the minors, he worked hard to get back to the show. It was impressive. I didn’t put Tulowitzki at second, and part of that might have to do with the fact that he was plagued with injuries last season which had a devastating effect on his stats. I believe that Clint Barmes is a contact hitter, he rarely struck out last season. It’s true Tulowitzki struck out less, but I think that Tulo doesn’t have the patience that Barmes does. I also think that being sent back down to the minors had a pretty profound effect on Barmes’ attitude. He knows what it’s like to make it to the show and be sent back down, and I think that’s something that makes him want to work harder; and that’s not to say that any player appreciates it less.
Helton.jpg
Todd Helton rounds in at third because well, he’s the best hitter. The best hitter means that you have the ability to hit, it doesn’t mean that you’re a big slugger; although, Todd is a big slugger. But of the team, he’s the guy who is the best. He can reach base. His stats last year might not reflect his ability but that might be because of all the injuries he suffered. Helton’s a great player both offensively and defensively. In 2000, he epitomized a clutch hitter which brings him higher up in the lineup.

I believe that Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe are kind of interchangeable atAtkins.jpg their spots. They’re both phenomenal hitters and both good in the cleanup spot. Brad Hawpe led the club in home runs and Atkins came in second. These guys can hit big and they can hit hard. Atkins led the club in RBIs, however, that statistic really doesn’t tell us much except that in a given opportunity, he can spread the wealth around to his teammates. It’s difficult to decipher who should come in at the cleanup spot. Putting together a line up is one of the most difficult things because it is so crucial. It’s a well known fact that the higher you are in the lineup, the more at bats you have. For every lineup spot a player moves up, they get see 18 more at bats per season. That’s what makes this so difficult, Hawpe and Atkins are our biggestHawpe.jpg hitters and to bring them farther down in the count means that they see less at bats. However, that’s part of the strategy of the lineup, putting your biggest sluggers in first isn’t going to really accomplish anything, you have to consider all your options: who can work the count, who works well under pressure, who can advance a player? Being a pitcher and facing, what you know as the best player on the team (hence why he’s in the cleanup spot), odds you’ll walk the guy increase. That’s why having the other best hitter in spot number five is so important. The fact that you’ve got another great guy in the lineup is going to put pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes. 

I put Troy Tulowitzki in spot number six. His statsTulo.jpg definitely suffered with an injury prone season; however, like I stated earlier, I don’t believe that Tulowitzki has a lot of patience. He’s a great player and great with a bat, so it’s difficult to decipher where he’s best in the lineup since his performance last year was… well… subpar. If during spring training he shows up ready for the season and not injury laden, his odds of moving up in the lineup will increase. It’s an honor to have Tulo on our team, but he needs to learn one of the most basic rules for a hitter: wait for your pitch. He’s eager, but he’s young. He’s got no where to go but up, and his talent is growing exponentially with every season he plays. Putting him far at the bottom was a tough choice because I do expect great things out of him.
Iannetta.jpg
In the seventh spot is Chris Iannetta. Being the catcher
is one of the most difficult positions,it’s hard on your body and incredibly demanding. Despite Iannetta having such a great season last year, putting him farther down in the lineup, in my opinion, is a wise move. The last thing you want is a worn out catcher, especially one as talented as Iannetta. Putting less stress on him is beneficial for the entire team, especially the pitcher. Keeping Iannetta fresh by giving him less at bats makes him better defensively, which is where a catcher is most important.

Finally, Seth Smith. Smith has often come in as PH, which tells me that he’s got some talentSmith.jpg with a bat. However, he’s young and inexperienced. He’s taking over left field which is enough pressure as it is. Having to fill Matt Holliday’s shoes is an incredibly responsibility and it puts a lot of tension on an ability to perform. I believe that because everybody believes that left field is a big spot to fill, it’ll also reflect in batting. Whether real or imagined, Smith is going to feel pressure to drive in the runs like Holliday did regardless of where he is in the lineup. But Smith is young, he’s got a lot to learn and he can make mistakes. I put him in the eighth position not because I believe that he’s the worst hitter on the team, but because he can clear the pitcher’s spot. It’s playing for the betterment of the team and not necessarily for his own personal statistics.

So, there it is, my lineup. It kind of kills me to see Carlos Gonzalez with the number five. That means that Holliday is officially gone. I kind of died a little inside. But now all our players have numbers and it’s officially the 13th which means that I’m one day away from spring training. Not only that, but if Todd Helton isn’t ready for the 2009 season, which it sounds like he might not be, bringing in Ian Stewart will completely change the lineup. While that’s not something that I considered in my arrangement, I’ll have to completely rearrange everything. Bt anyway, tell me about what your lineup would be. I’d be interested in hearing what other people think would be best.

Spring training. Just breathe, it’ll come.