The Rockies have recently acquired Alan Embree. It’s kind of exciting, because I watched him with the Red Sox in 2004, and it was neat. I’m also excited because he kind of looks like a chipmunk, which is funny and exciting. Hopefully he’s a lefty that we’ve been looking for. I don’t know what his stats look like from the A’s, but I hope that he’ll perform well with us. Last I heard, the Rockies were close to signing Glendon Rusch to a one year deal and are still waiting to hear from the lefty. If he doesn’t come back, well, I wouldn’t necessarily count it as a loss. As I stated before, I haven’t kept track of Embree since he left the Red Sox, so maybe he’ll come in and won’t impress me very much. We’ll just have to see how he does once Spring Training roles around.
The Rockies have many things going for them though, pitching wise. Franklin Morales and Ubaldo Jimenez are among the top openers for this upcoming season. Jimenez has been clocked at over 100 mph on some fastballs. And we’ve got Embree, Ryan Speier, Luis Vizcaino, and Taylor Buchholz, all of whom seemed incredibly capable last season. Speier, when he was called up, performed great, and the only time that I really got mad at Buccholz was that balk that walked a guy home and won the game. That was kind of a big deal, but it was a dumb mistake, and hopefully it won’t happen again. The Rockies are also unsure about whether or not they’ll release Willy Taveras into free agency. As far as I’m concerned, whatever happens with that will happen. I know the Rockies are looking at moving Ryan Spilborghs into a full time center field. After the trade with Holliday, my original thought was that they would put Spilborghs in left field, this was because Spilly had been playing left more frequently. Seth Smith is now a possible prospect for this position, which is okay as well. He was often called in as a pinch hitter and performed pretty well. He has big shoes to fill, though.
So, enough with the deconstructing thoughts on baseball. In recent news, come Saturday, I’ll be a college graduate. Hurray! Now, I get to go into a crappy economy and find a job in a market where no one is hiring. I’m so excited for that… only not really. I also had a guitar lesson today, which was awesome. I’ve been playing guitar for almost three years, but I’m entirely self taught, so really, I suck; but my teacher disagrees. He specializes in blue grass, and he told me that I have the capabilities to start playing the harmonica with my guitar, which is apparently really hard for some people and he doesn’t really recommend it to most of his students. That was weird because the harmonica always seemed like such an old person instrument, but I’m actually excited and am considering purchasing one. My teacher also thought that I was good enough to go to an open mic and perform there. That’s a stretch because I’m all freakishly shy until you get to know me. But I was really flattered by the comment, and would actually maybe like to do it some day.
Also, I’ve been watching South Park while writing this blog, and it was the World of War Craftone, and it made me laugh. And now I’m watching one about pan flute bands. It is also funny.I guess that’s all.
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.
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.