May 2009

A Winning Game and Clint Hurdle

Finally! I’ve been waiting and waiting and finally, I was at a winning game!!

Winning ticket.jpgTonight I watched as the Rockies handed a loss to the Padres (sorry Hyun Young and Kaybee). It was about time for me to catch a win too, up until today, I was 0-5, but now, I’m 1-5! Hmm… seems like a ratio of the Rockies record… just kidding… kind of.
Clint Hurdle.jpg
Well, like every Rockie fan on MLBlogs (all five of us), Clint Hurdle’s on my mind. I’d like to sayI’m not shocked, this was kind of something that I was expectin for a while, but I’m actually a little surprised. I think it’s because I wasn’t expecting a decision until Monday. Clint Hurdle served as the manager from April 26, 2002 to May 29, 2009. He’s being replaced with (former) bench coach Jim Tracy who will manage the Rockies until the end of the season.

“Mixed feelings” is the best way to describe how I feel about Hurdle being let go. At the game today, I ran into Don from the Rockpile Rant (he’s pretty easy to spot with his shirt and we had a brief discussion on the topic. He made a very good point that I hadn’t thought of: The Rockies are kind of a cheap team; a lot of fudning has been cut or strained and through it all, Hurdle didn’t complain, he dealt with it.

Hurdle knew it was the end of his run and he left the clubhouse with a smile on his face. Now… whether or not he went home and cried, I have no idea. Good to know I’m not the only one unemployed… of course, Hurdle has a little bit of a better resume than I do. Anyway, yeah, it was time for a change, but I can’t say that firing Clint Hurdle is going to bring about everything that the Rockies need to change. There’s a lot of owrk to be done with hitting and pitching. Two of our biggest in each of those categories are struggling: Garrett Atkins and Troy Tulowitzki, and Manny Corpas and Jason Grilli.

Anyway, I guess I’m done with that news.

So, let’s talk about the game:

Jason Marquis.jpgNot only did I witness a win tonight, but I was able to witness Jason Marquis pitch, and let me tell you, that guy is kind of amazing. He pitched eight innings, had six strikeouts, and a pitch count of 105.

Not only that, but guess who was batting in the cleanup spot tonight?!?! That’s right! Garrett Atkins!!!

So… are we gaining faith in one of our biggest sluggers? I don’t know, he was walked tonight but didn’t really do anything else. He did have a few long drives, but nothin gthat got him onto base by his own merit.
Garrett Atkins45.jpg
Atkins is still struggling to get his average above 200, but I’m positive he’ll bounce back any day now. I’m sure anyone can say that, but I’m convinced. Atkins had some good timing today, but he couldn’t quite get the ball out of the park. Before you know it, he’ll be striking fear into the pitchers he faces and be back to his old self. It’s hard to see one of your favorite players struggling and it’s even harder when people sitting behind you see that you have and support Atkins by wearing his player t-shirt and then they proceed to talk about how much he sucks and how he needs to be sent down to triple-A and how pretty much anyone could do his job better than he does. I hope no one actually says that to him and they just say it to me because I still have faith that he’ll become one of our big sluggers again.

1. Photo courtesy: me
2. Photo courtesy: www.upi.com
3. Photo courtesy: www.zimbio.com
4. Photo courtesy: baseball photos 

A Tale of Two Teams Part II

The only word that comes to mind is “wow.” I have to say thank you to everyone who helped make me #13 in the latest leaders!!! Freaking sweet! So I guess the other thing that comes to mind is “sorry.” Sorry that I haven’t blogged in a while. I’d like to say that I was doing something cool like saving a burning bus of children while making cookies for them. That’d be a lie though. Anyway, that is the highest rank I have ever had, and I practically peed my pants when I saw it. I can usually find myself somewhere between 30-50, if I’m lucky. To be in the top 20 was like… well… wow. Thank our MLBlog leader Mark for posting all of that. Anyway, I’m stoked to be that high on the list, I could’ve done some serious dancing:

What was one of the things that got the Rockies to the World Series?

Rockies logo.gifThe fact that they were a scrappy team. It worked to the advantage of their team then… obviously, not so much now.
Nuggets logo.gif
The Nuggets? They’re also a pretty scrappy team. Just ask Mark Cuban. Apparently they’re all thugs.

Who was an underdog coming into playoffs?

The Rockies were a team no one has ever heard of.

The Nuggets haven’t been to the playoffs since 1985, and as far as anyone was concerned, they weren’t anything special.

Tonight while watching, three pointers were called “grand slams” by the commentators. 

It’s not just that, it’s the players too!

Disagree with me on this if you must, but I’ve started to see similarities between some of the Rockies and the Nuggets too.

The easiest one to identify: Chauncey Billups and Todd Helton.
Todd Helton.jpgChauncey Billups.jpg
Here’s why: As the leaders of the team, both Chauncey and Todd set an example for the rest of the team. They’re the ones who keep fighting and who keep encouraging the fight. Chauncey puts up big numbers, Todd puts up big numbers.

JR Smith and Brad Hawpe.

Brad Hawpe.jpgJR Smith.jpgHere’s why: Did you see JR Smith tonight?!?! He had 24 points, and most of them were three pointers. If you recall, apparently they can also be called grand slams. Now, I don’t think Brad is the leader of our team in grand slams, but he has the most RBIs for the team.

Chris “The Birdman” Andersen and Clint Barmes.

Clint Barmes.jpgChris Andersen.jpgBarmes hasn’t been bad with a bat, not at all, but it’s his defensive plays that compare him to the Birdman. The Birdman can block shots like nobody’s business and Barmes makes plays worthy of the All Star roster. Barmes isn’t the biggest name on the roster and neither is Birdman, but they’re totally note worthy due to their amazing plays.

The rest of the comparisons might be a little bit of a stretch, but I’d say Carmelo Anthony and Troy Tulowitzki.

Troy Tulowitzki.jpgCarmelo Anthony.jpgHere’s why: Melo is the up and coming star of the Nuggets. He’s one of the biggest names on the team and can be considered one of the best players; the same goes for Tulo. They’re both incredibly phenomenal players who have drive and passion toward their game.

Kenyon Martin and Dexter Fowler.

Dexter Fowler2.jpgKenyon Martin.jpgThat’s mostly because tonight Kenyon had 15 rebounds. Dexter Fowler shrinks the outfield by chasing down some of those fly balls. I guess that one’s slightly a stretch, but hopefully you get what I mean. Kenyon gives off a little more of an aggressive vibe than Fowler, but… whatever. 

 

I guess the one thing that I can hope for is that the Nuggets won’t have the same result as the Rockies did.

Last but not least, what came in the mail?

Julia mail.jpgIt’s not a kleenex box. No, this was mail from Julia over at Julia’s Rants! So, what was in the box?!

Julia crane.jpgBaseball themed too!!! Sweet.

Okay, this is the final thing, I swear. Let me say that I absolutely hate Kobe Bryant, I love LeBron James, and I’m totally addicted to these commercials:

1. Video courtesy: crazzy1142
2. Video courtesy: LeBron

Nicknames

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.

Rockies May 2009 071.JPGThe 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.
Ryan Spilborghs28.jpg
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.

Rockies May 2009 052.JPGI 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 hadRockies May 2009 089.JPGever 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:

Rockies May 2009 053.JPG 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.

Rockies May 2009 067.JPG
Rockies May 2009 060.JPG

Rockies May 2009 064.JPG
Rockies May 2009 069.JPGRockies May 2009 081.JPG
Rockies May 2009 073.JPG
Rockies May 2009 087.JPGThere 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!!!

Photo 12.jpg

1. Photo courtesy: me
2. Photo courtesy: baseball photos
3. Photo courtesy: me
4. Photo courtesy: me

A Tale of Two Teams

One team looked fabulous tonight, and one did not. Let’s have you take a guess and see which one did well.

I have one game that ended with a score of 11-15 and one game end with a score of 110-124.

Rockies logo.gifNuggets logo.gif

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see a ballgame that makes it to the 100’s… or the 40’s for that matter… I have no idea what the highest scoring game was. I read somewhere that the Rangers beat the Orioles in 2007 with a score of 30-3 or something. That’s pretty high.

Anyway, yes, the Rockies ended with a losing score of 15-11, which makes it sound closer than it actually was. They didn’t get those last six runs until the bottom of the ninth, a good start to the rally, but only a worthy attempt.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, ended with a winning score of 110-124. Our two biggest stars, Chauncey Billups had 28 points and Carmelo Anthony had 30. The last time the Nuggets made it to the Western Conference Finals was 1985… that was the year I was born and Carmelo Anthony was like… one.

Garrett Atkins45.jpgTomorrow, I’ve got tickets seven rows behind third base in section 141, a dream come true to see my favorite player. Garrett Atkins is our usual third baseman, however, odds are, he won’t be playing in that spot. In fact, most likely, I’ll be admiring Ian Stewart from that distance instead. Atkins hasn’t been swinging a bat like he usually does. I think tonight he went 0-3 or something along those lines… I maybe made that one up, I’m not sure. For the past three years, Atkins has driven in at least 99 runs, with a career high in 2006 of 120. Right now, his stats aren’t projecting anything good, so one can only hope he harnesses his “2006-2008 Atkins” and can gain the clean up spot back.

A 15-11 loss… I guess it could’ve been worse… we could’ve lost to the Pirates. That was kind of a burn to both Jeff and Matt. Sorry, the Pirates are ranked last in power rankings.
Chris Iannetta.jpg
Chris Iannetta hit a grand slam tonight. You want pressure? Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded,two outs.

In game three of the Nuggets vs. Mavs, Melo made this shot after being fouled that started some controversy on the lack of a call.

That shot was like Iannetta’s home run. Melo would say, “those are the moments you live for.” It was an incredibly high pressure situation. While everyone was busy complaining that the refs didn’t make a call and the NBA added insult to injury by saying that they screwed up, everyone forgot that Melo made an incredible shot. One of those that seemed impossible and far too good to be true, that shot was entirely against all odds.

So, the Rockies and Astros are tied in the series 1-1. I’m hoping that tomorrow they’ll win it for me. I’m changing up the outfit, so one can only hope that Tom’s strategy works. Maybe I’ll find him a pink hat to wear!

If you haven’t already, check out Don’s amazing story about what Manny Corpas gave his son and see one of the newest members of Red Sox nation at Julia’s blog!

1. Photo courtesy: www.freewebs.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.mountaininsider.com
3. Photo courtesy: baseball pictures
4. Photo courtesy: baseball pictures

Manny Being Manny…?

“Yes, but how does that make you feel?”

That’s a stereotypical response from a psychologist, and while we’re on the topic of stereotypes, being the psychology enthusiast that I am, and a chick, let’s talk a little bit about my feelings.

Just like the guys from MLB Network, ESPN, and every other sports station, I’ve succumbed to blogging about Manny Ramirez.

Manny Being Manny.jpgf029c653d7bada9d953bae55ae99c0e5-med.jpgIf, for some reason, you live under a rock and have yet to hear, Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for taking a substance banned in the majors. This illegal substance is human chorionic gonadotropin. What is that? I had no idea, so like any good college graduate, I turned to Wikipedia. It turns out, human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, is a hormone that is naturally produced in the placenta during pregnancy. hCG, as a drug for males, is often taken along with steroids to assist in the side effects of coming off steroids. While taking steroids, your body stops producing testosterone, and so by taking hCG while coming off a cycle, it increases your production of set hormone and works to restore your body to it’s normal state… i.e., any parts that shrank should be restored to normal size. So, hCG is kind of like a kick in the nuts… literally, it’s what helps kick start your body to produce testosterone again. Basically, what Ramirez was taking isn’t a steroid, but it’s something that steroid users freqently take between cycles. However, for the most part, hCG is prescribed to stimulate female fertility and the testosterone production in males.

As I was talking with one of my friends today, who isn’t exactly the baseball enthusiast that I am, we talked about the suspension that Ramirez now faces. The debate of the damage that missing approximately 30% of games will give him. Was that too harsh? My friend said that she hated the way players had to be punished to show what the league is doing wrong… or something along those lines. Players do need to be made an example of, but is 30% of games too much? Too little? Right now, adding insult to injury, I think Joe Torre summed it up best by saying, “We need to regain the trust of the fans.” Ramirez claims he doesn’t want to appeal because he doesn’t want to miss a significant portion of the end of the season… so… did he actually take steroids? Not sure.

The truth is Manny Ramirez didn’t get suspended for taking steroids, he was suspended for the0fed7fbc7ab37b6fa0ed53999479ff55_manny-picking-nose.jpg substance that was banned by MLB, which is not a steroid. That’s right, Manny Ramirez was suspended for trying to increase the size… or perhaps, get back to the normal size with a kick in his, apparently reduced size, nuts with hCG. If we go back to stereotypes, then I guess with the random drug testing that happens throughout the majors, I think that this only further shows that men really can only think with one head at a time. Or maybe it’s just Manny being Manny.

Despite yet another sad day in baseball, I am still stoked for Saturday’s game… hopefully I won’t see anything like that picture of Manny.

1. Photo courtesy: www.thejoyofsoxmovie.com
2. Photo courtesy: wists.com
3. Photo courtesy: www.turfsports.net

Slumps and then some

Slumps.

They’re something that we all go through. In fact, I’ve been in a blogging slump. It’s been five days since my last entry, and as much as I’d like to say that I’ve been doing something awesome, like solving world hunger, it’s definitely not true. In fact, I don’t really have any idea what I’ve been doing. Weird. In fact, I think the only reason that I’m on here now is because it’s 3:27 in the morning, and I can’t fall asleep. This would be one of the moments I’m grateful for unemployment, knowing I don’t have to wake up to be anywhere anytime soon.

Anyway, lately some of the Rockies have had been in a worse slump than I have, some of them still are, but some of them managed to break out of it.

For example, our bull pen was in a slump.

Cook.jpgSince the season began, it seemed almost all of our pitchers were struggling to find their place on the mound. For the most part, all our boys were having trouble lasting more than four innings.
Jimenez.jpg
Aaron Cook couldn’t get his sinking fastball to sink; Ubaldo Jimenez was having ridiculous amounts of problem with his mechanics; and Jorge de la Rosa de la Rosa.jpgwas still an emotional pitcher… and that’s only the start of it. However, some how our bull pen managed to come back and look like… well… a bull pen. Yes, the pitching has contributed to our last place in the NL west and to our 8.5 games behind… but I’m not bitter…
Marquis.jpg
There’s no doubt that the Rockies have been beyond struggling, however, they’ve also had their strong points, Jason Marquis has been the shining star of the bull pen. Coming into the club, he’s easily found his mesh with the rest of the team and it shows with his 4-1 record and 3.31 ERA. He’s also pretty easy on theHuston Street11.jpgeyes.

Unfortunately, our starters don’t seem to be the only place we’ve been having trouble. Manny Corpas and Huston Street were fighting for the closer role, and to be honest, it looked like a fight of “who could pitch worse.” Corpas won. Street won back the title of the closer and has looked like he actually wanted it.
Tulowitzki.jpg
It’s not just our pitchers that have contributed to our 8.5 games behind, when it came to clutchsituations and runs needed, we’ve seen some struggles there too. Troy Tulowitzki has had a lot of trouble swinging a bat. He hasn’t even tried to hide his disappointment with himself doing things like slamming his bat and throwing his helmet. Due to his inconsistency at bat, Tulo hasn’t beenseen as frequently at his short stop position, which is pretty disappointing.

Brad Hawpe15.jpgGarrett Atkins has also been struggling immensely with the bat. So much so, he was booted out of the clean up spot and into the number five spot. Not like it’s a huge deal, back in the day when I guessed the line up, I thought he and Brad Hawpe were a little interchangeable at their positions. Brad Hawpe deserves to be in the clean up role though, he’s been putting up some good numbers. However, it’s disappointing to seeawesome_sm.jpg my favorite player struggling with his stats. Atkins, consistently  the leader in RBIs, willhopefully be scoring more runs during thishome stand.You always want your favorite player to represent well. Not only that, but I’d like to say something to Garrett Atkins like what that winking puppy is saying to you.

After Sunday’s pitchers duel between the Rockies and Giants, IBarry Zito.jpg decided maybe I would start following Barry Zito on Twitter. Why? Because I can. That’s right, unlike some people, Barry Zito and I can live in peace… hopefully.

Photo 11.jpgLast, but not least, I also want to draw your attention to what came in the mail to me the other day:

Special thanks to Jane Heller over at Confessions of a She-Fan for my first MLBlogs crane!!

I couldn’t have been more excited to get it in the mail!!!

Oh wait, this is the last thing. I haven’t been to a baseball game in a while, so, Saturday, guess who’s heading over to Coors Field?! That’s right, me! And I’ll be in section 153 which is close to home run territory. Now, two of my newest challenges come from 1. being able to punch people out of my way to get a ball, and 2. being coordinated enough to catch a ball should it come my way. I wasn’t sure which one of those should come first… Anyway, good luck to me with either of those.  

So, at 4:42 in the morning, hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on some needed Zzzz’s.

 

 

1. Photo courtesy: www.boston.com
2. Photo courtesy: www.rockymountainnews.com
3. Photo courtesy: www.upi.com
4. Phoro courtesy: www.zimbio.com
5. Photo courtesy: baseball pictures
6. Photo courtesy: sportsillustrated.cnn.com
7. Photo courtesy: baseball pictures
8. Photo courtesy: I’m not sure
9. Photo courtesy: I’m not sure about this one either
10. Photo courtesy: me
 

Forget swine flu…

Swine Flu.jpgWell, it’s here. The next best thing to the plague has finally arrived in Colorado. That’s right, the swine flu has decided to show it’s pig like face in the rocky mountain state. Despite the fact that the world is preparing to slaughter all it’s hogs in fear of death by swine flu, my fear of swine flu is minuscule compared to my fear of seeing my boys continue to lose games.

Yet again, I had to endure a loss to the San Fransisco Giants and the very legend that is Randy Johnson. This loss has put the Rockies 6.5 games behind. First of all, it’s May now, so Rockies, now is the time where you start winning. You know, April never looks too good for you, but now it’s not April, so… you’re running out of excuses.

Ubaldo Jimenez has recently been having a lot of problems with his mechanics. Since April 7th, Ubaldo hasn’t pitched more than sevenubaldo-jimenez.jpg innings where he got 8 strikeouts and had only four hits. Since then, his problems with his mechanics have been much more copious. He’s had a downward spiral that’s been apparent in his stats. On April 13, he pitched 3 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and four hits; April 19th, he pitched 4 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and seven hits; and on April 25th, he pitched 4 innings with three strikeouts and eight hits.

Ubaldo’s suffered through a lot. His lanky figure is what is his ultimate downfall when it comes to balancing out everything in his pitch. Jimenez is like a well oiled machine, and every part needs to work correctly, however, something’s been out of sync with the rest of the machine. What makes him so successful is when everything is balanced, when his mechanics allign and he throws that 100 mph fastball.

Yes, tonight was a good rebound for Jimenez despite the loss. He looked good, and it wasn’t a moment too soon, either.

rHuJaqmt.jpgIt was also great to see Brad Hawpe out there. After Monday night, with his injury, I was practically sick thinking about him. Let me also say, Brad’s full name is Bradley Bonte Hawpe… and I never would have guessed that was his middle name. In fact, for quite some time, I’ve always been under the impression it started with a “J.” Like… Bradley James Hawpe or Bradley Jonathan Hawpe. But anyway, I couldn’t sleep that night, I was so worried about Hawpe. When it was announced that he possibly had a concussion, I couldn’t stop thinking of that actress who died after getting a concussion while skiing. You know, she was like, “I’m fine, whatever” and then she died. Yeah, apparently, I’ve got a large emotional attachment to my players.

I also tried to go through and delete a bunch of my pictures so that I could find things when I wanted to, and then my blog lost a bunch of it’s pictures. Oops.

1. Photo courtesy: an e-mail from my dad
2. Photo courtesy: sportsillustrated.cnn.com
3. Photo courtesy: colorado.rockies.mlb.com

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